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Lost & found

Metro commuters have been grateful to the Central Industrial Security Force on more than one occasion for returning bags containing cash and valuables left behind by mistake

“We were horrified when we reached Hauz Khas Metro station and realised that our bag is not with us. My uncle and I panicked. There was money in it. We immediately deboarded the Metro,” says John Lalfakzuala, 18.

Thirty minutes had already gone by. Uncle and his nephew John rushed to Munirka Metro station, with little hope of recovering the bag with R1.5 lakh cash and their car keys. The money was for his uncle’s business.

At the station, they informed the station controller about their bag — and were told that Sub-Inspector Rajpal Singh, a CISF officer, found their bag lying on the output roller of X-BIS machine.

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SI Singh had asked other passengers about the bag, but no one came forward to claim it. Right after this, Singh contacted his senior officers and the station controller about the situation. After checking the CCTV footage, they established that the bag belonged to John and his uncle.

John now describes the recovery as “unimaginable”. “We breathed a sigh of relief,” he says adding he never knew the CISF could be so efficient and helpful in their line of duty. After verification, the bag was handed to John and his uncle and their faces lit up with glee. “That money was very important to my uncle and I couldn’t imagine the misery we would have faced if it was lost,” says John.

This is one of the many cases which happen in Metro stations across Delhi. The CISF, a force which is assigned to keep an eye out for security and unlawful activities, shows commitment in offering its services to commuters.

As per the data provided to Patriot by CISF’s Public Relations Officer Hemendra Singh, the force has recovered an astonishing sum of R96,98,335 cash so far this year. In 2017, the CISF recovered R70,73,802 in cash.

When you add the bank cheques/drafts in 2018, the amount crosses a whopping R1 crore. Apart from this, foreign currency, gold ornaments, silver, laptops and various electronic gadgets were also recovered in stations of DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation).

So why doesn’t a random commuter claim a bag hoping it will have something useful? “People don’t come forward citing security reasons. It could be a bomb in an unclaimed bag hence nobody else touches it or claims it as their own,” says an official working in the CISF headquarters in New Delhi.

And yes, the good work done in the line of duty makes an officer’s case strong when the time comes for promotion. “They also get money awards. Usually it is R1,000-2,000 and we recommend the particular officer’s name for promotion depending on the kind of work they do,” says Singh.

Shiva Yadav, 33, a resident of Uttam Nagar relates an incident which was not so simple as a bag being left behind by mistake. He recalls that somebody else took his bag from the X-BIS machine at Uttam Nagar East Metro station on May 18.
“We had to catch a train to Haridwar. Amid the excitement we noticed that one of our bags is not on the table adjacent to the bag X–ray machine,” says Yadav.

Just then, he heard Constable BK Sharma of CISF calling for an unclaimed bag on the output roller. He rushed to claim it but “It wasn’t my black-and-red bag. My bag was bigger in size,” explains Yadav. The bag was checked to see what belongings it carried and it was definitely not his. It had R2.7 lacs in cash.

After waiting for half an hour in the waiting room, Yadav along with his family saw a stranger come running to claim his bag. The commuter, 25-year-old Kumar Bhagat, explained that he confused Yadav’s bag with his own and took it in a hurry. The station controller verified Bhagat’s credentials and the bags were exchanged.

“You should have seen the relief on that man’s face. We both thanked the CISF officers for handling this so well. The man was astonished that nobody took his bag and it was kept safe by the CISF officers,” says Yadav. A similar situation occurred with Jitendra Singh, 31, when he forgot his bag at Chandni Chowk Metro station on May 5. The bag had R50,000 in cash. He took a train back from Kashmere Gate station.

Singh too had to go to the station controller, get the verification done. When asked about his reaction when he found out that his bag was kept safe by the CISF officers, his reply was, “I never thought the CISF could be so helpful. You just don’t get to see such things happening in today’s times. I couldn’t thank them enough. Because the money was for business purposes, it was very important to me”.

The CISF’s PR department continues to receive many letters of appreciation every now and then. All of those come from commuters taking Delhi Metro and each one of them cites the contribution of CISF for taking their duty seriously and continuously helping out commuters.