Brief on Railway Protection Force (RPF) :
The Railway Protection Force (RPF) was constituted under the RPF Act, 1957 by Government of India under the Ministry of Railways, for better protection and security of Railway property, to remove any obstruction in the movement of railway property and to do any other act conducive for better protection and security of railway property. RPF is empowered to deal with cases of crime against railway property under the provisions of Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act, 1966. [RP (UP)Act]. RPF has also been entrusted with the responsibility of security of railway passenger area and railway passengers since 2004. The Force carries on an unrelenting fight against criminals in protecting railway passengers, passenger area and railway property, facilitate passenger travel and security, remains vigilant to prevent trafficking of women and children and take appropriate action to rehabilitate destitute children found in Railway areas. The force has the distinction of the central force with largest share of women (9%) in its ranks.
Achievements by RPF during 2022 –
Operation“Rail Suraksha” – Under this operation, as per the mandate to safeguard railway property, RPF took legal action against crime involving railway property. During the year RPF registered 6492 cases of theft of railway property in which recovery of stolen railway property worth Rs. 7.37 Crores was made with the arrest of 11268 offenders.
Action against touts under Operation “Upalabdh”:-Procurement of railway tickets for reserved accommodation has been a very tough task for the common man as the tickets were being cornered in bulk by the touts. Use of illegal software for cornering confirmed railway reservations online had adversely affected the availability of confirmed tickets to the common man. RPF has been undertaking intensive and continuous action against persons involved in touting (unauthorized carrying on of business of procuring & supply of railway tickets). Under this operation, 5179 touts were arrested and 4884 cases registered against them. This included1021authorized agents of IRCTC using illegal means in cornering reserved tickets. More than 140 illegal softwares were disrupted with arrest of their developers, super sellers, sellers & retailers using such illegal softwares.
Rescue of children under Operation NanheFaristey:- RPF undertakes the noble cause of identifying and rescuing children in need of care & protection who are lost/separated from their family due to various reasons. Ministry of Railways issued a revised Standard Operating Procedure for better care and protection of children in distress in contact with Railways in December 2021 which was operationalized in 2022. In accordance with the SOP, presently CHDs are operational at 143 railway stations. RPF has played an important role in reuniting the children lost/separated due to several reasons from their family and rescued Children in need of care & protection who came in contact with Indian Railways. In this regard, an intensive drive viz. ‘NanheFaristey’ has been launched on Indian Railways to rescue children in need of care and protection found in trains/railway station and this is showing remarkable results. During the year, 17,756 such children were rescued by RPF personnel.
Action against Human Trafficking under Operation AAHT –RPF, being the sentinels of the national carrier with a pan India reach, has its task cut out in nation’s fight against Human Trafficking. The force has launched an operation against Human Trafficking called“Operation AAHT”. In order to have an effective mechanism to avert the attempts of the Human traffickers, as per standard operating procedure issued in 2022, Anti Human Trafficking Units of RPF were made operational at the post level (Thana level) at more than 740 locations over the Indian Railways. During the year, 559 persons were rescued from the clutches of traffickers with arrest of 194 traffickers. RPF has signed an MoU with Association of Voluntary Action (a foundation of Nobel Laureate Sri Kailash Satyarthi) also known as BachpanBachaoAndolan on 06.05.2022 for association in capacity building of RPF & Railway men raid, rescue and sharing of information on Human Trafficking
Mission“Jeevan Raksha”: - There are incidents wherein passengers in hurry try to board/de-board a moving train, slip and fall with the risk of coming under the wheels of train. There are other instances where people under distress try to commit suicide by deliberately coming in front of a running train. Under this operation RPF personnel risking their own lives tries to rescue the lives of others. During the year, 852 precious life were saved by RPF personnel.
Operation “NARCOS” :-Narcotics not only destroys the health of the youth, but they also damage the economy and wellbeing of the nation. RPF has been empowered to conduct search, seizure, and arrest under NDPS Act in 2019. In order to give focused attention to the drive against smuggling of Narcotics through rail, RPF has launched operation NARCOS and arrested 1081 criminals and handed over to empowered agencies for further legal action and succeeded in recovery of NDPS valued about Rs. 80 Crores.
Luggage Retrieval and hand over under Operation “Amanat” – Many passengers forget to take all their belongings in a rush to board the train or leave the train/station. Under this operation RPF personnel help in securing such belongings and restore them to the rightful owner. Under this operation, RPF retrieved approximately 25500 luggage valued more than Rs. 46.5 Crores.
Operation ‘WILEP’:-Smuggling of Wildlife, animal parts and forest product is crime against nature. RPF has been alive to the issue and has taken stringent action under this operation against the smugglers involved in illegal trade of wildlife through railways. During the year 129 cases of illegal trade of restricted wild life were detected with arrest of 75 persons. RPF is continually working with WCCB and other stake holders in this area.
Operation ‘Yatri Suraksha’ -RPF is on a relentless mission to secure passengers and their belongings. Operation Yatri Suraksha was launched in 2022 to bring focus and urgency into the efforts of RPF in this direction. It is not only addressing security related grievances of passengers in real time by improving emergency response, but also work together with GRP for prevention and detection of passenger related offences.
Under this initiative, RPF provides special attention towards the security and safe travel of passengers through the railways. RPF is also available on call through Toll Free number 139 (integrated with Emergency Response Support System No. 112) and other social media forums i.e. Twitter, facebook, Instagram, Koo etc.) round the clock to receive and resolve security and other grievances of passengers. During the year RPF attended to more than 2 lakh calls of persons in need of real time security related assistance during their journey.
