Bookmark and Share
Overview:

On April 16, 1853, India’s first train service, under the purview of the Great Indian Peninsular Railways Company (now Indian Railways or IR), traversed 21 miles of track from Bombay to Thane. Since then, the railway system in India has undergone a rapid expansion and rail transport is now one of the most well-connected and popular forms of transport. From its humble beginning on a single track and solitary locomotive, IR now ranks fourth in the world in size and covers a total track of almost 109,000 km, a route of about 65,000 km, operates and maintains almost 11,000 trains every day, carries in excess of 7.6 million passengers annually, and employs more than 1.5 million people. An undertaking of this magnitude undoubtedly poses security challenges. Passengers and freights as well as railway property are targets. 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.

more
History:

As the role of the railways expanded, so did the security concerns of passengers and the freight being transported. Railways in India are an indispensable economic and communication tool, and one of the few ways a diverse population interacts. While RPF can be traced back directly to the RSF, the idea of a protection force for the railways can be traced to 1854. The East Indian Railways, realizing the vulnerability of its property, employed staff in a policing capacity. In 1861, the British enacted the Police Act, 1861 to use the term “police” for its own forces and simultaneously deployed personnel with the railway companies for railway security. This imposition created two sets of personnel: a government-sanctioned force for the company and those personnel hired by the company themselves.

 

In 1872, the Railway Police Committee recommended that railway police personnel be organized into two distinct entities: a “Government Police” that would handle law enforcement matters and a “Private (Company) Police” that would take over Watch and Ward duties. This recommendation was acted upon in 1881, and by 1882, the Private Police of the railway companies were responsible for the protection of railways companies’ property as well as any goods and freight. Private Police, the ancestor of RPF, consisted of watchmen who were for the most part not centrally controlled. They were hired locally and placed under the management of local heads.

 

In 1890, as a result of enacting the Indian Railways Act, all existing railways came under the control of the government of India. Consequently, in 1905, a Railway Board was established to act as a separate department for the railways. The first major restructuring of the watchmen system occurred after the First World War. Increases in freight, and subsequently thefts, prompted the government to appoint the “Police Inquiry Committee” in 1921 under the leadership of a Mr. Thomson to study and recommend changes to the railway security system. Reorganization of the watchmen system was recommended and it was subsequently structured as a Watch and Ward organization under the leadership of a Superintendent, Watch & Ward.

 

Following independence, the new government created structural changes in railways management and as a result divided IR into six zones. A committee on railway security insisted on the presence of the Watch & Ward in every railway department. Although the Watch & Ward units were performing satisfactorily, the onset of World War II had revealed their inadequacies for large-scale security management. Lack of proper training, equipment, and management issues all contributed to this inadequacy. In 1953, the Railway Board charged retired police officer BN Lahari with the working out the details of reorganizing Watch & Ward. In conjunction with then Director of Intelligence Bureau B N Mullick, Lahari recommended converting Watch & Ward into a statutory force equipped with legal provisions that enable it to effectively carry out its duties. From this, the Railway Security Force was formed in 1953. A Chief Security Officer was appointed for each of the six zones. The legal backing for RSF was expanded by passing the Railway Stores (Unlawful Possession) Act in 1955, which permitted RSF personnel to arrest individuals in illegal possession of railway property. The act also stipulated that RSF work with state police for other illegal activities.

 

It was once again decided that, as a result of paltry policing powers, RSF was not properly equipped to attend to railway security. It was then decided to establish a police system in the railway. On August 29, 1957, the Railway Protection Force Act was passed. This act renamed the RSF to RPF and expanded the force’s legal powers. The RPF Rules were adopted in September 1959. In 1985, technical legal issues prompted an amendment of the RPF Act of 1957. The Amendment (No. 60 of 1985) transformed the RPF into an “Armed Force of the Union.” Subsequently, RPF rules were vetted and reframed to provide the necessary legal sanction.

