The Railway Protection Force (RPF) of Indian Railways has saved 42 people, rescued 1045 children in need of care and protection, and put in place measures to ensure women’s safety at major railway stations in the country among others in the first month of the year 2022.
This came out in the latest performance report of the Railway Protection Force. Entrusted with the responsibility of security of railway property, passenger area, passengers, and matters connected therewith, RPF personnel have been providing help to passengers in need and rescuing women and children in need of care and protection.
To provide impetus to various activities of the RPF personnel beyond their assigned duties, Indian Railways has decided to launch several operations under different names starting from January 2022, the ministry in a note stated here on Thursday.
RPF has been saving lives of persons in danger of coming under the wheels of running trains at various railway stations and railway areas night and day going beyond their call of duty risking their own lives. Now the activity has been undertaken in mission mode under “Mission Jeewan Raksha”. RPF personnel has saved 42 persons, 20 males and 22 ladies under the mission during January 2022, the ministry note stated.
The force has been instrumental in reuniting the children in need of care and protection, lost or separated from their family, or escaped from their homes due to various reasons. Being vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking, if not rescued in time, the force has launched all India programs under the codename “Operation Nanhe Fariste”. As a result, during the month of January 2022, 1045 Children (701 Boys+344 Girls) in need of care and protection who came in contact with Indian Railways were rescued with the follow-up action in coordination with the NGOs. At present ‘Child Help Desks’ are functional at 132 railway stations across the Indian railways, according to the Railways ministry.
To provide better security to the women passengers several new initiatives were taken under the code name “Mahila Suraksha”. During the same period this year, RPF has deployed “Meri Saheli ” teams at major railway stations with the objective of providing security to lady passengers especially those travelling alone and vulnerable to crime in at about 13000 trains all over India for the purpose.
Under various preventive measures, RPF has also arrested 5 persons involved in cases of molestation and eve-teasing. About 2185 persons found traveling in ladies coaches have also been arrested.
Women RPF personnel, who currently form about 9 percent of the total strength, have also helped pregnant women who go into labor during their train journeys, in childbirth under “Operation Matrishakti”. During the month of January 2022, Lady RPF personnel provided assistance to 7 such pregnant women passengers.
Under “Operation Yatri Suraksha” during the month of January 22, RPF arrested more than 300 criminals involved in 254 cases of offences against passengers and handed them over to concerned GRP/Local Police.
RPF is also available on call (Toll-Free 139 and other social media forums i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) round the clock to receive and resolve security and other grievances of passengers. During January 2022, more than 11230 calls and complaints were received from passengers in distress, and twitter related to security were also promptly attended to and resolved, the Railways Ministry claimed.
The ministry further highlighted RPF’s role in combating human trafficking. “To curb the menace of Human Trafficking through railways, RPF has been working in coordination with other stakeholders round the clock. Taking action under the code name Operation “AAHT”, RPF has rescued 35 persons (22 minors) with the arrest of 8 traffickers in the month of Jan 2022 and handed them over to police,” the ministry note stated.
For passengers leaving behind their belongings in their haste to catch trains or leave the station, the RPF personnel help secure these belongings with an aim to restore them to their rightful owners under “Operation Amanat”. RPF retrieved 1552 passenger belongings valued at over Rs 2.8 crores on January 22.
In order to give focused attention to driving against the smuggling of narcotics through rail, RPF has launched “Operation NARCOS”. Under this operation, RPF has recovered Narcotic products worth Rs 4.57 crores and arrested 87 persons during the same period.
RPF has launched a separate operation called “Operation Satark” against illegal transportation of Tobacco Products, unaccounted cash, illegal liquor, unaccounted precious items, smuggled goods, etc. Illegal tobacco products worth Rs 19 Lakhs, Illegal liquor worth Rs 19 Crores, unaccounted for gold worth Rs 4.90 crore and silver worth Rs I l Lakh, other smuggled foreign goods worth Rs 2.18 Lakhs, and unaccounted cash worth 2.50 crore have been recovered with the arrest of 119 persons.
Under “Operation WILEP” against the smugglers involved in the illegal trade of wildlife through railways, RPF detected 11 cases with the arrest of 2 persons and handed over the recovered items like rare turtles, various species of wild birds, endangered vultures to the forest department.
RPF also rescued 80 adult men and 153 adult women who were in distress needing immediate care and protection under “Operation Dignity”. They were handed over to their respective families or NGOs. Under “Operation Sewa”, RPF provided assistance to more than 1000 elderly, sick, divyang persons by way of arranging for medicines, infant food, wheelchairs, stretchers, medical help to carrying divyang, and elderly persons on their shoulders, the Railway ministry note further pointed out.