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The Railway Police in India are all Policemen enlisted under the act of 1861, and function under the administrative control of the Inspector General of Police of the States and officered from the general Cadre of the States. The history of Government railway Police in Madhya Pradesh is practically the history of the creation of the Police on the East India Railway, for it was on that railway that a system of regular Police was first established and it was upon the orders in relation to the East India Railway that the clause in the contract which governed the charges on the companies lines was framed.
The question of railway Police seems to have come into Consideration in 1862, and in 1864 the Bengal Government directed the Inspector General of Police and the consulting Engineer to submit a joint report about policing on the Railways. This was not done, however, the towards the end of 1865 the Inspector General drew up a note in which after explaining that the staff in the Railway employed under the Name of Police could not legally act as such in the absence of enlistment under the Police Act V of 1861 and after setting forth some of the abuses for which this staff was alleged to be responsible and with which he was unable to deal unable to deal owing to the exclusion of the Government Police from railway stations, he proposed that a certain number of regular Police should be deputed to every station. He recommended that these should belong to the district force under the supervision of the District Superintendent of Police, an arrangement which he preferred to the employment of special Police Force. For the protection of yards and workshops he suggested separate chowkidars under the entire control of the railway passed a resolution accepting the Lt. Governor's proposal placing a Government Police force at the disposal of condition that the entire body should be under the control of the Company only, a special officer of the rank of District Superintendent (Police) being placed in charge of it. On this condition the company was prepared to meet the whole of the cost "on consideration of the benefits likely to be derived from this system". Thereupon in June 1866 the Lt. Governor of Bengal ordered the creation of such a Police force on the lines suggested in the forgoing resolution. Its cost was to be met by the company subject to a contribution (afterwards settled at ¼ th) from the Government equal to the reduction which the establishment of the railway Police might enable Government to make in its regular district Police. At the same time into Inspector General was to continue "to exercise the same general control over the railway Police, that he exercised over all the Police enrolled under the Act".
In the following September the London Board of the East India Railway not accepting "as an experiment the proposal of the Lt. Governor of Bengal of adopting for six months the plan laid down by the Inspector General of Police for placing a body of state Police at the different stations to act under this control and responsibility". In December of the same year Government orders were passed to the effect that the special Railway Police Force for the East India railway was to come into existence from 1st January 1867.
However, in Central Provinces railway Police for Great Indian Peninsula Railway was prior to the establishment of a similar system on the East Indian Railway. The Nagpur branch of the G.I.P. Railway was opened in Nagpur in February 1867 and soon after Police was organised and placed at the stations on the lines within the limits of Central provinces. The force consisted of 1 inspector, 1 European constable, 99 Indian constables, exclusive of train Police guards and the whole force being under the direction and supervision of the railway Police for the whole line, who was appointed as Assistant District Superintendent of Police for the central Provinces. Exclusive the share of the pay of the Police Superintendent and his office establishment this force cost rupees 20,988 its up-keep. This whole amount was paid by the railway company. This system, however, did not work well because the railway Superintendent had to supervise the whole line from Bombay to Khandwa and Nagpur and from Bombay to Poona. This considerably curtailed his visits to the Central Provinces and it is impossible for him to exercise any real supervision over the Police. The District Superintendent through whose districts the line passed took little interest in the railway Police, which were only nominally under their control.
When the circumstances were laid before the chief commissioner it was determined to place the railway Police on a new footing altogether and it was considered that the Government should bear a proporteion of the expenses. The Bombay Police Superintendent ceased to have anything to do with the Central Provinces and his Police were withdrawn. Stations were then occupied by parties of local Police belonging to the districts through which the line ran. In this way the Police came entirely under their own district Superintendents. The staff of the G.I.P. Railway thus reorganised consisted of 1 European Inspector, 2 European constables and 57 native Policemen. The cost of European supervision and pay the inspector and European constables was met by the railway company while Government paid the native Police.
The Government railway Police on the portion of the E.I.R in Jabalpur District were organised and posted during December 1867, but did not commence work until the beginning of 1868. With the concurrence of the Inspector General of Police in the central provinces, it was that as far as the “organization, discipline, and supervision of the force is concerned the whole of the Government railway Police in the Jabalpur district should be under the Inspector General of Police in the north western provinces (U.P.)”. This Police was a distinct body paid and clothed by the railway company, and subordinate to their own Inspectors and Assistant Inspectors General and their sphere of action confined to railway limits. As regards reporting and investigation of crime this force is stood in the same relation to the Deputy Commissioner and the District Superintendent of Police as the Police in other districts.
