There has been a sharp increase in crimes in trains and railway premises, data has revealed. In the year 2017, 1,058 cases of robbery were reported across the 16 Railway zones of the country, which increased to 1,472 in 2018. Similarly, the number of rape cases reported in 2017 were 55, which increased to 69 in 2018. Drugging casesThe figures were tabled in the Lok Sabha by the Ministry of Railways last week in response to questions by seven MPs. The number of cases of drugging has remained the same, 257 for both 2017 and 2018.A closer analysis of the data points out huge variations in crimes as far as Railway zones are concerned. For instance the Central Railway has recorded the highest incidents of robbery (723) in 2018, followed by Western Railway which recorded 377 cases. North East Frontier Railway, South East Central and South Eastern Railway have recorded the least number of cases of robbery with four, four and nine respectively in 2018. In terms of cases of rape, three railway zones, West Central and Central Railway with 14 cases each and Northern Railway with 11 cases, amount to 56% of all rape cases recorded in all the zonal railways in 2018. Southern and South Central Railway recorded no incident of rape in 2018. In terms of incidents of drugging, Central Railway and North Central Railway recorded 61 cases each, followed by 31 in North Central and 18 in North East Frontier Railway.What is interesting about these figures is that the data has been brought into the public domain for the first time. The National Crime Record Bureau, which has a chapter on Crime in Railways, was last released in 2017 containing statistics recorded in 2016. Retired IPS officer and former Executive Director of the Railway Protection Force Nazrul Islam furthered explained these figures. ‘Proactive officers’“If more cases are recorded in some zonal railways that does not necessarily mean that the zone is more crime prone. It can be that officers there are more proactive in recording cases and thereby victims have higher chance of getting justice,” Mr Islam said.