Iron thieves expose Railways police performance

LAHORE-Iron thieves have exposed the performance of Pakistan Railways police, which has failed to check the rapidly growing theft incidents in all the sections of the departments due to insufficient security arrangements, which is causing a huge loss of millions of rupees to the Pakistan Railways. The sources in Pakistan Railways said that the practice of iron stealing by the officials of Pakistan Railways in connivance with the police officials came to limelight when the Railways police of Lahore Station arrested two police officials red handed accompanied with some scrap vendors while stealing parts of bogies at Railway yard a couple of weeks ago. 'It is on record that some police officials allegedly involved in iron stealing were being arrested time and again, they added. The sources disclosed that officials of Pakistan Railways police, gang men, trolley men, employees of various departments and scrap vendors of Iron Market Misri Shah were involved in the theft train parts. 'The officials are used to stealing iron and material from out of order locomotives and old sleepers from Railway Track Depot Raiwind, Railways Yard and Railways Store situated in Sheikhupura and later they sell out such material to the scrap dealers on very cheap rates, the sources added. Recently, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Railways Faizan Safdar on a tip off, constituted a raiding team in order to check such theft activities, and arrested nine persons accused of iron stealing including employees of Pakistan Railways and recovered about 110 mound of iron including old sleepers and other material from their possession. Among the accused involved in iron theft were Muhammad Hanif, Sajjad, Javed, Sakhawat and their accomplices who were involved in stealing old sleepers iron and other material while they were selling stolen material to the scrap vendors, they said. They said that some employees of Railways General Stores and some other police officers also were members of such iron stealing mafia. However, theft of worn-out coaches standing in Cantt, Ghaziabad, Mughalpura and Ghari Shahu continued unchecked due to short number of security personnel and inadequate security arrangements at such places owned by the Pakistan Railways. 'The iron material stealing continues despite the installation of close circuit cameras even in the warehouses of PR which were considered the safest premises of the department. However, Inspector General of Railways Police Asghar Raza Zaidi said that he had issued special directions in this regard to all the concerned police officers with directing the SSP Railways Faizan Safdar to initiate stern action against the thieves while keeping check on the activity of the Railways employees. 'Nobody, involved in such kind of activity like theft would be spared whether one is influential or an employee of Pakistan Railways even serving in a high ranking post, their relative or scrap vendors as well, he added.

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