NEW DELHI: India will deploy more metal-detectors, closed-circuit TVs and sniffer dogs to prevent bomb attacks like the blasts on a train last week that killed 68 people, the railway minister said on Monday.
“I would like to assure the House that funds will not be a constraint,” said Lalu Prasad Yadav in parliament, while presenting the railway budget for the 2007/2008 fiscal year starting in April.
But Yadav did not say how much his ministry would set aside for security.
The attack on the Samjhauta Express that links New Delhi with the Pakistani city of Lahore has led to demands for increased security on India’s rail network, which carries 15 million people a day.
The network, with hundreds of bustling stations and more than 14,000 trains running daily, is protected by thousands of members of the Railway Protection Force (RPF).
Yadav said 8,000 vacant RPF posts would be filled soon and the training of serving personnel stepped up.
India’s trains have been attacked by Islamist militants as well as separatist guerrillas from its northeast in recent years.
Last July, commuter trains and stations were bombed in the country’s financial hub Mumbai killing 186 people, with the attacks blamed on a Pakistan-based Islamist militant group.
Indian investigators suspect the bombing of the Samjhauta Express to be the work of extremists opposed to the peace process between mainly Hindu India and Islamic Pakistan.
Most of those killed were Pakistanis and many victims, including children, were burnt beyond recognition after the explosions caused raging fires in two coaches.