Railway Protection Force to get women’s battalion


New Delhi: The government Thursday said it will enact a law giving the Railway Protection Force (RPF) the power to probe offences committed against railway property and passengers and also raise a women’s battalion of the force.

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The railway ministry is actively considering amendments to the Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act to empower Railway Protection Force (RPF) officers to conduct the enquiry, said Minister of State for Railways E. Ahamed.

Addressing an investiture ceremony of RPF personnel, the minister said efforts are also on to strengthen the penal provisions of the act.

The offences committed against railway passengers and property are currently investigated by Government Railway Police (GRP) – a wing of the state police.

Ahamed also informed the gathering about the ministry’s plans to fill over 5,000 vacant RPF posts.

He said the RPF has also been granted permission to raise 12 companies of ‘Mahila Vahini’ comprising solely of women personnel to provide security to women railway passengers.

Ahamed said the RPF will be setting up a Commando Training Centre at Canning in West Bengal for which Rs.26.70 crore has been sanctioned.

The RPF will be raising three additional battalions at Manwal, New Cooch Behar and Asansol, respectively, at the costs of Rs.23 crore, Rs.14.99 crore and Rs.14.72 crore, and the third battalion will comprise of women personnel, he said.

The Indian Railways will soon be operationalising an all-India security helpline which can be accessed by passengers round-the-clock from anywhere in the country for security related assistance in railway premises and during train journeys.

The minister presented awards to 38 RPF personnel, including President’s Police Medal for gallantry, President’s Police Medal for distinguished service and Police Medal for meritorious service for 2009-10.