Railway Protection Force (RPF) tasked with the responsibility of security of railway property, passenger area and passengers, has been working round the clock for providing safe, secure and comfortable travel experience to the passengers. It helps Indian Railways in providing safe freight transport service to its customers. RPF has ably discharged the responsibility of protection of huge assets of railways spread far and wide across the country by taking preventive measures as well as measures for detection of crime against railway property. It has become a crucial stakeholder in the national security grid by playing important roles in internal security, maintenance of law and order and providing bandobast during national and state elections. A brief of the achievements of RPF during the year 2021 is as under –
- Action during pandemic to curb spread of COVID –
- RPF Escorted 522 Oxygen Special Trains from originating station to destination.
- COVID Help booths were made operational at the major stations who sourced verified information from several sources and provided information regarding availability of COVID resources in addition to providing immediate help to the needy.
- Ensured implementation of Covid appropriate behaviour as per the Protocol i.e. Wearing of Mask, Sanitization and maintaining physical distancing.
- During the 2021, 26 RPF personnel laid down their life on the altar of duty due to COVID infection.
- Saving of precious lives –
During the year, RPF personnel saved 601 persons without any care for their own safety, going far beyond their call of duty. Sh. Gyan Chand, Head Constable showed exemplary courage and laid down his life while saving the life of a lady attempting to commit suicide on 02.03.21 at Bharwari Railway Station, NCR (UP). RPF has been saving lives in mission mode under “Mission Jeewan Raksha”. RPF personnel have saved 1650 lives from the wheels of the running trains at railway stations in last four years under this mission. RPF personnel have been awarded with 09 Jeewan Raksha medals and one Gallantry Medals by Hon’ble President of India in recognition to their efforts in saving lives in last 4 years.
- Women Security –
An initiative “Meri Saheli” was launched to provide security to lady passengers in long distance trains particularly travelling alone or those who are vulnerable to crime. RPF has deployed 244 “Meri Saheli” teams at major railway stations across India for this purpose. RPF collects feedback from these lady passengers at the end of their journeys to assess the efficacy of the initiative and further fine tune it. Other preventive measures to ensure security of lady passengers like train escorting, CCTV system at 840 stations and about 4000 coaches, lady escorts in ladies special suburban trains, regular drives against unauthorised passengers in ladies coaches etc are also being implemented.
- Human Trafficking –
RPF is an immediate responder in cases of Human Trafficking through rail transport and plays a key role in curbing this menace. During the year 2021, RPF rescued 630 persons from the clutches of Human Traffickers. This includes 54 women, 94 minor girls, 81 men & 401 minor boys.
- Child Rescue –
RPF has played important role in reuniting the children lost/separated due to several reasons from their family and rescued more than 11,900 Children in need of care & protection who came in contact with Indian Railways. 132 Child Help Desks are functional across the country wherein RPF works with the nominated NGO for rescue of children.
- Action against criminal involved in crime against passengers –
Policing is the responsibility of States/UTs, which they discharge through GRP/District Police on the railways. RPF supplements the efforts of police in prevention/detection of crime against railway passengers. During the year 2021, RPF arrested more than 3000 criminals involved in offences against passengers and handed them over to concerned GRP/Police.
- Protecting & safeguarding Railway Property –
As per its mandate to safeguard railway property and take legal action against crime involving railway property, RPF apprehended 8744 persons involved in such crime with recovery of stolen Railway Property worth Rs. 5.83 Crores in the year 2021.
- Action against touts –
During Covid pandemic, limited operation of passenger trains were restored and to maintain the rush in the trains to implement Covid protocol, only passengers having reserved accommodation in trains were allowed to travel. This provided touts a golden opportunity for running the business of procuring and selling of reserved ticket on premium rates illegally. To curb this crime, RPF acted swiftly and made sustained drive against such menace throughout the year and registered more than 4,100 cases with arrest of more than 4,600 offenders. Future journey tickets cornered by these touts illegally to the tune of Rs 2.8 Cr. were also forfeited from them.
- Action against Narcotics –
Having been empowered under NDPS Act in 2019, RPF succeeded in recovery of Narcotics being carried through railways to the value of more than Rs. 15.7 Cr. followed with apprehension of 620 drug peddlers during the year 2021.
- Action against smugglers of Wildlife –
Smuggling of Wildlife and animal parts is crime against nature. RPF has been alive to the issue and has taken stringent action against the smugglers involved in illegal trade of wildlife. During the year 2021, RPF recovered several restricted wild life i.e. Birds, Snakes, Tortoise, Peacock, Reptile etc. and their processed products along with Sandal wood & other flora & fauna.
- Making travel comfortable for Elderly, Women & persons with disabilities –
RPF has been constantly providing assistance to the persons in need of help, particularly Senior Citizens, sick people, pregnant ladies, Persons with disabilities & women passengers with a humanitarian approach. To ensure their safe travel, RPF has apprehended more than 25,000 persons unauthorisedly travelling in the coaches reserved for ladies & 9307 persons from the coaches reserved for persons with disabilities during the year 2021.
- Emergency Response –
More than 80 thousands calls/complaints received from passengers in distress on Toll Free Helpline No. 139 (24 X 7) and twitter related to Security were promptly attended & resolved.
- Luggage Retrieval –
During the year 2021, RPF retrieved left behind luggage having value to the tune of more than 23 Crores belonging to 12377 passengers and returned to them after due verification. RPF has been doing this service to passengers under “Operation Amanat”.