In 1869 and application was made by the G.I.P. Railway, for additional Police to be located on some new stations, which were opened as a consequence of the extension of the line. The Chief Commissioner sanctioned their being supplied but informed the railway authorities that the company would have to meet the entire cost of these men. As this system was different to the custom obtaining in other districts of Central Provinces through which the line passed, and where civil Police were supplied by each district - the additional cost of one rupees per men only being paid by the company of the decision of the Officiating Chief Commissioner rendered revision and reorganisation of the railway Police necessary.
In 1870 Inspector General of Police expressed his view that the system of railway Police obtaining a Jabalpur railway station on east India line was a anomalous one as the Police nominally Police nominal Lisa Burdick to do this dick suck it and end of Police and it was impossible for him to exercise any real control over them the spectrum dental we can do this performed his that the system of system of railway Police obtaining on the Jabalpur section of the East India Railway should terminate and the system obtaining on the G.I.P. line should be extended to the region.
The division of duties and caused due to differences. A distinction between state and Railway or as they were called public and private duties gradually developed and in September 1870 of separation was sanctioned by Government where by the railway Police was divided into two bodies the duties of Government Police being confined only two passenger traffic and the private Police being told off to the duty of watching goods sheds and wagons, etc. A similar financial distinction followed and the ¾th ¼th proportion was abandoned. In the resolution of the Government of India dated, September 1870 the Government decided to put the annual cost of the state Police but directed The Railway company to decide under the usual official sanction, of the number of constables required for other purposes and ordered the total cost of the Limited Police to be divided rateably between the Government and the Railway company.
The duties of railway Police personnel may also be outlined in passing. On the G.I.P. section one Constable was always on duty to look the protection of station Master’s office and all property line within the station boundary. Besides an order for the production of goods trains after Dark directed that a constable was to be sent to the distance signal to meet the trains as they came in with the object of seeing that no person jumped off the train as it slackened speed on the station. Another constable was to go to the other distant signal to see that no person got on the train after it had left the station. The head constable was required to examine the fastenings of the wagons at the station itself; so that at small stations all the Police came on for duty for every goods train. The necessity for this arose in the fact that on the main line trains were often robbed between two stations. The thief got on the buffers of the wagon as the train was moving slowly out of the station, managed to open the wagon and threw out part of contents as the train was going and then jumped off it as it slackened seed on coming into the next station. In 1871 of system of train Guards to protect wagons in transit and those standing at the station was instituted.
This system of railway Police is failed in its purpose. It was often alleged that the railway companies threw the private work on the state Police. A committee was, there for appointment by the Government of India to go in question this committee reported in 1872. It is recommended that “there should be a separate railway Police which should be one organised body under one system of supervision dealing with all kinds of railway work whether required for watch and ward of goods, or for purely public purposes. The financial division of the force on the basis of public and private duties was to cease. A distinction based on the necessity or otherwise of Government control was to take its place, the railway bearing the entire expense of letter i.e. that portion which did not require Government control and paying also a fair share of the expense former portion that which the require Government control and those which did not; including in the former the more purely state duties of detection and prosecution of crime and as the cold them “mixed duties” of maintenance of order and watching of train in the stations and in the latter the purely railway duties of the watch and ward of goods sheds.
Addition were made in 1873 and the in the strength of Railway the G.I.P. section to meet the requirements of Holkar and the Wardha Coal State Railway both of which were opened Central Provinces limits and were worked by the G.I.P. Railway Company.
The working of railway Police system was however, found by the railway companies to be unsatisfactory. On the basis of their complaints the Government appointed another committee in 1882 “ to enquire into general working of the Police on the principle railway in India in view of the adoption of the one uniform system of railway Police”. This committee reported in June 1882 to the effect that all watch and ward duties should be performed by the railway itself and that for the purposes of law and order including detection and prevention of crime a specially organised Government Police Force should be maintained. The strength and disposition of this force should be determined by the local Government concerned in communication with the railway authorities. This system was primarily recommended for enforcement on the East India railway. The Government in its order on the Committee’s report accepted the proposal for the East India Railway. They made comment on the recommendation in regard to other Railways. The only alternation of any importance that this committee of 1882, made in principles of 1872 was the transfer of purely Railway duties from the Police of the railway watchman. In 1890 Government railway Police were organised on the G.I.P. Railway, Bengal- Nagpur Railway, Wardha Coal state Railway and Bhopal state Railway. All these Railway lines passed through the Central Provinces. The personnel of Railway Police Force included Inspectors, European constables, Head Constables and Constables. The Inspector General remarked in that service in the Government railway Police not popular. Men transferred from this district Police to the Railways were generally discontented and did not work well.
