You must have seen police forces at railway station or escorting in the trains. These protection forces have to be vigilant and alert at every moment for ensuring safety and security of railway stations and passengers. Railway Protection Force (RPF) is always on a duty of 24*7 to maintaining discipline and restricting any kind or unlawful act at station. They are the key person at railway stations to ensure safe traveling. Railway Protection Force is committed to follow a set of duties and regulations. They are bound with rules to be followed strictly for ensuring a safer and calmer environment at stations premises which will add to passenger safety and an amicable railway journey. Some situation might occur when a train is scheduled to arrive late in the night and the passengers are seen continuously checking their train running status on the platforms waiting for their train to arrive. It’s the eagle-eyed RPF officers always attentive and observant who safeguard you from any crime or illegal activities.
Establishment of Railway Protection Force: Establishment of “Railway Police” dates back to the time of commencement of East Indian Railways. Though during the time of 1854-55, it was not a full forced troop of railway soldiers but some people were recruited and appointed as “Police” present at railway station.Later after Independence of India, Railway security force was established by an act “Railway Protection Force Act 1957”. The force personnel are placed at railway stations, platforms and accompanied by train for escorting and ensuring safer journey.These Special Forces have certain powers which they can use for public welfare and security purposes.Function of Railway Protection force:
- Protection of railway property and take necessary actions to restrict any criminal activity.
- Helping passengers with their travelling safety related issues.
- Maintain smooth railway movement and restrict any kind of illicit activities.
- Performing and following all the clauses of armed forces act in order to maintain smooth functioning of railways.
- Power to arrest without warrant, if needed.
There’re some laws which help the Railway protection force army to exercise their role and power in order to maintain the railway safe and secure.
- The Railway Property (Unlawful possession) Act 1966:
Under this act, anyone who is found to or has been proven to, in possession of any railway property or have been suspected to stolen or illegally acquired the railway property (unless it is proved to be lawful or legal acquisition) will be punishable and RAILWAY PROTECTION FORCE (RPF) has full authority to arrest such people. In another case RPF can arrest those people who intentionally neglect this offense. Means, any owner or occupier of land or building or any agent / in-charge of the management of that land or building , who intentionally or willfully neglects or ignores an offence against the provision or guidelines of this act, will be punished. The Railway Protection Force personnel are free to investigate and arrest the guilty. Railway protection force has the power to arrest people even without the warrant to prior information.
- The Indian Railways Act 1989:
This is an act empowering Railway protection force. The act is applied to restrict those people and levy/charge penalties or punish those miscreants who intend to defraud the Indian Railway. The RPF personnel are free to take necessary action if one caught defrauding Indian Railway administration. In simpler words, anyone who enters into carriage or travels without a proper ticket or pass is a railway defaulter and RPF has full right to arrest such people. The person who are traveling in a single or invalid travel pass are also intend to defraud railway administration, so Railway Protect Force personnel can arrest / suspect such people.
- The Railway Protection Force (2ND amendment in 1989 act) Act 2003:
This act came into force by 2003 with new changes in 1989 existing act. The penalties, punishments and discharge of guilty related guidelines were revised in this amendment.
So these are the principal facts and power that has been rewarded to Railway police or Railway Protection Force members to ensure the security and safety at railway stations and passengers during the journey.There are some of the objectives of Railway Police Force, on which Railway police force operates and take necessary action to serve their duty and Indian Railways.
- To identify potential situations where the crime/problem can arise and way out / strategy to work effectively during the time.
- Removing all kinds of anti-social elements from platform, carriage and train in transit mode to ensure the safety and security of passengers.
- To stay attentive and vigilant at the station platforms or in train to prevent any crime related to women and children trafficking activities at the station and in the journey.
- To work as a bridge between local police and railway administration.
- To stay co-operative and helpful to other wings of Indian Railway administration department for enhancing the efficiency of Indian Railway.
- To register and follow up inquiries related to Railway Property Act, find the apprehends and participate in legal proceedings.
- Adapting to new changes in technologies, guidelines and practices to ensure women safety and make other passengers train journey a comfortable and secure one.
How and When to Approach a Railway Protection Force
Railway Protection Force personnel are always available at the station premises, platforms and in trains. The RPF personnel work as bridge between government Railway Police and local police, so you can contact them about security related concerns during your train Journey. You can call on 182, which is a national wide number for Indian Railways security help.
- Theft or pick pocketing complaints: If any of your valuable articles or luggage are stolen or any pick pocketing complaints can be registered by RPF.
- Left behind Luggage: If you have forgot to pick your luggage at last station then immediately contact any RPF personnel at your de-boarding station.
- In case of an Unattended Luggage: If you spot any unattended luggage at station premises, immediately contact the PRF officials. They will take the necessary steps to handle the case.
- Harassment of Lady Passengers: Any women traveler who feels any suspicious or problematic situation can immediately contact any RPF personnel for better security and harassment free journey. Any woman traveling alone feels any insecurity or can face harassment; they can easily call on 182 for security help. RPF personnel will be available there for security insurance.
- Ladies quota usage by unauthorized people: Anyone who except ladies travelling in ladies quota is pushed under railway quota laws. So, one can approach the RPF about it.
- Unauthorized traveling in reserved coaches: Any unauthorized person travelling in ladies compartment or differently able (disabled or handicapped) reserve coaches then anyone can reach out to RPF to report about it.
- Any other security related thing during the train travel: One can reach out to RPF personnel regarding any security issues related to left baggage or any other suspicious activity of people which fells inappropriate.
These are the functions and power that Railway Protection Force exercise. They are committed to maintain security at the railway stations and during the journey. RailMitra salutes these officers who are available at every moment and are ready for any immediate help for passengers. The effective dedication and commitment by RPF, towards their goal make us to travel safe and secure.