New Delhi: Over 160 rape cases have been reported on railway premises and on board running trains between 2017 and 2019, an RTI query has found.
While the number of rapes have gone down from 51 in 2017 to 44 in 2019, there was a spike in 2018 when the number of such cases rose to 70.
According to the reply to the query filed by Neemuch-based activist Chandra Shekhar Gaur, there have been 136 rapes on railway premises and 29 on running trains during 2017-2019, totalling 165.
Of the 44 rapes reported last year, 36 were committed on railway premises and eight on trains.
Of the 70 rapes reported in 2018, 59 were reported on railway premises and 11 on trains.
Of the 51 rapes reported in 2017, 41 were on railway premises and 10 on running trains.
There have been 1,672 cases of crimes against women other than rapes 802 on railway premises and 870 on trains.
There were 771 cases of kidnapping and abduction in these three years, 4,718 cases of robbery, 213 cases of attempt to murder and 542 murders on railway premises and on board trains.
Policing on railways is a state subject, prevention of crime, registration of cases, their investigation and maintenance of law and order on railway premises as well as on running trains are the responsibility of state governments, which they discharge through Government Railway Police (GRP)/District Police.
However, the railways has taken a slew of measures to ensure security of women.
In a reply to a question on security of women in railways, the ministry had informed Rajya Sabha last month that on vulnerable and identified routes or sections, 2,200 trains on an average are escorted by the Railway Protection Force daily in addition to 2,200 trains escorted by GRP of different states daily.
Security helpline 182 is made operational (24X7) over Indian Railways for security-related assistance to passengers in distress.
Drives are conducted against entry of male passengers into compartments reserved for women passengers and persons apprehended are prosecuted under section 162 of The Railways Act, 1989.
During 2018 and 2019, a total of 1,39,422 and 1,14,170 male passengers respectively have been prosecuted for unauthorised entry or travel in compartments reserved for women passengers.
Ladies Special trains running in metropolitan cities are being escorted by lady RPF personnel.
Fixed CCTV cameras have been provided in 2019 coaches (up to November 2019) and 511 railway stations (up to December 2019) for enhancing security of passengers.
These measures seem to have borne fruit with a dip in crimes across railways.
While in 2019, there were 55,826 total reported crimes in railway premises and on board trains, in 2017, the number was 71,055.