The main forms of crime on the railway for this period were thefts, burglary and pickpocketing. In 1871 Inspector General remarked that “whenever a wagon in which consignment is found to be short arrives at Jabalpur, which is the terminus, and the exact place of the theft cannot be ascertained, the value is put down as stolen at Jabalpur. This arrangement may be convenient one”. He added “but it seems hardly fair that the Central Provinces should wear the burden of the sins of all the thieves who operate on the line between Howrah and Jabalpur”. Towards the end of last century the complicity of railway officials in thefts of railway property was suspected.
In 1873, a special staff of 2 head constable and 8 constables sanctioned for the Katni branch line which was formerly without a single Policemen and as a consequence property remained unprotected while bad characters and foreigners were at library to move about just as they liked without their movements being watched. In 1894 the staff on Bangal-Nagpur railway passing through Jabalpur was further strengthened by the addition if 1 Inspector, 3 head constable and 11 constables. This was rendered necessary on account of the extension of the railway line. In 1898 and additional for top 4 inspectors and 94 Chowkidars was sanctioned for the replacement of railway Police constables who were required for plague and famine duties on the Bengal Nagpur railway and G.I.P. railway lines.
The system of railway Police on the G.I.P. and the Bengal-Nagpur railway lines passing through the territory of Central Provinces continued unchanged till 1907.
The Police commission of 1902 examined at length the existing pattern of railway police organization in the several provinces. It made several recommendations to produce uniformity in the organization of railway police as also to enhance its efficiency.
Following the unanimous opinion of the local Governments, the Government of India accepted as the general principle the commission’s view that “ the jurisdiction of Railway Police Force should be co- terminous with the limits of the province”. As an application of this principle the Government of India decided that “the Chief Commissioner of the Central Provinces should have jurisdiction over the East India railway from Jabalpur to Katni and over the G.I.P. railway from the Jabalpur to Bombay boundary”. The Government of India also thought desirable that the Indian Mid-Land section of the G.I.P. from Itarsi to frontier of United provinces together with the Bhopal- Ujjain and Bina-Kotha branches, which are partly with native States, and partly with the Central Provinces should be under the chief commissioner”. The Government of India concurred with the commission and the local Governments in holding that the “primary duty of railway Police should be the preservation of law and order and that they should not be called upon to undertake the watch and ward of railway property”. The Government also desired that the “organisation of the railway Police should follow the lines recommended by the commissions for the district Police” and that “they should be under a Deputy Inspector General of Police who should also be the head of the provincial criminal investigation department”. The Government of India did not accept the recommendation made by one of the local Government that a special training school should be maintained for the railway Police. In regard to local allowances the Government of India accepted the commission’s view that the Superintendent and assistant Superintendent should receive rupees 150 and rupees 100 respectively in addition to the pay of their rank.
The preliminary measures for the reorganization of railway Police in Central Provinces were taken during 1907, and from 1st January 1908, the railway Police district was constituted. The sections of line included in the district where the whole of Bengal-Nagpur Railway, open Line lying within the central provinces and its feudatory State and the branch on Bilaspur- Katni most of which lay in the Rewa state, the section of the G.I.P. Railway from Nagpur to Bombay border with its branches and that on Burhanpur -Jabalpur. The section of East India Railway from Jabalpur to Katni and the branch of G.I.P. Railway from Katni to Bina remained in the jurisdiction of United Provinces Railway Police. The total length of line included in the railway district in 1908 was 1471 miles. The district was in charge of a Superintendent assisted by 1 Deputy Superintendent, 6 Inspectors, 12 Sub-Inspectors and 4 Sergeants. The railway district was split up in 9 station houses. Most of the staff for the Railway Police was recruited from among trained men who were allowed to volunteer form district Police.
