Stepping up of security measures for the travelling public is one of the high-priority areas of the Indian Railways. During the year 2015, the Railway Protection Force has dealt with more than twenty lakh cases relating to anti-social elements. In this direction, Hon’ble Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has directed for a multi-pronged approach to prevent the commission of crimes on Railway stations and in trains. From round-the-clock accessible Helplines, fine-tuning of measures of response to emergencies to installation of technology-enabled modes of multi-screening, surveillance and security systems, the Railway is increasingly adopted all-out measures to contain and mitigate crimes on its premises.
The Railway Protection Force has been tackling the problem of crime on Railways and the Force has been working with greater zeal in the recent years in view of the upward trajectory of the crime graph and the novel modus operandi of several organized syndicates. For strengthening of passenger security, 22 commando companies of RPF are being raised over all the zonal railways. This is in addition to 12 RPSF Commando companies to be raised one company from each Battalion. Twelve battalions Railway Protection Special Force, (RSPF) under RPF are located in the different parts of the country and three more RPSF Battalions, including one Mahila Battalion, have been approved to strengthen Special Force of the RPF. Modern weapons like AK 47 rifles, INSAS, Pistol 9mm have been inducted in RPF for strengthening of passenger security.
All India Security Help Line : Short-Code Helpline No. 182 Registers more than 6000 complaints in the first year of inception
All India Railway Security Helpline toll free no. 1XXX-XX-1322 was set up on 12th August-2014 monitoring by Railway Board and then short-code toll free no. 182 over Zonal railways in February-2015 working round the clock for security related assistance to passengers. This Helpline system 182 has been made functional through Divisional Security Control Rooms of RPF and many complaints are being received regarding theft of passenger’s belongings, luggage missing, unauthorized entry in disabled coaches, and nuisance by antisocial elements, need of medical assistance etc.
Brief of performance of All India Security Help Line 182 During the Year 2015
During the calendar year 2015, a total 6118 complaints were attended to. Out of 6118complaints, 1691 complaints were dealt by RPF/GRP for taking legal action regarding Theft of passengers’ belongings and various sections of Railways Act. In 391 cases, Passengers were provided medical assistance. In 363 complaints passengers were located, as their relatives informed about not responding to their calls. In 749 numbers of complaints of luggage left behind, belongings of passengers have been traced and handed over to the passengers and in 911 numbers of complaints, nuisance mongers have been removed from trains/railway premises. 810 numbers of complaints are such in which RPF mediated to resolve the issue/problem. 308 numbers of complaints were found fake and 895 complaints of passenger concerned amenities that were not concerned with security. However they were attended and remedial measures taken in coordination with concerned department of Railways.
Rescue of children by RPF under “Operation Smile-II”
The Ministry of Railways in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Development and National Commission on Protection of Child Rights, issued Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) on 5.3.2015 for the better Care and Protection of the Child in Contact with the Railways. The SOP at present is being implemented at 20 nominated railway stations across the country (New Delhi, Old Delhi Jn, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Anand Vihar Terminus, Mumbai Central, CST Mumbai, Howrah, Sealdah, New Jalpaigudi, Ranchi, Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore, Lucknow/NR, Lucknow/NER, Guwahati, Bangalore City, Patna, Varanasi Cantt., Secunderabad, Nagpur).
The RPF has been at the forefront of rescue of children found lost/ abandoned/ abused/ trafficked/ destitute/ addicted to drugs, etc from railway premises and trains. During the year 2015, 7044 children were rescued due to the efforts of RPF personnel. The campaign called “Operation Smile-II” launched by MHA from 1st January, to 31st January, 2016 was carried out by RPF as well. During this period in January 2016, a total of 890 children were rescued by the RPF from railway premises and trains. This has been achieved due to the sensitization and training of RPF personnel on the field in concepts of child rights and due to implementation of the SOP dated 05.03.2015.
Special Emphasis on security of women passenger in Indian Railways
Policing on Railways is a State Subject and the prevention of crime, registration of cases, their investigation and maintenance of law and order in Railway premises as well as on running trains are, therefore, the statutory responsibility of the State Governments, which they discharge through Government Railway Police (GRP) of the States concerned. Basically entrusted with the duties of protecting and safeguarding Railway Property, removing obstructions in the movement of railway property, with the passage of the years since 1966 and amendments thereafter, the RPF had been authorised the powers of arrest, investigation and search as well as prosecution of offenders involved in crimes on board and at stations. However, cases of crime on Railways are reported to, registered and investigated by the Govt. Railway Police. Railway Protection Force (RPF) supplements the efforts of GRP by deploying their staff for escorting of important trains in affected areas and access control duties at important and sensitive stations. Regular co-ordination is being maintained with the State Governments concerned and intelligence inputs are shared with Intelligence Bureau, Government Railway Police/ Local Police from time to time.
