BENGALURU: Security experts believe that the Bengaluru Metro should set up its own force, alike the Railway Protection Force of the Indian Railways .
For on the day that the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited ( BMRCL ) came out with a list of items prohibited on the metro and, arms and ammunition were on the list, an unidentified businessman walked into the train at the Byappanahalli station with a gun.
Before that, a security guard made a feeble attempt to stop him at the metal scanner. The businessman claimed he was a "big" man and brazenly walked onto the platform and into the train without having to show anybody any kind of personal identification.
. A senior security man, who arrived later, asked the guard if there were any policemen when the incident occurred. When the guard responded in the negative, the senior simply said: "leave it."
While the security breach did not, thankfully , result in any incident, the fact remains that the city's latest and popular mode of transport does not have a trained security force of its own. And, metro authorities have no plans to have one as of now.
Former state police chief DV Guruprasad said Namma Metro should have its own police force like the Railway Protection Force that guards the Indian Railways. "The private security guards in the metro station don't have the power to take action as they are not authorised.The BMRCL should have the basic security systems in place as it is a question of lakhs of commuters' lives."
Another former police chief, ST Ramesh , recalled that there were plans to set up a State Industrial Security Force (SISF)
(why not just pay the centre to supply CISF folks for Metro?
) when the first metro line (Byappanahalli-MG Road) was opened. "The SISF was to be modeled along the lines of the Central Industrial Security Force and was meant to provide security to government installations and state government undertakings. The last I heard, they had started recruiting personnel for the SISF ."
The CISF provides ground-level security at all airports in the country.
Even as the SISF could take time to materialise, metro authorities have, apparently , not approached the city police either. BMRCL MD Pradeep Singh Kharola said, "We have not approached the City Police. We will introduce more security guards when ridership increases."
Apparently , the city police were not informed about the gun-carrying businessman either. City police commissioner NS Megharikh said: "If BMRCL reports to us about the gun-carrying person on the metro, we will register a case and take action. But it was not reported to us."
Former Intelligence IG, Gopal B Hosur , batted for the use of technology in securing the metro.
"In airports, passengers are fewer and security is more. But the same arrangement can't be followed in the metro stations as there are many stations. The BMRCL has to introduce explosive detectors, sniffer dog squads, more security personnel presence and CCTV cameras at all stations. The BMRCL should take steps before anything goes wrong."