Concurrently, the policing of railway lands in central India was transferred to the Rajputana Administration in 1908, when it took over from the Bombay Government following acceptance of the recommendation of the Police commission of 1962-03. The Police assistant to the agent to the Governor General in rajputana (later called Resident) was placed in charge of the railway Police ,with a Superintendent of Government Railway Police at Ajmer in direct charge. The Police assistant was also the Inspector General of Police .The railway Police jurisdiction totalled nearly 1500 miles on the Broad and Meter Gauge Section of the Bombay-Baroda and central India Railway and for the Central India it traversed the states of Dewas, Dhar, Holkar, jhabua ,jaora , Ratlam and sailana, as also Gwalior. It had 4 Police Stations and 3 outposts to manage with defined jurisdictions with a total mileage of 410 and an executive staff of 160, under a Deputy Superintendent of Railway Police stationed at Indore .
In 1909 the strength of the railway Police in Central Provinces was increase by 3 Sub-Inspectors,13 Head Constables and 43 constables. These increase were necessitated by the inclusion of sections of railway aggregating 270 miles in the jurisdiction of the railway Police. The jurisdiction of Government Railway Police was extended to the Khandwa-Mortakka section of the Rajuputana-Malwa railway which was transferred by the Ajmer railway Police to this provinces. Other notable sections on which Central Provinces Government Railway Police acquired jurisdiction were the Nainpur -Mandla with extension of the Satpura Railway, to Kamti-Ramtek of Bengal Nagpur railway. The staff of the Superintendent of railway Police increase to 1 Depot Inspector,5 Divisional Inspectors 15 sub-inspectors,6 sergents, 49 head constable and 307 constables.
The line under the jurisdiction of the Superintendent of railway Police ran to 12,701 miles. Simultaneously a railway Police manual was provisionally issued.
Form the 1st January 1910 the following sections of G.I.P and east India Railway were taken over from the united provinces Police:-
G.I.P. RAILWAY MILES
This brought the total length of line administered by the Central Provinces railway Police to 2454 miles which was considerably more than the Police commission contemplated as the maximum length to be included in one railway Police district another deputy Superintendent of Police was also attached to the railway. A further addition to the jurisdiction of central province railway Police was made by adding 75 miles of newly opened line to the existing jurisdiction. One of the Assistants was posted at Jabalpur in charge of a sub-division consisting of six station Houses of the G.I.P. and East India Railways. In 1917 the whole force of Railway Police was placed under the administrative control of the deputy Inspector General of Police, crime and railways.
In 1919 the Secretary of state sanctioned the division of the railway Police charge into two districts as also an additional post of Superintendent railway Police and the change was given effect to on 1st January 1920. Alongside a Prosecuting Inspectors in each railways district was appointed. With effect from 1st April 1919 the system of apportioning the cost of railways Police was changed, Government accepting responsibility for the whole cost of the Police employed on law and order in return for an annual subsidy from the railway companies, while the railways paid the cost of the watch and ward staff.
Inspectors and Sergeants of the railway Police were armed with revolvers in 1910. Orderlies to officers were given a white ‘dosuti’ tunic and white knicker-bockers in the hot weather and khaki woolen uniform in cold weather. The head dress was either a turban or a fez cap. In 1910 the color of uniform was changed to blue. Unlike D.E.F uniform blouse had two patch pockets and shoulder eppaulets, the staff put on G.R.P. shoulder titles. It is interesting to record that till 1909 Superintendents used to promote sub-inspectors to the rank of circle inspectors for their good work but this procedure was stopped in the aforementioned year and the system of nominations was introduced. The divisional inspectors were empowered in 1908 to transfer constables in their divisions.
The main type of crime on the railways was thefts, from trains in transit and from goods sheds as well as from platforms and waiting rooms. In 1916 two dacoities were reported on the Bhopal -Ujjain section of the G.I.P. In one of these out of the 5 accused 4 happened to be Sepoys of State Forces. The connivance of the railway servants and chowkidars in the crime on railways as regularly brought to the notice of the Chief Commissioner by successive Inspectors General of Police. The chief commissioner concurred with the inspectors general of Police in this matter. In 1912, 78 percent of the persons convicted of thefts on railways were railway servants. In 1913, 51 percent of the persons convicted for crime on the railways happened to be railway servants. In 1915 out of 88 percent convicted for pilferage on the railways 68 were railway servants and ‘hamals’. To illustrate the extent of this pilferage, Superintendent railway Police, in 1915 cited a particular case in which 55 tins of ghee were discovered in water holes close to the Katni station yard. Subsequently on arrival of the wagon at Calcutta it was ascertained that 55 tins of ghee valued at Rs.919 had been removed from it, through it arrived sealed and locked. He concluded that “it is a matter of common knowledge that railway losses are inflicted on them principally by their own employees”. Commenting on the connivance of railway servants in the commission of crime on the railways the inspectors general of Police remarked in 1906, “if a railway Police officer is really to deal effectively with railway crime he must be at logger heads with dishonest railway official if the subordinate railway Police were to devote much time and attention to watching the railway officials we should speedily have so much friction that the smooth working of the railway would be interfered with” .The situation was further rendered difficult by the inadequate sentences passed by magistrates trying railway cases .This was mainly due to the fact that they were unable to appreciate the meaning of certain technical evidence” In 1911 the railway Police met with a notable successes in apprehending a gang of Sanorias and minas who were notorious for railway thefts on the Bhopal section of the G.I.P. this was followed by the unearthing of a gang of Bhamptas in 1913.