 

In 1962, during the Indo-China War, a need to keep border trains open to transport soldiers and equipment was identified. In order to secure these trains, RPF decided to create a “Special Emergency Force,” which was subsequently renamed the Railway Protection Special Force (RPSF). Since then, RPSF has been expanded and deployed heavily in the Northeast, Punjab (during the Khalistan uprising) states affected by Left Wing Extremism, and Jammu & Kashmir.

more
What it Does:

The common perception is that RPF is responsible for all aspects of railways security. However, this is not the case. RPF shares its duties with the Government Railway Police (GRP) and the District Police and functions on the basis of what is supposed to be a finely demarcated legal line. To understand the RPF roles, it is first important to understand the GRP’s role.

 

The fundamental duty of GRP is the maintenance of order on railway stations and trains. “Order” here is defined as the following:

 

  • Control of passenger traffic within station premises, especially on platforms, in booking offices, waiting halls, at entrance and exit gates and wherever specially required in emergencies by the station officials;
  • Control of vehicular and other traffic in station precincts;
  • Maintenance of order in passenger trains halted at stations and prevention of over-crowding in carriages;
  • Supervision of loaded passenger trains standing in station;
  • Arrest of persons guilty of committing nuisance, removal of persons suffering from infectious diseases and keeping of station premises clear of beggars;
  • Examination of empty carriages on arrival at terminal stations for property left behind by passengers and inspection of carriages with a view to seeing that fittings have not been tampered with;
  • Removal of bodies of persons who dies in trains or on station premises and conveyance to hospital of sick passengers.

 

Additionally, GRP is tasked with accidents and crime inquiry, “prevention and detection of crime on railways,” and general public assistance.

 

The official role of the RPF, on the other hand, is threefold.

  • To protect Railway Property, Railway Passenger and passenger areas.
  • To ensure safety, security in trains so as to boost the confidence of the traveling public.
  • To coordinate security related activities between the various agencies involved.

 

The primary responsibility of the RPF is the protection of railway property. As a result, the thrust of RPF activity includes action against vandals and miscreants sabotaging or desecrating railway property. Under the Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act 1966, RPF has the power to prosecute individuals with illegal possession of railway property. Section 29 of the Railways Act gives RPF legal backing to prosecute individuals “involved in unauthorized activities in trains/station premises viz. alarm chain pulling, unauthorized vending/hawking, unauthorized entry into ladies and reserved compartments etc. RPF also escorts around 1,300 important passenger and freight trains and routinely escorts trains in vulnerable areas. Additionally, the RPF is also tasked with “providing access control, regulation, and general security on the platforms, in passenger areas, and circulating areas.”

 

Twelve battalions of RPSF are currently deployed in sensitive areas including the northeast, parts of J&K, and areas affected by LWE. Additionally, RPF personnel are used for railway riot and demonstration control purposes. RPF is also in the process of integrating technology that will feature CCTV cameras, access control, personal and baggage screening measures as well as bomb detection and disposal systems.

 

While on paper there may seem to be a clear delineation of most duties between GRP and RPF, the reality is much more complicated and confusing as most of the actions do not happen in a vacuum and the general public, for the most part, is unaware of the difference of roles between GRP and RPF.

more
Where Does the Money Go:

The Ministry of Railways does not provide an accurate accounting of RPF budget. However, the ministry has put forth an amendment for 2012 that would make RPF responsible for all railway related law and security issues. If this passes, an expansion of RPF is to be expected. The RPF already faces a shortage of 13,000 personnel. It can be reasonably concluded that majority of RPF’s budget, like that of any policing organization, is spent on day to day operations – salaries, equipment, procurement of needed systems, etc.

more
Controversies:

“A Railway Destruction Force”

As a result of a lack of clear legal boundaries, low pay, poor working conditions, mismanagement, and general pervasiveness of corruption, RPF is plagued by corruption and is hardly the model security force government officials make it out to be. Recognizing this, in March 2012, Justice Majumdar of the Mumbai High Court slammed the RPF when he observed: “It’s not RPF. It’s railway destruction force. They are only enriching themselves.” Asking for bribes is extremely common, and not limited only to junior personnel. In February 2012, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested a head constable for demanding a bribe from a local cargo moving firm. In March 2012, RPF personnel were arrested for issuing a fake bail bond to an individual caught crossing railway tracks. In what has now become a controversial scandal, RPF officials stationed at Kurla in 2008-2009 caught people crossing tracks and released them on fake cash bail bonds. So far no action has been taken against these personnel. Jamshed Cama, a counselor for the Railway Suburban Passengers Association, observed “RPF officials are the biggest crooks. There are hundreds of these cases. It cannot happen without complicity of officials.” In another instance, CBI arrested an RPF inspector for “alleged corrupt activities and amassing huge assets beyond his source of income.” 

