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Safety measures initiated for Samjhauta Express

Source: PTI
April 28, 2007 16:16 IST
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India and Pakistan have initiated steps to ensure the safety and security of the passengers of Samjhauta and Thar Express trains following the February 19 Samjhauta Express blasts.

The two countries are contemplating introducing an Advance Information Passenger Information System wherein both sides exchange information on details of passengers travelling on these trains, Railway Ministry sources said.

While Indian Railways has already started sharing the passenger list of both the trains with the security and immigrant agencies at Attari and Munnabao railway stations, they have asked their Pakistani counterpart to do the same within their territory.

The two sides have also decided to screen passports of passengers travelling on each side and keep a complete record including their addresses, phone numbers and other details to know who is travelling from where, they said.

In order to provide adequate security, Samjhauta Express and Thar Express trains have been made fully reserved trains following the blasts on the Samjhauta Express.

"With no unreserved coaches, we now have complete passenger details from their ticket reservation data a few hours prior to their boarding, and departure of the train," they said adding, the idea was being shared with security agencies at both the border stations.

In India, the Ministry of Railways has taken several steps to improve security arrangements at important and vulnerable railway stations, which include increase in the number of sniffer dogs in the existing RPF dog squads.

It has also decided to provide bomb detection and disposal equipment, close circuit televisions, hand held metal detectors, and door frame metal detectors at sensitive railway stations for anti-sabotage checks, they said.

It is also upgrading training centres to improve quality of training to RPF personnel and Jagjeevan Ram Railway Protection Force Academy, Lucknow, has already been upgraded as a centralised Training Institute.

It has also launched intensive publicity and public awareness campaign alerting and educating all passengers/public to remain vigilant against any unidentified/unclaimed suspicious objects lying on platforms, other premises or coaches and to report to RPF/GRP/railway officials available nearby.

It has also enhanced close co-ordination with GRP, state police and central intelligence agencies for regular exchange of intelligence information.

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