Ahead of the sixth anniversary of terror attacks in Mumbai on November 26, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) of the Western Railway (WR) has deployed anti-terrorism teams at suburban railway stations. Though no specific inputs of terror activities were cited, senior officials said the measure was a part of regular security deployment at stations.
“We have deployed RPF personnel in groups to specifically check for any terror-related activity ahead of 26/11,” said an RPF officer, who did not wish to be named.
When asked if the teams were formed following specific threats at suburban railway stations, the officer said it was a routine exercise. On Central Railway (CR), the RPF maintained that the anti-terrorists teams were already in place and continued to conduct regular checks at stations.
“Our dog squad was recently strengthened and the security apparatus, the Integrated Security System (ISS), has also been set up at major railway stations. We have a continuous surveillance at railway stations under the ISS,” said Alok Bohra, senior divisional security commissioner, RPF, CR (Mumbai division).
A group of 10 terrorists carried out a series of shootings and bombings across several locations in south Mumbai on the night of November 26, 2008, killing 166 people and injuring 309. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) was one of the sites that was targeted.
Following the attacks, there was felt an urgent need to beef up security at railway stations and an ISS was proposed to improve the security of passengers and thwart terror attacks.
The ISS, which is under implementation on the Central Railway, comprises a dog squad, under vehicle search system (UVSS), closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs), door metal frame detectors (DFMDs) and hand held metal detectors. Though CCTVs and DFMDs have been procured and installed by the WR as well, the ISS, as a complete security programme, is yet to be implemented by the Zonal Railways.