 

Bail Bond Scam: Corruption Is Like Cancer, Says HC (Daily News & Analysis)

No Action Against Railway Protection Force Men Irks HC (by Rosy Sequeira, Times of India)

RPF Men ‘Con’ Dadar Man Caught Crossing Tracks (by Anand Holla, Mumbai Mirror)

CBI Arrests Head Constable Of RPF, Inspector And Other Official Of ESIC In Separate Bribery Cases (by Netindian News Network, Netindian.Com)

116 Graft Cases Still Under Probe: Anti-Corruption Unit (by PTI, Outlook India)

Railway Protection Force Men Caught Red-handed Evading Octroi (by Anjaya Anparthi, Times of India)

 

Mamata Banerjee’s Coziness With RPF

Try as she might, former railway minister Mamata Banerjee can’t seem to quit the RPF. Instead of using a security detail from the renown black cats, the current chief Minister of West Bengal  has instead continued to employee members of the Railway protection force who guarded her during her tenure as railways chieftain. The relationship is highly unusual, especially considering Banerjee also employed IPF men while campaigning for the chief ministership. Her explanation according to one member of her party, the Trinamool Congress, has been no less partisan: She doesn’t trust anyone associated with the Communist Party regime that ruled West Bengal for 34 years.  

 

Eventually, in July 2011, a funding crisis forced to seek protection from the West Bengal police as she was no longer permitted to maintain her cherished 78-member RPF security detail. Instead Banerjee now has to rely on just 12 RPF members.

 

Trust Deficit in West Bengal: CM Mamata gets Railway cops to guard her (by Amitabh Sinha and Raghavendra Rao, Indian Express)

Fund Crunch Hits Mamata Security, RPF Detail Slashed (Times of India)

more
Suggested Reforms:

Railway Protection Force (Amendment) Bill, 2011

The current legal limitations on RPF and the division of roles between RPF, GRP, and district police is hindering railway security. A recent security audit conducted by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India blasted the security situation and pointed out that “there is a distinct lack of security consciousness on the part of the Railway Administration” and observed that “issues regarding inter-agency co-ordination (between the RPF and the GRP and /or state police) pointed out by audit in its earlier Audit Report are still persisting, despite remedial action taken by the Railways.” An IR report delineating the differences between role of the three concerned agencies mentioned that “the existing jurisdictional anomaly is such that more than one agency is involved” and concluded that the “dichotomy in the system of having two agencies for policing and security has not at all helped to find an effective solution.” The Railway Protection Force (Amendment) Bill, 2011 seeks to rectify these issues by providing a clear legal and jurisdictional mandate for RPF. It is generally assumed that enacting this reform will substantially improve railway security.

 

Security Management in Indian Railway: Executive Summary (Comptroller and Auditor General of India) (pdf)

CAG Blasts Railways For Not Securing CST Post-26 /11 (Times of India)

Role Of RPF, GRP, & District Police (Indian Railways)

Politics Overshadows National Issues (Jagran Post)

Keep Security on Track (The Hindu)

Secure the Railways (Times of India)

more
Debate:

Railway Protection Force (Amendment) Bill, 2011

The Ministry of Railways has introduced an amendment to the Railway Protection Force Act that would effectively make RPF the responsible entity for all railway related law, order, and security issues. This would change the 1973 amendment where the RPF was given the task of protecting moving trains and railways stations but not the power to register cases against the offender. The GRP was responsible for this move. The issue at the center of this debate is efficiency versus the balance of state and federal power.

