Men in civvies to catch Metro pickpockets, drunk travellers

The Delhi Police and the CISF will deploy "undercover" personnel at Metro stations and trains to prevent pickpockets and revellers high on alcohol from traveling in the city's premier public transport system on New Year's eve.

This was decided following complaints of harassment by woman passengers and high instances of pickpocketing on Metro trains and premises on New Year's eve over the past couple of years.

To ensure safety of women, plainclothes police will travel in trains. "Our personnel in civvies will keep a close watch on all passengers. Every compartment will have at least one personnel to prevent harassment of women and pickpocketing. There will be four to six personnel inside each train," a senior officer said.

"Policewomen will be present in women-only coaches," he said.

A Metro official said anybody found boarding a train in an inebriated condition would be fined.

"We have caught and penalised 600 drunk passengers till November 15. The figure is expected to rise on New Year's eve. That is why we decided to intensify the drive," he said.

Police officers said pickpockets often strike inside trains, "not at stations where security is always tight".

"For the same reason, women aren't harassed at stations. But there have been several cases in trains, especially when passengers were getting into a train or alighting from one. Our personnel will be extra vigilant to curb this menace," an officer said.

More than 10 teams of Delhi Police, and an equal number from the CISF, have been already deployed at Metro stations to prevent "untoward activities" in the run-up to year-end revelries.

"These teams will patrol the platforms. We have placed CCTV cameras, but these special teams will be real eyes and ears to ensure safety of passengers. Patrolling will intensify during the evening rush hours," the officer said.

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