The Inspector General of Police in 1915 pointed out some weak links the administration of railway Police of the Central Provinces. He wrote “the personnel of our investigation staff leaves a great deal to be desired. On the railway we have to deal largely with the professional criminal and the dishonest railway servants, the one making crime the study of his life and the other possessed of more than average ability and education. Moreover, a clear conception of the railway rules and a great deal of technical knowledge is required to deal with railway accident. Our Sub- Inspectors should be men of exceptional ability and experience and our Inspectors at any rate should also be Europeans or Anglo Indians, who can make suitable contacts. For Inspectors except for an occasional man who may have gained some knowledge in Cantonment, we have rely on our Reserve Inspector’s class whose previous experience has been confined to drilling men on parade an issuing kit at Head quarters Lines. Appointed to the railway, they at once become responsible for tackling intricate cases and controlling investigation work of Sub-Inspectors. In the third place I am afraid there can be no question but that service on the railway is unpopular”.
The next landmark in the history of railway Police in India was the constitution of railway Police committee appointed under the home department resolution No.114 dated the 13 January 1921 which ran as under:-
“The Governor General in council has decide to appoint a committee to examine the existing organization and working of railway Police administration in India, which appears to be defective in certain respect and to make proposals for the improvement (where necessary ) of this branch of Police administration”. The terms of reference or the committee included the examination of arrangements made for the protection of properly on railway in India.
This committee made far reaching recommendations about strengthening the railway Police administration as well as the watch and ward unit. The communities recommended that a central bureau of information and advice should be created on railways. Mr. Deighton, Inspector General of Police Central Provinces expressing his views on the subject stated that “it would be desirable to have a senior railway Police officer attached to the railway Board in a position somewhat analogous to the Director of Central intelligence. He would be responsible for securing uniformity of procedure in the railway Police through-out India and the appointment would result in the various railway Police systems carrying weight with railway administrations such an officer should however, have nothing whatever to do with the internal administration of the various railway Police forces. He may be assisted by a small detective force for each railway”. The committee also recommended that a special detective investigating agency in the railway police should be created in each province. The committee remarked “without use of detectives it is impossible to cope with frauds involving collusion between consignors and loading clerks, cheating by booking clerks, pilferage of fruits thefts from passenger trains thefts of railway material and other forms of railway crime”. The appointment of detective inspectors in the two railway Police charges in central province drew an appreciative reference form the Committee. The Committee suggested that “Whatever possible the experiment should made of putting a deputy superintendent incharge of sections with powers of superintendent”. The committee added that “the adoption of this system would have the advantage of economizing officers of Indian Police and giving new openings to the provincial service”. The committee concurred with the opinion expressed by a great majority of Police witnesses that special training should be given at all levels which would among other things include the study of Railway Act the methods of railway thefts, seal checking, signaling, the line clear system the routine observed in booking and parcel offices and goods sheds, railway methods of enquiry in the missing goods and so on.
After a careful consideration of the evidence brought before it the committee concluded that the quality of watch and ward staff is “almost everywhere unsatisfactory”. An Inspector on the Bengal North-western Railway stated before the Committee, “It is an open secret that no chowkidar pays for his food, but helps himself to it”. Another inspector engaged by the B.B.& C.I railway to supervise the watch and ward testified before the committee that he found that main problem was that of keeping the men awake. the committee also commented on the poor remuneration given to chowkidars employed in watch and ward staff. The committee remarked the feeling is that under payment means tacit sanction to pilfer and we have heard several stories of menials going on strike when they thought that their prerogative was being infringed by what they regards as excessive activity on the part of the Police. The committee therefore recommended that. "watch and ward should be properly organized as a railway unit under a superior officer at the Headquarters of the railway who should be entirely removed from the control of the station staff". A revised Railway Police manual was brought out in 1926.
