Less than 5 per cent railway stations that fall within the Delhi Division of Northern Railway have CCTV cameras, inquiries by DNA have shown. The shocking revelation of zero video surveillance at 221 of the 232 stations comes amid a massive spike in crime cases the latest one being a Muslim teen’s lynching on trains and railway premises.
Worse, cameras installed at the 11 stations are of little help to investigators because of old technology. Officials are forced to rent cameras on occasions which demand heightened security.
The stations where there are no CCTV cameras include Okhla, Tughlakabad and Ballabhgarh that formed the route of a mob that killed 16-year-old Junaid Khan after allegedly calling him “beef-eater” and “anti-national” on a running train on June 22. Since there was no CCTV footage of the crime, Junaid’s alleged killer could be arrested only on Saturday, more than a fortnight after the crime that had sparked nationwide protests.
Statistics show that the period between 2013 and 2015 saw a jump of 341 per cent in crime cases from 760 to 3,356 in the division that deals with 15 lakh footfalls and 1,000 trains every day.
Senior officers from the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the Government Railway Police (GRP) admit that the absence of CCTV cameras is a hindrance to criminal investigation.
Sanjay Kishore, IG-cum-Chief Security Commissioner of Northern Railway, said “CCTV cameras at every station would be ideal. This will help us, and even the railways, in many ways. Cameras at these 11 stations were installed during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.”
He also said that the installed cameras were not in tune with the latest technology. “You cannot zoom in or zoom out a visual or even detect the face of suspects. Maintenance is another problem. This does affect criminal investigation,” he added.
Kishore said that there was a plan to add more cameras by December. “At present, we hire cameras from private agencies for special occasions,” he said. Stations which have the CCTV facility are New Delhi (152 cameras), Old Delhi (136), Nizamuddin (62), Anand Vihar (41), Ghaziabad (39), Delhi Sarai (30), Delhi Cantt (20), Shahdara (16), Tilak Bridge (9), Shivaji Bridge (4) and Kurukshetra (22 cameras).
However, senior officers say that these 11 stations are a priority because they witness the maximum traffic. RN Singh, Divisional Railway Manager (Delhi), could not be reached for comments.
Source Link – Dna India