New Delhi: There have been many instances of illegal and unauthorised train ticket bookings especially during the peak time around festivities, long holidays following which common persons find it extremely difficult to avail a train reservation even with the facility of tatkal ticket booking offered by the Indian Railways e-ticketing website irctc.co.in. Other than this, people have reported about various thefts and cases of skullduggery while travelling on the luxury trains of Indian Railways such as Rajdhani Express, Duronto Express on longer routes.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) seemed to have come across several situations and it is trying to incorporate an administrative establishment which can safeguard the interest of train passengers and possible customers of the Indian Railways network. According to a Times of India report, the Indian Railways is likely to induct a cyber cell at Mumbai Central Railway Station with a strength of 28 Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel who will be tracking thefts on trains, burglars and touts involved in illegal train ticket bookings via IRCTC website and other manipulative activities.
The Western Railways’ move to induct a dedicated cyber cell at Mumbai Central Railway Station has been done to safeguard the interest of passengers travelling with precious stones, jewellery, and traders travelling with cash, other valuable ornaments on premium trains of IRCTC on various routes originating from Mumbai. “Organised groups are involved in high-value theft. Last February, we busted four members of a Haryana gang for stealing jewellery and cash worth Rs 14 lakh from an NRI traveller’s bag at Vadodara station, an anonymous crime branch officer was quoted in the Times of India report.
The RPF staff will be trained to analyse call data record (CDR), track specific mobile number from cell phone tower data, detect IP addresses, ticket booking patterns, bank transaction information and other relevant mobile device forensics, TOI reported, adding, the possibilities of theft and burglary escalates when passengers fall asleep during long-distance journeys when trains enter Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh during midnight.
“Online booking starts at 8 am and highest chances of illegal software being used by touts occurs in the next few minutes. Studying booking data is cumbersome, but the IP address or bank account used for booking serves as evidence in court,” TOI report said citing an unnamed officer.