The period was also marked by certain administrative change of the Railway Police administrations of the Bombay-Baroda and Central India Railway. In the 1931-33 retrenchments, the separate independent post of the Superintendent of railway Police, Ajmer was withdrawn when the functions were taken over by the Police assistant to the agent to the Governor General (Inter Resident) for central India, Indore with one of the two deputy Superintendents of Police work. At that time the old railway Police post was transferred to Ajmer and in 1934.a second Deputy Superintendent of Railway Police was stationed at Indore. This arrangement continued till June 1948 when on the disbandment of the central India agency Police (constitutional changes) the office of the Police assistant, central India agency disappeared and the separate post of the Superintendent of Railway at Ajmer was revived, with a section officer Deputy Superintendent of Police of Indore.
The jurisdiction of Central Provinces railway Police in 1935 extended to 17 princely states and those parts of the country which later became constituent units of the Province of Orissa on the 1st April 1936. A share of the cost for the maintenance of crime and order Police and the administration of criminal justice was regularly paid by the Crown Representative for the Princely States to the Government.
In 1987 Mr. R. N. Marsh Smith ,I.P., Inspector General of Police Gwalior State, reorganized railway Police on the Gwalior Light Railway as part of a scheme to thoroughly over-haul the Police forces of the State. He thus reported the reorganization of railway Police to Government :-
“The next unit to be reorganized was Police attached to Gwalior Light Raliway. Besides the Railway Thana at Lashkar, there were a sort of out-posts at sabalgarh, Bhind, sheopur, Shivpuri, Ujjain and Agar. There was also one constable attached to each Railway station. It was considered that the presence of one constable served no useful purpose while the staff for the watch and ward of the goods at termini was insufficient. Accordingly a Chowki of one Naik and three constables was allotted to each of the termini while a system of patrols was arranged whereby the line was divided into sections and three constables provided for patrolling sections. A programme is worked out at the beginning of each week and two constables visit each station once a week at night according to this programme. Inspite of fears and apprehensions on the part of station staff there has been no increase of crime and on the other hand a feeling of security has been increased, for instead of badly armed single constables at each station, there are two properly armed constables patrolling sections and likely to spend the night at any of the station concerned in the section".
In 1941, special armed constabulary was raised in Central Provinces to guard strategic railway lines and bridges in the territory of Central Provinces and its neighbourhood. A part of railway track laying in the Central Provinces was to be looked after by the United Provinces Military Police.
On 23rd September 1947, The Central Provinces administration was informed by the Government of India that "the civil and criminal jurisdiction exercised by the Crown Representative over railway lands in Indian States territories was allowed to revert to the states concerned with effect from midnight of August 14th 1947. The existing arrangement regarding policing of the lines have , however been continued by virtue of Stand Still Agreement signed by the acceding States which specifically mentions existing police arrangements the result is that offences committed on railway lands and detected by the railway Police will hereafter be tried by the respective State Courts.” The States were informed of these arrangements and necessary notifications were issued by them.
Posts of six Head Constables and twelve Constables were created in 1948 and May I Help You squads of to Head Constables and four constables each were posted at bina, itarsi and Khandwa railway station . Their object was to give information and help to travelers particularly the old, the infirm and the very young .
There was no radical change in the general pattern of railway crime in this period. However, the emergence of some new methods of crime on railway attracted notice. In 1923 a new type of railway criminal came to notice at Jabalpur. This ‘railway loafer’ used to hang about the station. On the plea of helping the travelers he bought them short distance tickets pocketing the balance of what should have been the full fare for the full distance. In 1925 a Marwadi was charged with attempt to defraud the railway company of Rs. 42,000 the value of 212 pressed bales of cotton which were said to have been dispatched from Chanda to Bombay and to have been destroyed by fire while in transit. As a result of an enquiry the Marwadi was charged with having removed the bales, with the connivance of certain subordinate railway officials and with having substituted waste cotton which was deliberately burnt while the train was in transit. The original 212 bales were found to have been dispatched to Pulgaon whence they had been re-booked to Delhi and sold to a merchant. In 1926 a new method of committing thefts was perfected on the Railways. It consisted in sprinkling a man’s pocket with sulphuric acid .When the cloth was sufficiently charred the contents of the pocket fell out . In 1933 four cases of administering stupefying drugs were registered. In one, a nreman was convicted but acquitted on appeal. The fireman was alleged to have mixed ‘dhatura; in the tea which he supplied to the engine staff, the suggested motive being to create an impression that the staff had been over-come by fumes of a new kind of coal which was being experimented on and which caused more labour for the fireman than the ordinary coal. A new method of cheating occurred on the Bengal-Nagpur Railway passing through the Central Provinces. A Bengali gangman having overheard the station master telling some passengers that they could travel without tickets by obtaining permission from the guard boarded the same train and demanded fares from the passengers. On being to'd that the guard had given them permission he pretended talking through the alarm chain as a telephone and then told the passengers that the guard had ordered him to collect their fares. After collecting necessary money he disappeared but was subsequently caught. In 1935 a Constable of Bina station house met two persons with new suit-cases. He was not satisfied with their explanation that they contained machine parts and on search found 50 seers of charas valued at rs. 5000 concealed in the suit-cases. Bhopal state was particularly used as a distributing centre for this contraband. ‘Burkhas’ were considered useful for this purpose.