 

The Amendment Should be Enacted

The support for this position comes from long central government as well as entities concerned with the proper functioning of railway security. The amendment would require the withdrawal of GRP from railway stations and would empower RPF with police powers that have traditionally belonged to state police officers. Proponents claim that the amendment will allow for centralization, better security provision, standardization of procedures, and a resolution of jurisdictional issues that often occur for crimes committed on moving trains. RPF points to the CBI model to show that state and local borders do not necessarily have to create issues. If successfully passed, this will be first time that a paramilitary force has acquired general policing powers.

 

Railways to Move RPF Amendment Bill (IBNLive)

New Amendment to Give More Powers to RPF (by Kumod Verma, Times of India)

Centre-States' Face-Off in Offing Over Amendment to RPF Act (by Mahendra Kumar Singh, Times of India)

 

The Amendment Should Not be Enacted

This position is advocated by Chief Ministers of various states as well as entities concerned with creeping federal power. The crux of the issue is federalism and a clear delineation of and respect for state powers. In response to the proposed amendment, Gujarat CM Narendra Modi wrote “The proposed amendment Bill, which is intended to confer the powers of State Police Officers to Railway Protection Force (RPF) is unwarranted, violation of the constitutional spirit and blow to federal structure of India. It usurps power of the state legislature” and deals “a serious blow to the federal structure of the country”. Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa stated the amendment was ““another attempt by the Centre to take away the rights of the powers of states.” She observed that “public order and police are state subjects and proposing an amendment with regard to these is clearly an attempt to encroach upon the powers of the states.... It would be lethal to the federal structure of the nation.” Opposition to this amendment follows a similar conflict between state and central government on the issue of the creation of the National Counter-Terrorism Center.  

 

After NCTC, Narendra Modi Now Opposes RPF Amendment Bill (Daily News & Analysis)

Modi To PM: Changes In RPF Act Unwarranted (Indian Express)

Jayalalithaa Writes To PM Against RPF Amendment (Deccan Chronicle)

Jaya, Naveen Join Modi In Opposing RPF Amendments (Rediff News)

more
Former Directors:

Ranjit Sinha

Ranjit Sinha served as the Director General RPF from November 2008 until May 2011. Sinha is a 1974 batch Bihar cadre IPS officer. He holds a master’s degree from Patna University, an M. Phil from the Indian Institute of Public Administration, and Diploma in HR Management from Wollongong University.

 

He has previously served as the Additional Superintendent of Police at Ranchi and Superintendent of Police, Special Branch at Police Headquarters in Patna. He first came to central government as the Deputy Inspector General, Central Bureau of Investigation, Patna and later as the Joint Director (Anti-corruption) and Joint Director (Administration) in Delhi. He later joined the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) as Inspector General (Operations) and Inspector General (Personnel) at CRPF Directorate General. He was later promoted to be the Assistant Director General of ITBP. He became the Director General of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police in December 2012.

 

Official Biography

more

Comments

Leave a comment

Founded: 1953 (established as the Railway Security Force)
Annual Budget:
Employees: 65,000
Railway Protection Force
  • Latest News
Bookmark and Share
Overview:

On April 16, 1853, India’s first train service, under the purview of the Great Indian Peninsular Railways Company (now Indian Railways or IR), traversed 21 miles of track from Bombay to Thane. Since then, the railway system in India has undergone a rapid expansion and rail transport is now one of the most well-connected and popular forms of transport. From its humble beginning on a single track and solitary locomotive, IR now ranks fourth in the world in size and covers a total track of almost 109,000 km, a route of about 65,000 km, operates and maintains almost 11,000 trains every day, carries in excess of 7.6 million passengers annually, and employs more than 1.5 million people. An undertaking of this magnitude undoubtedly poses security challenges. Passengers and freights as well as railway property are targets. 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.

more
History:

As the role of the railways expanded, so did the security concerns of passengers and the freight being transported. Railways in India are an indispensable economic and communication tool, and one of the few ways a diverse population interacts. While RPF can be traced back directly to the RSF, the idea of a protection force for the railways can be traced to 1854. The East Indian Railways, realizing the vulnerability of its property, employed staff in a policing capacity. In 1861, the British enacted the Police Act, 1861 to use the term “police” for its own forces and simultaneously deployed personnel with the railway companies for railway security. This imposition created two sets of personnel: a government-sanctioned force for the company and those personnel hired by the company themselves.

