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Why is a dump called a railway police station?

India on 09 May 2014
Location : India | Source : The Goan; image source: The Goan

Perhaps the only sign that this police station means business are the brand new lean mean AK-47 machine guns. But before your eyes adjust to these big boy toys, picture where they are kept and you know that no one means business. In one of the two lockups, meant for detainees. And so are the detainees locked up in the other one. No there’s no place because all the old files are kept there you see. So where the detainees kept? Ask this question and the wheel comes a full circle. Actually nowhere since there is hardly anyone to catch them. And in case you are a woman, don’t worry about your brush with the law in the jurisdiction of the Vasco railway police station. Because there is one woman constable and she has no place to rest or sleep and has to use the common loo with the men. So she’ll hardly be in any spirit to go after you. This, lest we forget, isn’t quite a stand up comedy show but the serious business- actually non business- of  the non-working of the Vasco railway station, the oldest and surely not the grandest

A dilapidated building, 12 police personnel to manage 82 kilometers long railway line and the sheer drudgery faced by the staff and visitors, has completely derailed this once grand railway police station. Set up in 1972. The police station has a footprint jurisdiction of the railway station and along the 82 kilometer long railway route of the South Western Railway.

But half the sacnrtioned staff  work of  twenty five  percent are deputed to the Sub Divisional Office for “bandobast” and other law and order issues.

The police have a long list of do’s which they don’t. Guard the two entry/exit points of the station, screen passengers and detain suspects and be onboard all the trains leaving Vasco until the train crosses its jurisdiction.

For the cops stationed here multitasking is an absolute need. “A writer is a driver, a driver is sometimes a writer,” said a police constable on duty.

The police station has a built up area of 100 square meters. There is no special barracks for male or female staff on duty. The toilet facilities are an eyesore but what more shocking is that the female staff has no place to rest and have to use the common toilet.

And as we said in the beginning of this story, one of the station lockups is used to store files while other lock up is used to store ammunition including the newly allotted AK-47 guns which are dumped on the floor.

And do they have a canteen for refreshments? “What’s that?” they ask

“Every new officer who takes charge first writes to the higher-ups about the issues faced by the staff and the lack of facilities or the need for new premises. But no one pays attention,” said a policeman on duty. “We feel ashamed to call people inside and therefore many times we prefer to meet visitors outside,” he added.

And yes, the policemen are really foot soldiers. That works better because the police station has one old jeep and one motorcycle.

With machine guns in the lock up, miscreants free, no place for visitors and cops with no place to rest, eat or go to clean toilets, this place is a complete dump.

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