RPF recovered stolen railway property worth Rs. 12.48 Crores with the arrest of 12099 offenders in 2023
In 2023, RPF personnel rescued 11794 children Under Operation NanheFaristey; Saving 3719 precious lives
RPF lady personnel assisted 206 childbirths during their journey Under Operation “Matrishakti”; under Operation Upalabdh, 5544 touts were arrested during the year 2023
RPF attends over 2 lakh calls from persons in need of real-time security assistance during the journey
By PIB Delhi
The Railway Protection Force (RPF) was constituted under the RPF Act, 1957 by the 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 the Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act, of 1966. [RP (UP)Act]. RPF has also been entrusted with the responsibility of security of railway passenger areas and railway passengers since 2004. The Force carries on an unrelenting fight against criminals in protecting railway passengers, passenger areas, and railway property, facilitating passenger travel and security, remaining vigilant to prevent trafficking of women and children, and taking appropriate action to rehabilitate destitute children found in Railway areas. The force has the distinction of the central force with the largest share of women (9%) in its ranks.
Achievements by RPF during 2023 –
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 6312 cases of theft of railway property in which recovery of stolen railway property worth Rs. 12.48 crore was made with the arrest of 12099 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. The use of illegal software for cornering confirmed railway reservations online has 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 the business of procuring & supplying railway tickets). Under this operation, 5544 touts were arrested, and –5207 cases were registered against them. This included more than 990 authorized agents of IRCTC using illegal means in cornering reserved tickets.
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. RPF has played an important role in reuniting the children lost/separated due to several reasons from their families and rescued Children in need of care & protection who came in contact with Indian Railways. In this regard, an intensive drive viz. ‘NanheFaristey’ is being run by Indian Railways to rescue children in need of care and protection found in trains/railway stations and this is showing remarkable results. During the year 11794 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 the 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 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 1048 persons were rescued from the clutches of traffickers with the arrest of 257 traffickers. RPF has signed an MoU with the 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 “JeevanRaksha”: – There are incidents wherein passengers in a hurry try to board/de-board a moving train, slip, and fall with the risk of coming under the wheels of the train. There are other instances where people in 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, 3719 precious lives were saved by RPF personnel.
Operation “NARCOS”:-Narcotics not only destroy the health of the youth, but they also damage the economy and well-being of the nation. RPF has been empowered to conduct search, seizure, and arrest under the NDPS Act in 2019. In order to give focused attention to the drive against the smuggling of Narcotics through rail, RPF has launched an operation and succeeded in the recovery of NDPS valued about Rs. 40.32 Crore
Luggage Retrieval and handover 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 39091 luggage valued at more than Rs. 54.43 Crore.
Operation ‘WILEP’:-Smuggling of Wildlife, animal parts, and forest products is a crime against nature. RPF has been alive to the issue and has taken stringent action under this operation against the smugglers involved in the illegal trade of wildlife through railways. During the year 13 cases of illegal trade of restricted wildlife were detected with the arrest of 16 persons. RPF is continually working with WCCB and other stakeholders in this area.
Operation ‘YatriSuraksha’ – RPF is on a relentless mission to secure passengers and their belongings. Operation YatriSuraksha 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 works together with GRP for the prevention and detection of passenger-related offences.
Under this initiative, RPF provides special attention to 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.) around 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 to 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.
Security of Women under Operation Mahila Suraksha– ‘MeriSaheli initiative’ launched across the Indian Railways network in 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 the terminating station. Dedicated teams of lady RPF personnel have been formed across all zonal railways for its implementation. Presently, on average, 230 teams are being deployed for this purpose covering more than 419 trains on an average daily across Indian Railways. In order to empower these MeriSaheli teams, a MeriSaheli IT module was operationalized in 2022 to help these teams identify a target group of women passengers needing security and reassurance.
The safety and security of women passengers have been an important concern of Indian Railways. Other preventive measures have also been implemented to ensure the security of lady passengers like train escorting by a mixed crew of male and lady RPF staff, CCTV system at 866 stations and about 8057coaches, lady escorts in ladies’ special suburban trains, regular drives against unauthorized passengers in ladies’ coaches, etc.
Providing help to pregnant women in childbirth 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 206 such childbirths.
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 wheelchairs, stretchers, medical help, ambulance, medicine, and infant food, etc. During the year, more than 57079 such persons were assisted by RPF.
Efforts to enhance the safety of rail operations under Operation ‘Sanraksha’:
This operation is launched to enhance the safety of passengers. Action is being taken against the criminals involved in pelting stones on the moving train, carrying inflammable or crackers on the train, etc. During the year 2898 cases of stone pelting on moving trains were registered by RPF followed by the arrest of 1233 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 370 persons carrying inflammable/crackers in trains were also arrested.
Deployment during assemble elections under Operation ‘Janaadesh’-
RPF contingents deployed in the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram assisted in ensuring free and fair elections and stopping any unfortunate incidents during assembly/parliamentary elections.
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 2023 approx. 3492 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 distinct and unique advantages due to 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 find its suspects escaping through trains currently moving through some other state. Further, many suspects escaping the long arm of the law get trapped in the net of RPF during their routine checking protocol. Under Operation Rail Prahari, RPF uses its USP to assist other police forces/ Law Enforcement Agencies nab suspects fleeing by trains. During 2023, 493 such suspects were apprehended by RPF and handed over to concerned agencies for offences committed by them outside the railway area.
Railway Protection Force is not only working hard to secure the railways from criminals and forces inimical to the nation but also works hard to fulfill 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.