Various effective measures to prevent crime against women passengers including suburban trains are being taken in coordination with the concerned Government Railway Police in zonal railways based on the crime situation.
1.An Integrated Security System consisting of electronic surveillance of vulnerable stations through Close Circuit Television Camera Network, access control, Anti-sabotage checks has been finalized to strengthen surveillance mechanism over 202 sensitive railway stations.
2.On vulnerable and identified routes/ sections, 1600 trains (on an average) are escorted by Railway Protection Force daily, in addition to 2200 trains escorted by Government Railway Police of different States daily.
3.All the ladies special trains running Metropolitan cities are being escorted by lady RPF constable.
4.The ladies compartments in local trains are being escorted by RPF and GRP during peak/non peak hours. Staff deployment is made during late night and early morning local trains to ensure proper security to the lady passengers.
- Joint drives by RPF/GRP and Commercial Department are conducted from time to time against the unauthorized entry of passengers in trains and railway premises.
- Passenger awareness programmes are being launched by announcement through loudhailers / PA system as well as pasting of stickers providing the Security Help Line Numbers of RPF Security Control Rooms for reporting the untoward incidents of crime and sexual harassment so that immediate action can be taken against miscreants.
- Mass media programmes are being launched by zonal railways to create awareness regarding crime against women passengers amongst general public through electronic and print media.
8.RPF holds regular coordination meetings with State Police at all levels to ensure proper registration and investigation of crime by Government Railway Police. RPF Crime prevention and detection squads and special teams are formed to keep vigil on the criminals in trains/ stations to prevent crime.
9.Whistle Alert Scheme has been introduced in Mumbai and, Jammu and is being extended to all Zones especially for their local/ passenger trains. Under this scheme the ladies are blowing whistles as alerts on which RPF/ GRP is responding for their help in times of crisis.
- During the year 2015, a total of 1,26,938 male persons were prosecuted for travelling in the ladies compartment by the RPF under the provisions of section 162 of Railways Act.
- The increasing use of technology by RPF to ensure safety and security of Railway passengers is evident in the launching of Security Apps on mobile phones of Railway passengers, especially women, which alerts RPF. This Security App has been initiated in Central Railways (M-Indicator), South Central Railway (RISSTA), Eastern Railway (R-Mitra) and South Western Railway (SWR Security App), Western Railway(RPF Sakhi). Efforts are being made to standardise common App on an All India basis and DIG/ Project is working on the subject.
- Under the Nirbhaya fund scheme, installation of CCTVs in approximately 1000 railway stations other than those covered under the ISS has been proposed 50 stations has been taken up as pilot project.
Escorting of Trains by RPF:
In order to Control crime in running trains and to ensure security of passengers, especially that of the vulnerable group such as women, elderly, children etc, the Railway Protection Force has enhanced the number of trains escorted from 1200 to 2400 (approx) daily.
Performance of RPF under Railways Act during 2015:
With a view to ensure crime free environment and hassle free journey for the passengers on Indian Railways, the Railway Protection Force has relentlessly played a proactive role against the anti-social elements and apprehended/prosecuted 2132332 (Twenty one Lacs thirty two thousand three hundred and thirty two) offenders under various provisions of the Railways Act. Out of the above, a total of 2047275 (Twenty Lacs forty seven thousand two hundred and seventy five) were convicted and an amount of Rs. 612595652 ( Sixty one crores twenty five Lacs ninety five thousand six hundred and fifty two) has been realized from them as fine.
- To further strengthen Railway Protection Special Force (RPSF), three new battalions are in the process of being set up at Udhampur J&K (N.Rly), Cooch Behar, West Bengal (NFR) & Asansol, (Mahila Battalion) West Bengal (E.Rly).
- It is proposed to set up a World Class Training Academy for providing training to the RPF officers and for conducting specialized courses to develop their skills for facing new challenges and acting as a model Academy for improvement of training environment at Zonal RPF Training Centers.
- Effective training for enabling men and officers in using modern gadgets like CCTV, X-Ray Baggage Scanning Machine etc. efficiently. Facility for such training is proposed to be provided at all RPF Training centers including JR RPF Academy, Lucknow.
- There is a proposal for setting up a Commando Training facility at RPF Training Centre, Chink Hill, Central Railway for which necessary action is being taken for its upgradation in infrastructure and training facilities.
- Strengthening of Dog Training Cum Breeding Centre at Southern Railway and Northern Railway is being done to revamp the dog squad with more numbers and upgradation of skills to meet the challenges at hand. A separate cadre for Dog Squad is being processed for increasing the efficiency of the Dog Squad.
- Training in soft and behavioural skills, human rights & gender sensitization is being imparted to RPF staff for better RPF-Passenger-Public interface.