Metro suicides: 59 lose limbs in five years, but alert guards save over 200

New Delhi, Sep 28 (IANS) The lone earning member of his family, Patel (no first name) is among the 59 who have lost a limb or sustained other debilitating injuries while trying to kill themselves by jumping in front of a Metro train in the past five years.

Patel was saved because of the quick intervention of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officials who managed to rescue him and rush him to a hospital in time.

As per official data, over 450 people jumped in front of a speeding Metro train in their bid to commit suicide in the same corresponding period – of them 50 lost their lives.

In the past two years alone, 200 suicide bids have been thwarted at Metro stations in and around the National Capital Region, CISF data shows.

However, life’s got only tougher for 35-year-old Patel, a casual labourer, after his left leg was amputated on May 17 as a result of the suicide bid. Patel’s leg was amputated after it was badly crushed under the train’s wheels and was later beset by gangerene that threatened his life.

On the afternoon of May 17, Patel, worried over his family problems, went to the Golf Course Metro station in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida town and jumped in front of a moving train.

His wife now washes utensils for neighbourhood families to meet the expenses of their seven-member family that includes their three children and his aged parents.

“Trying to commit suicide was the biggest mistake of my life. I was the only person in my family who could earn. My wife has to wash utensils to earn money because of my stupid act,” Patel rued while speaking to IANS.

As per CISF data, between January and September this year, there have been 70 attempted suicides inside Metro premises. Fourteen people died on the spot, while 18 suffered critical injuries and had to lose one of their body parts. Thirteen were saved unharmed.

The CISF, which is responsible for ensuring the security of passengers inside the Metro premises, said its personnel are trained to identify those planning to commit suicide by observing their movement and behaviour.

“We keep a constant watch on commuters coming into the station. Our officials are trained to identify such people. We keep surveillance for security and have saved the lives of 13 people so far this year,” CISF public relations officer Hemendra Singh told IANS. The other 25 were identified before they had a chance to attempt suicide.

All the 13 survivors were handed over to Delhi Metro Rail Police (DMRP), Singh said, adding that the CISF relies heavily on close-circuit television cameras and plainclothesmen to spot such people.

“Each station, depending on its size, has one or more CISF staff manning the CCTV control room. The staff on ground also keeps a watch,” Singh said.

In 2014, all the 11 suicides occurred on the tracks, while 17 people who attempted to jump off Metro stations survived. Another 28 jumped on the tracks but survived.

The maximum number of suicide bids (20) occurred on the Metro Blueline that runs between Noida and Dwarka in west Delhi, while eight attempts were made on the Yellow Line (between Jahangirpuri in north Delhi to Huda City Centre in Gurgaon, Haryana).

DMRC said it is trying its best to stop suicides.

“Surveillance has been upped and we have tried to put barriers along the platform. We sensitise our staff and CISF personnel to track such people,” DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal told IANS.

He said that the DMRC will soon establish some crowd management tools at stations like platform screen doors.

“The platform screen doors will come up at six stations, including Central Secretariat, New Delhi, Rajiv Chowk, Chawri Bazaar, Chandni Chowk and Kashmiri Gate,” he said.

Currently, only the airport line has such doors. They are unmovable screens that act as a partition between the platform and the trains.

(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at rajnish.s@ians.in <mailto:rajnish.s@ians.in>)

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