Hindustan Times, New Delhi, 24 mAY, 2018 - From toilet mugs to ceiling fans, bed linen to blankets, little that’s of value escapes the attention of thieves on Indian Railways. Such items, together with showers in washrooms, iron grills of windows, even railway tracks, were among stolen property worth Rs. 2.97 crore recovered by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) in 2017-18.
That was double the value of stolen item recovered by the RPF in the previous year.
“We have sometimes noticed passengers stuffing linen in their bag while deboarding the train. Theft of mugs and other iron material is common by drug addicts who later sell them... main concern is theft of track materials, which can lead to accidents,” said an officer of the RPF, empowered to deal with theft under the Railways Act. In 2016-17, the RPF arrested 5,458 people in 5,219 cases of theft while recovering property worth Rs. 1.58 crore. The number of cases increased to 5,239 in 2017-18. staff shortage is said to impede the force’s ability to conduct anti-theft drives on a regular basis.