The Railway Protection Force (RPF) responsible for the security of railway property, passenger area and passengers, worked around the clock to provide a safe, secure and comfortable travel experience for passengers. It helps Indian Railways provide safe freight transportation service to its customers.
The RPF has skillfully discharged the responsibility of protecting the huge railway assets spread across the country by taking preventative measures as well as crime detection measures against railway property. It has become a crucial player in the national security grid by playing an important role in internal security, maintaining law and order, and providing gangs in national and state elections. A summary of the achievements of the RPF during the year 2021 is as below –
- Act during the pandemic to curb the spread of COVID-19
- The RPF escorted 522 special oxygen trains from the station of origin to the destination.
- COVID help kiosks were made operational at major stations which obtained verified information from multiple sources and provided information on the availability of COVID resources in addition to providing immediate assistance to the needy.
- Ensure the implementation of appropriate Covid behavior in accordance with protocol, i.e. mask wearing, disinfection and maintenance of physical distance.
- During the year 2021, 26 RPF members sacrificed their lives on the altar of duty due to COVID infection.
- Save precious lives
During the year, RPF personnel rescued 601 people regardless of their own safety, going well beyond their call of duty. Ch. Gyan Chand, Chief of Police, showed exemplary courage and gave his life saving the life of a woman who attempted suicide on 02.03.21 at Bharwari station, NCR (UP). The RPF saved lives in mission mode under “Jeewan Raksha Mission”. RPF personnel saved 1650 lives off the wheels of trains running in stations for the past four years as part of this mission. RPF personnel received 09 Jeewan Raksha medals and a medal of gallantry from the Honorable President of India in recognition of his efforts to save lives over the past 4 years.
A “Meri Saheli” initiative has been launched to ensure the safety of long-distance train passengers, especially those who travel alone or those who are vulnerable to crime. The RPF has deployed 244 “Meri Saheli” teams to major stations in India for this purpose. RPF is collecting feedback from these passengers at the end of their trip to assess the initiative’s effectiveness and further refine it. Other preventive measures to ensure the safety of women such as escorting trains, the video surveillance system in 840 stations and around 4,000 coaches, escorts on special commuter trains for women, regular trips against unauthorized passengers in women’s coaches, etc. are also implemented.
The RPF is an immediate intervenor in cases of human trafficking via rail transport and plays a key role in the fight against this threat. During the year 2021, the RPF saved 630 people from the clutches of human traffickers. This includes 54 women, 94 underage girls, 81 men and 401 underage boys. PM Narendra Modi, New German Chancellor Olaf Scholz Hope for new cooperative initiatives in climate action, Green energy.
The RPF played an important role in reuniting children lost / separated for several reasons from their families and rescued over 11,900 children in need of care and protection who came into contact with the Indian Railways. 132 child welfare offices are operational across the country where RPF works with the designated NGO for the rescue of children.
- Action against criminals involved in crimes against passengers
Policing is the responsibility of the States / TUs, which they exercise through the GRP / District Police on the railways. The RPF complements police efforts in the prevention / detection of crimes against rail travelers. During the year 2021, the RPF arrested over 3000 criminals involved in offenses against passengers and handed them over to the relevant GRP / police.
- Protect and safeguard railway property
In line with its mandate to protect railway property and to prosecute crimes involving railway property, the RPF apprehended 8,744 people involved in such a crime and recovered stolen railway property worth Rs. 5 , 83 crores in 2021.
During the Covid pandemic, limited operation of passenger trains was restored and to keep the rush on trains to implement the Covid protocol, only passengers who booked accommodation on the trains were allowed to travel. This provided touts with a golden opportunity to illegally run the business of buying and selling tickets reserved at preferential rates. To suppress this crime, the RPF acted quickly and made a sustained effort against such a threat throughout the year and registered more than 4,100 cases with the arrest of more than 4,600 delinquents. Future travel tickets illegally cornered by these touts to the tune of Rs 2.8 Cr. were also confiscated by them.
Having been empowered under NDPS law in 2019, the RPF managed to recover narcotics carried by railways worth over Rs. 15.7 Cr. monitoring of the apprehension of 620 drug traffickers during the year 2021. Western Railway will install 2,729 cameras at the 30 stations of Mumbai’s local rail network from Virar to Churchgate by the end of October (see photos).
- Action against wildlife smugglers
The smuggling of wild animals and animal parts is a crime against nature. The RPF has been sensitive to the problem and has taken strict action against smugglers involved in the illegal wildlife trade. During the year 2021, RPF recovered several restricted wildlife species i.e. birds, snakes, turtles, peacocks, reptiles, etc. and their processed products as well as sandalwood and other flora and fauna.
- Make the trip comfortable for the elderly, women and people with disabilities
RPF has consistently provided assistance to people in need, especially the elderly, sick people, pregnant women, people with disabilities and women transients with a humanitarian approach. To ensure their safety, RPF apprehended more than 25,000 people traveling without authorization in the buses reserved for women & 9,307 people in the buses reserved for disabled people during the year 2021.
Over 80,000 calls / complaints received from passengers in distress on the toll-free helpline # 139 (24X7) and Twitter related to safety were promptly addressed and resolved.
During the year 2021, RPF collected left-behind luggage valued at over 23 Crores from 12,377 passengers and returned to them after verification. RPF provided this service to passengers under “Operation Amanat ”.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 6, 2022 3:23 PM IST. For more info and updates on Politics, World, Sports, Entertainment, and Fashion life, connect to our website Latestly.com).