Govt moves to ensure ‘safe’ railway travel for women



ISLAMABAD:

Following the directions of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the PM’s Strategic Reforms unit has proposed several measures, including the deployment of the Lady Railway Police Force (LRPF) at railway stations, to ensure the safety of women passengers.

The proposals were put forth after the premier took note of a recent incident where a woman onboard the Bahauddin Zakariya Express was gang-raped by three railway staffers.

Led by Salman Sufi, the PM’s Strategic Reforms suggested that teams of LRPF staff – comprising a lady sub-inspector and two lady constables – be placed at railway stations for long journeys. The number of teams would increase according to the influx of passengers.

Moreover, emergency SOS buttons would be installed in trains and CCTV cameras would be placed in the corridors of each bogie.

A video surveillance system (VSS) would be installed at sensitive locations at all railway stations and control rooms will be set up in all trains.

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For the guidance of women passengers, a ‘Safar Saheli’ mobile app would be launched. The instructions regarding downloading the app and emergency number would be printed on tickets.

For awareness regarding women’s safety, a campaign will be launched through posters, pamphlets, handbills. Announcements will also be made at railway stations across the country, whereas the campaign’s messages will also be broadcast electronically.

A Face Recognition Camera application shall also to be developed to trace culprits and their previous records through facial recognition. Furthermore, before outsourcing trains, all private employees are to get clearance from the concerned agencies and special security branches.

Woman raped onboard train

Earlier this week, a woman travelling from Multan to Karachi via Bahauddin Zakariya Express was gang-raped by railway staff. All three suspects involved in the heinous crime were arrested by the Railway Police.

A case was registered at the City Police Station in Karachi and ticket-checker Zahid, his alleged accomplice Train Manager Aaqib and another person identified as Zohaib have been nominated in the case.





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