Prevention and Detection of passenger crime
Under this Operation, RPF provides special attention towards the security and safe travel of passengers through the railways. Cases detected and persons arrested in cases of passenger related crime under IPC by RPF are handed over to GRP/Police for further legal action. During the year RPF arrested 5749 criminals involved in different types of passenger related offences under IPC and handed them over to GRP/Police. This included 82 persons involved in drugging, 30 Dacoits, 380 Robbers, 2628 thieves, 1016 chain snatchers and 93 persons involved in crime against women.
Security of Women under Operation Mahila Suraksha – 'Meri Saheli initiative’ launched across Indian Railways network from October 2020 was further fine tuned . The objective of this initiative is to provide safety and security to lady passengers, travelling alone or with minors in long distance trains for their entire journey from originating station to terminating station. Dedicated teams of lady RPF personnel have been formed across all zonal railways for its implementation. Presently, on an average, 243 teams are being deployed for this purpose covering more than 640 trains on an average daily across Indian Railways. In order to empower these Meri Saheli teams, a Meri Saheli IT module was operationalized in 2022 to help these teams identify target group of women passengers needing security and reassurance.
Safety and security of women passengers has been an important concern of Indian Railways.Other preventive measures have also been implemented to ensure security of lady passengers like train escorting by mixed crew of male and lady RPF staff,CCTV system at 861 stations and about 6368 coaches, lady escorts in ladies special suburban trains, regular drives against unauthorized passengers in ladies coaches etc.
Providing help to pregnant women in child birth under Operation “Matrishakti”– RPF personnel, especially ladies RPF personnel, go out of the way to help pregnant women who go into labor during their train journeys, in childbirth under operation Matrishakti. During the year, lady personnel of RPF assisted in 209 such child births.
Assistance to sick, injured, specially able persons under Operation “SEWA”:
Under this operation RPF personnel assist the elderly citizens, women, physically disabled and sick/injured persons in their travel through trains and services associated therewith i.e. providing other amenities like Wheel Chairs, Stretcher, medical help, providing ambulance, medicine and infant food etc. During the year, more than 37000 such persons were assisted by RPF.
Action against carriage of contraband/illegal goods under Operation “Satark”:
Transportation of contraband by trains has become a major conduit for tax evaders / law breakers. This operation is aimed to assist other LEAs in their work under which RPF acts on its own/assists other LEAs in recovery of contrabands items like Tobacco products, liquor, FICN/Unaccounted gold/unaccounted cash/Unaccounted other precious metal/ smuggled goods/ Arms &Ammunitions/ explosives and banned medicines among others. During the year, RPF arrested 2331persons in these activities and handed them to concerned LEAs for further legal action. In this drive Tobacco products valued Rs. 7.47 Cr.; Liquor valued Rs. 3.32 Cr.; and other items as mentioned below were seized –
Value of property Seized (Cr. Rs.)
Unaccounted Other precious metal
Other Smuggled Goods of foreign origin
Other recoveries like banned injections etc.
Efforts to enhance safety of rail operations under Operation ‘Sanraksha’:
This operation is launched for enhancing the safety of passengers. Action is being taken against the criminals involved in pelting stone on the moving train, carrying inflammable or crackers in train etc. During the year 1503 cases of stone pelting on moving trains were registered by RPF followed by arrest of 488 persons. Several awareness drives are being made by RPF using different means to educate the residents near to railway track. In this drive more than 100 persons carrying inflammable/crackers in trains were also arrested.
Deployment during assemble elections under Operation ‘Janaadesh’-
RPF contingents deployed in states of Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand assisted in ensuring free and fair elections and to stop any unfortunate incidents during assembly/parliamentary elections.
Civic Action Programme under Operation ‘Saathi’:
Under this operation, several community outreach programs were implemented, particularly in areas adjacent to railway tracks for engaging the youth for their skill development and to facilitate theirgainful employment. Proper training has been conceptualized for them associating PSUs through their Corporate Social Responsibility fund. The idea is to develop bond of trust with the community, wean away vulnerable youth from the path of crime and obtain help of the community for security and control of crime against railways and its passengers.
Rescue of adults in need of care and protection under Operation Dignity:
Under this operation, rescue of adults including women in need of care and protection who come in contact with railways like run away, abandoned, drug addict, destitute, abducted, left behind, missing, those needing medical assistance, fallen down, mentally disoriented is being done. During 2022 approx. 3400 such persons were rescued.
Providing assistance to state police and other Law Enforcement Agencies in apprehending suspects making good their escape by trains under Operation Rail Prahari
RPF personnel have their USP in their strategic positioning at major stations, their pan India reach to the nook and corner of the country through the rail network, unity of their command and supervision and quick response to emergency. This comes in handy when state police of a particular state finds its suspects escaping through trains currently moving through some other state. Further, many suspects escaping the long arm of law get trapped in the net of RPF during their routine checking protocol. Under Operation Rail Prahari, RPF uses its USP in assisting other police forces/ Law Enforcement Agencies nab suspects fleeing by trains. During 2022, 151 such suspects were apprehended by RPF and handed over to concerned agencies for offences committed by them outside railway area.
Railway Protection Force is not only working hard to secure the railways from criminals and forces inimical to the nation, but works hard to fulfil its mission of “सेवाहीसंकल्प” helping those in need to realize its motto of “यशोलभस्व” or “Attain honour”. The force will continue to use new methodology, technology, tools and practices to enhance its reach and effectiveness for the cause of the security of the nation and its citizens.