The short-staffed Government Railway Police (GRP), already finding it quite tough to carry out their main duty of ensuring safety and security at railway stations and on trains, are saddled with a job they had rather not do. They have to handle bodies of people found dead inside trains, on railway station premises — mostly elderly and ailing people — besides bodies retrieved from tracks in accident or suicide cases. The have to carry out the process of identifying the bodies and sending it for post mortem. This year alone, the GRP found 422 dead bodies in their jurisdiction.
According to GRP, bodies found in trains are many a time dumped by murderers who send bodies away from the scene of crime to make it difficult for police to solve the case and track them down. Bodies have been found in trains arriving from the yard.
“When these trains that originate from Pune Station come here from Ghorpadi Yard, they are supposed to be locked. The doors are opened only 10 minutes prior to departure. Dead bodies have often been found when coaches are opened,” said an official. Once a body is found, cops have a number of procedures to follow. Data obtained from GRP shows that in 2014, there were 422 bodies found in the jurisdiction of Pune Railway Station police station. Of these 134 were found to have died of natural causes while 288 died in accidents or were murdered.
Abhay Parmar, Police Inspector, GRP said number of “homeless” dying at the station was a major concern.
“Pune Railway Station, like other railway stations, has become the abode of the homeless. Since Sassoon General Hospital is close by, elderly and sick patients who don’t want to stay at the hospital flee and start staying at the station. There have been instances of people dropping off their elderly parents in trains or at stations as they want to get rid of them. They live by begging and take their last breath at the station or aboard a train. We have to deal with 20 to 30 such deaths every month,” said Parmar. Of the 134 who died of natural causes, 51 were above 60 years. Autopsy showed they died of tuberculosis, cardiac arrest and age-related diseases.
Other that these, there are people who commit suicide, or get run over by trains. “There have been more than 200 deaths since January. As many as 60 per cent of the bodies are unidentified. We give publicity and call upon kin to come forward and claim the body. Many a time, the bodies are mangled and identifying them is a challenge,” said Parmar.