2 MPs' luggage stolen during train trips; RS expresses concern

Rajya Sabha today expressed concern over the theft of luggage of two woman MPs while travelling in the first class of long-distance trains.

Raising the issue in Rajya Sabha, Jharna Das Baidya of the CPI(M) and Sarojini Hembram of the BJD separately said they lost their luggage while travelling in long-distance trains.

Baidya, who lost her belongings when travelling to Kolkata, wondered what the plight of the common man would be if even luggage of MPs is stolen.

Hembram lost her belongings from the first class compartment on a train from Shirdi to Bhubaneshwar.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said in Rajya Sabha that it has come to his notice that some gangs operate on trains but expressed helplessness to check the crime as thieves buy tickets and travel by trains to carry out the task.

Goyal said the government is planning to set up nearly two million CCTV cameras which will cover passenger trains, railway stations, railway offices and colonies in the country.

"We are trying to bring the entire rail network into a CCTV surveillance network. The feed of that will be given to the local police station. On trains we are planning CCTV cameras stream which will go to guard and the driver," he said, adding that cameras are now installed at 394 railway stations.

He also disclosed that there have been a total of 14,934 cases of theft of passenger belongings and 219 cases of drugging reported in 2016, including a maximum of 40 such cases reported in central railway.

He said this year there had been 19 cases of drugging in Northern Railway, 10 in North-Central, 23 incidents in North- Eastern Railway which were connected to Delhi.

Steps to prevent such acts are being taken with the help of Railway Protection Force and the Government Railway Police which is under states, he said.

Earlier, Trinamool Congress members and those from the CPI(M) also objected to the minister's remarks that if Biadya's luggage was stolen in West Bengal, one could understand the state of law of order in the state and would write to the state government to expedite her case.

In a written reply, the minister also disclosed that there were a total of 35 cases of dacoity, 413 robberies in 2016 reported in the Railways across the country.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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