Established in 1953 as the Railway Security Force, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) is an “Armed Force of the Union” under the control of the Ministry of Railways. Its primary duty, as the name suggests, is the protection of railway property, passenger area, and passengers.
Railway Protection Force Personnel saving the lives of passengers is not uncommon since they are present 24×7 and monitoring the safety of every passenger. In Southern Railway, during the year 2019 alone, a total of 10 passengers were rescued by brave RPF Personnel at various stations in the nick of time from the jaws of death….earning accolades from the saved passengers families and public alike.
RPF personnel have been protecting the Railways also. In Southern Railway, during the year 2019, 95,674 defaulters were arrested under various sections of Railways Act and Rs.3,11,20,325/- was collected as fine. This includes 336 touts /unauthorized travel agents arrested U/s 143 Railways Act for unauthorized carrying on of business of procuring and selling of Railway tickets. They were prosecuted with realization of fine amount of Rs.4,77,000/-.
Also, to control unauthorized people entering into Railway premises, in Southern Railway jurisdiction, 11,247 persons were apprehended U/s 147 Railways Act for trespassing into Railway premises/Railway track and prosecuted with realization of fine amount of Rs.36,67,350/-.
In Southern Railway, for the safety of reserved passengers, 4,995 persons were apprehended Under Section 155 of the Railways Act by the RPF, for entering into reserved compartment. This includes able bodied persons who travelled in the compartments earmarked for differently abled persons. They were all prosecuted and fined, the realized fine amount being Rs.12,69,475/- Also, 1,786 Gents were apprehended U/s 162 Railways Act for travelling in ladies compartment and prosecuted with realization of fine amount of Rs.4,60,950/-.
In order to ensure safety of travelers, 9,512 persons travelling on Footboard were apprehended U/s 156 Railways Act for footboard travelling in trains and prosecuted with realization of fine amount of Rs.32,27,900/-.
In order to prevent fire hazards in trains, 1,742 persons were apprehended U/s 167 Railways Act for smoking in trains and prosecuted with realization of fine amount of Rs.1,79,450/-.
Alarm Chain is provided in trains to stop the trains in an emergency. However, passengers sometimes pull the chain for reasons other than emergency. 1810 such persons were apprehended U/s 141 Railways Act for indulging in Alarm Chain Pulling without reasonable and sufficient causes and prosecuted with realization of fine amount of Rs.9,40,450/-.
To control ticketless travelers, RPF provides assistance to ticket checking squad of Commercial wing to conduct effective ticket checking. During the year 2019, 4,02,760 free trippers were apprehended and fine amount of Rs.16,33,80,509/- collected.
Sometimes persons misuse the Railway premises. 16977 such persons were apprehended U/s 145 Railways Act for creating nuisance and prosecuted with realization of fine amount of Rs.22,86,760 /-.
RPF personnel constantly watch the movements of suspicious persons and successfully detected and prosecuted 28 person U/s 164 Railways Act for unlawfully bringing dangerous goods/crackers in trains with realization of fine amount of Rs.20,400/-.
RPF plays an important role in the protection of the passengers from harmful contraband goods. During the year 2019 , on 292 occasions, RPF has seized contraband goods like Ganja, Nitrosen tablets, Hashish oil, tobacco products and illicit liquor etc. worth Rs.6,53,22,598/-and 136 offenders were handed over to the Policing agencies concerned.
Also, During the year 2019, on 06 occasions, RPF has seized gold ornaments weighing 14.30386 kgs, valued Rs.4,73,21,671/-with the arrest of 07 accused, on 08 occasions silver materials weighing 140.173 Kgs, valued Rs.52,83,805/- with the arrest of 08 accused and on 09 occasions unaccounted cash Rs.40099500/- with the arrest of 13 accused were handed over to the agencies concerned.
RPF has received accolades for retrieval of lost luggage of passengers. During the financial year 2019, on 2391 occasions, RPF has retrieved abandoned / leftover passenger belongings viz., cash, baggage’s, cell phones, wrist watch, jewels etc. from stations and trains and handed over to its owners/concerned authorities for further action.
In their drive against criminals, during the year 2019, 562 criminals have been arrested in 420 cases under RP(UP) Act and railway property worth Rs.22,43,603/- recovered. Also, 347 criminals involved in passenger related offences were arrested and handed over to GRP/Local Police during 2019.
Not only does the RPF protect the Indian Railways, but also engage in other important activities like Cleanliness Drives and render medical assistance to passengers. In Southern Railway, during the year 2019, 57878 persons were fined for littering in railway premises and Rs.1,30,71,450/- collected as fine. During the year 2019, 1057 injured/ ill passengers while on train journey, were rendered assistance by providing first aid / taken for treatment to hospital by RPF personnel in co-ordination with Medical Department.
At Rameswaram, Madurai and Trivandrum, RPF personnel man Tourism Help Desks assist tourists.
RPF Personnel have done yeoman service in the area of Child and Women protection. Child Help Desk is functional at 08 Stations (Chennai Egmore, Chennai Central, Madurai, Coimbatore, Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram, Trissur& Kozhikode) in tie up with NGO as per SOP (Standard Operating Procedure). This apart, the setting up of Child Help Desks (CHD) under SOP has been further extended to 174 more Railway stations over Indian Railway vide RB’s Lr.No.2017/Sec (Spl)/SOP/CHD dt.21.06.2018 including 30 Railway stations in Southern Railway
Also, During the year 2019, 2151 runaway/ destitute children have been rescued and handed over to their parents/child help line. This is apart from 69 missing women rescued and handed over to their relatives/law enforcing agencies concerned. On humanitarian service, ‘Operation Dignity’ has been launched by RPF Southern railway in which 295 destitute and homeless persons were secured in trains/premises and handed over to various NGOs for their rehabilitation