In Central Provinces cameras were supplied to various station houses on both sections in 1936 and the use of photographs for filing known criminals and for verifying the statements of suspicious persons was extended. During and after the war there was an acute shortage of commodities like cloth, Sugar, salt, grain and kerosene oil throughout the country. The railway employees like drivers, guards, firemen and watch and ward staff started pilfering with railway goods and disposing -off stolen property for which they found a ready market. Local criminals joined hands with such employees and learnt the trick of breaking open wagons in yards and running trains. They also learnt the art of resealing wagons add fixing fictitious seals. In 1926 there were two attempts at the derailment of trains. Disgruntled railway employees were found responsible for these offences. On 4th February 1930 the G.I.P. Railway men launched a general strike. In view of the considerable success obtained by the G.I.P. Railway Union in getting its demands accepted the strike was called off on 16th April 1930.
In 1951, the Government of old Madhya Pradesh sanctioned special staff on the railways to collect intelligence and keep watch on anarchist activities and their infiltration into the railway services.
The Police Reorganisation Committee appointed by Old Madhya Pradesh Government in 1951 also examined the organization of Government Railway Police. The Committee commented adversely on the absence of special training to the personnel of the railway Police. The Committee remarked, “no special training is given to the constabulary drafted into the railway Police before they begin to perform their duties. In consequence they have to pick up the railway procedure and functions of railway Police as best as they can in course of their duties. This appears to us to be an unsatisfactory and incomplete method of training.” The committee proposed that reserves should he provided at Hoshangabad and Raipur- the Headquarters of Railway Police on G.I.P. and Bengal- Nagpur Railway,respectively. “Constables of the Railway Police should be trained by a Head Constable under the supervision of a Subedar”. The creation of two posts of Subedars and two of Head Constables was recommended. To prevent Interference with training of constabulary and to provide for special occasions when some more trains may have to be escorted of particular areas watched which showed increase of railway thefts of ‘goondaism’ the Committee further recommended the creation of an additional force at Hoshangabad and Raipur. The Police Reorganisation Committee suggested the abolition of “may I Help you Squads” ads the object for which they were created had not been achieved.
The mounting liabilities for compensation claims on the Indian Railways compelled the Government of India to institute an enquiry into the matter in 1952. In view of the alarming increase in crime on the railways the Government of India requested the Director, Intelligence bureau, to undertake an exhaustive enquiry into this problem, with the object of devising measures to deal with it effectively. This enquiry was conducted by Shri B.N. Mullik, I.P. Director, Intelligence Bureau. The following reasons were listed to have caused an increase in crime on the railways :-
The Director recommended the following measures to be undertaken by the Police to provide a partial solution of the problem :-
The Director also suggested that “the Government of India may consider the opening of a special section in the Intelligence Bureau to co-ordinate railway Police work, collect facts and give necessary advice to the Ministries of Home Affairs and Railways”.
In 1954 the Government of India, vide State Ministry’s letter No. 16(7)-J-53, dated the 13th March 1954 , decided that “railway policing arrangement should now be handed over to the Government of Rajasthan, Madhya Bharat and PEPSU with effect from mutually agreed dates but not later than 1st June 1954”. Accordingly railway jurisdiction falling within the State boundaries of Madhya Bharat and Rajasthan was made over to the newly created railway Police authorities of those States. The Government of Madhya Bharat thereafter constituted a Railway Police District with headquarters at Indore.
With the promulgation of the Railway Protection Force act the Watch and Ward Department of the Indian Railways was constituted into the Railway Protection Force in 1955 to make for better disciplinary control of the staff. The internal organization of this force was patterned on that of Police forces in the different States. Senior Police officers from the States are seconded for service in the Railway Protection Force.
