NEW DELHI: The railway ministry has directed all the zones to step up security at stations for protection of all staff from where Shramik Specials are starting. It has instructed that the security personnel should have close coordination with intelligence agencies to prevent any possibility of sectarian feuds among passengers. In its detailed guidelines issued for running these special trains, the ministry has said, “Close interaction with intelligence agencies will be maintained to ascertain any possibilities of a sectarian feud or group conflict among the passengers. In the event of information about any such possibility, suitable precautions may be taken like enhanced presence of security personnel at the origin, en route and destinations.” The guidelines were issued on Monday. While most of the guidelines are generic in nature, there is special focus on security aspects. Considering high possibility of huge number of distressed passengers reaching railway stations from where trains are being run, the guidelines said that zones need to enhanced presence of security personnel and can even hire ex-servicemen, home guards and private security guards to avoid any untoward incident. There have been some reports of stranded migrants becoming unruly while demanding the authorities to allow them return home. The railway ministry guidelines said adequate security staff should be deployed for protection of station authorities. As per the circular, the security personnel deployed in trains will also keep watch on the behaviour of passengers and any troublemakers identified must be separated from the group. “In the event of increased hostility, state police may be informed to intervene as soon as possible,” the guidelines said. The guidelines also specified that no precedence should be given to one Shramik Special train over another and the crossings and precedence should be arranged in such a way that normally “no two stranded passenger special trains are stopped at any station simultaneously”.

All zonal railways to keep isolation bed at hospitals for staff and passengers to use in case of exigencies. They have also been instructed not to deploy staff in the train who are over 50 years old.

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