It may be of interest to make a brief mention of the history of Railway Protection Force.
The Railway Protection Police grew out of the necessity to give additional armed protection to railway property, staff and passengers during the communal holocaust in the later part of 1946 and 1947. Its origin can be traced to a letter addressed to all the provincial Governments by the Railway Board on the 14th December 1946. There was no uniformity in the way in which this force was raised in several provinces. The purpose for which the force was raised was fulfilled by the middle of 1950. However,in the wake of communal disturbances during which the law and order situation had worsened practically all over India. There was a large scale increase in professional crime of the railways. This coincided with a similar wave of crime in the States also and kept the State Police fully engaged. It did not allow the diversion of any of the State Police units to control the crime on the Railways. Therefore, in order to give special protection to the railways against professional criminal's the Railway Board agreed to the continued retention of the Railway Protection Police and its diversion to crime work.
As a result of the creation of the new State of Madhya Pradesh on 1st November 1956, three railway Police districts at Raipur, Jabalpur and Indore, formed the units of railway Police administration in the new State. All the three Superintendent of Railway Police were put under the immediate administrative control of the deputy Inspector General of Police Crime and Railways. The period after independence has been marked by an increase in railway crime and one reason for this may be found in the increased volume of goods traffic carried by the railways as a result of growing industrialization of the country. The opinion has been expressed that there is a definite relationship between railway earnings and crime. The other contributory factor to the increased crime on the railways is the emergence of organized inter-provincial gangs of criminal who know very well that they have lesser chances of being caught in trains than in the districts.
In 1954 a case came to light in which a train guard got a consignment misdirected by changing the labels. In 1955’ an interesting case was reported from Bhopal Station yard when currency notes of small denominations valued at Rs. 9233 were stolen from the railway pay carriage and the accused, a railway cash guard, absconded after committing this offence. He was subsequently arrested by the Railway Security Force at Secunderabad. The accused was found to be a previous convict of 21 times and stolen Property to the tune of Rs .94,000 was recovered from him. Some of the gangs of pickpockets active on the railways in this State have also evolved a Crime Vocabulary as an aid to their operations .Some of the words coined are – (1) ‘Lakkad’ for Blades , (2) ‘Than’ for 100 rupee notes , (3) ‘Gudge for notes of lesser denomination , (4) ‘Thola’ for Policeman,(5) .’Dasti’ for coins , when one criminal pushes a man ahead ,his second associate pushes him from behind while a third one commits the offence .The gang uses the word ‘Jhanpa’ and when caught by the Police the warning signal is given by the utterance of the word ‘Bhilla’ Offences by cape –mari trick ,which are mostly peculiar to the railways ,may be mentioned .In this type of offence , the criminal usually throws some dirty stuff or night .soil on the passenger who is required to go to the tap for a bath. While he is bathing , his cash and other belongings are carried away from the clothes kept near the tap .
Ratlam and Mandsaur Districts are opium growing areas and smuggling of opium through the medium of railway trains on the B.B and C. I .section within the jurisdiction of Superintendent Railway Police , Indore , is another or of railway crime prevalent in this State .Criminal tribes like Bhamptas , Mang , Garodis , Barwas, Sanoriasand Chandraverias operate in passenger trains and commit offences of cheating by the confidence trick method. In recent years cases of cheating by inter-provincial cheats who employ the bogus railway receipt trick have come to notice. Flying night patrols and special drives to round up criminals are regularly organized on the railways. To ensure continuous contact between railway and civil Police a scheme was initiated in 1958 whereby Constables and Head Constables of railway Police are seconded to the civil Police for a period of one month to familiarize them with the crime and criminals on record of the local civil Police. Similarly , their counterparts on the civil Police are seconded to the railway Police for an equal period to help them to understand the nature of some of the basic duties of the railway Police. With a view to providing a specialised ageneg for investigation and enquiries into all cases of sabotage on the railway lines in the jurisdiction of Madhya Pradesh a special squad was organised in 1958.
Before closing the history of railway Police in Madhya Pradesh a brief mention may be made of the strike by the Central Government servants in 1960, which also affected railway employees. During the strike period the task of guarding the railway track was performed by the Police with the help of villagers living on both sides of the railway track.
In retrospect it could be said that in regard to organization Madhya Pradesh Railway Police have had the experience of the district system, the railway administration system and the existing provincial system.