 

In 1872, the Railway Police Committee recommended that railway police personnel be organized into two distinct entities: a “Government Police” that would handle law enforcement matters and a “Private (Company) Police” that would take over Watch and Ward duties. This recommendation was acted upon in 1881, and by 1882, the Private Police of the railway companies were responsible for the protection of railways companies’ property as well as any goods and freight. Private Police, the ancestor of RPF, consisted of watchmen who were for the most part not centrally controlled. They were hired locally and placed under the management of local heads.

 

In 1890, as a result of enacting the Indian Railways Act, all existing railways came under the control of the government of India. Consequently, in 1905, a Railway Board was established to act as a separate department for the railways. The first major restructuring of the watchmen system occurred after the First World War. Increases in freight, and subsequently thefts, prompted the government to appoint the “Police Inquiry Committee” in 1921 under the leadership of a Mr. Thomson to study and recommend changes to the railway security system. Reorganization of the watchmen system was recommended and it was subsequently structured as a Watch and Ward organization under the leadership of a Superintendent, Watch & Ward.

 

Following independence, the new government created structural changes in railways management and as a result divided IR into six zones. A committee on railway security insisted on the presence of the Watch & Ward in every railway department. Although the Watch & Ward units were performing satisfactorily, the onset of World War II had revealed their inadequacies for large-scale security management. Lack of proper training, equipment, and management issues all contributed to this inadequacy. In 1953, the Railway Board charged retired police officer BN Lahari with the working out the details of reorganizing Watch & Ward. In conjunction with then Director of Intelligence Bureau B N Mullick, Lahari recommended converting Watch & Ward into a statutory force equipped with legal provisions that enable it to effectively carry out its duties. From this, the Railway Security Force was formed in 1953. A Chief Security Officer was appointed for each of the six zones. The legal backing for RSF was expanded by passing the Railway Stores (Unlawful Possession) Act in 1955, which permitted RSF personnel to arrest individuals in illegal possession of railway property. The act also stipulated that RSF work with state police for other illegal activities.

 

It was once again decided that, as a result of paltry policing powers, RSF was not properly equipped to attend to railway security. It was then decided to establish a police system in the railway. On August 29, 1957, the Railway Protection Force Act was passed. This act renamed the RSF to RPF and expanded the force’s legal powers. The RPF Rules were adopted in September 1959. In 1985, technical legal issues prompted an amendment of the RPF Act of 1957. The Amendment (No. 60 of 1985) transformed the RPF into an “Armed Force of the Union.” Subsequently, RPF rules were vetted and reframed to provide the necessary legal sanction.

 

In 1962, during the Indo-China War, a need to keep border trains open to transport soldiers and equipment was identified. In order to secure these trains, RPF decided to create a “Special Emergency Force,” which was subsequently renamed the Railway Protection Special Force (RPSF). Since then, RPSF has been expanded and deployed heavily in the Northeast, Punjab (during the Khalistan uprising) states affected by Left Wing Extremism, and Jammu & Kashmir.

more
What it Does:

The common perception is that RPF is responsible for all aspects of railways security. However, this is not the case. RPF shares its duties with the Government Railway Police (GRP) and the District Police and functions on the basis of what is supposed to be a finely demarcated legal line. To understand the RPF roles, it is first important to understand the GRP’s role.

 

The fundamental duty of GRP is the maintenance of order on railway stations and trains. “Order” here is defined as the following:

 

  • Control of passenger traffic within station premises, especially on platforms, in booking offices, waiting halls, at entrance and exit gates and wherever specially required in emergencies by the station officials;
  • Control of vehicular and other traffic in station precincts;
  • Maintenance of order in passenger trains halted at stations and prevention of over-crowding in carriages;
  • Supervision of loaded passenger trains standing in station;
  • Arrest of persons guilty of committing nuisance, removal of persons suffering from infectious diseases and keeping of station premises clear of beggars;
  • Examination of empty carriages on arrival at terminal stations for property left behind by passengers and inspection of carriages with a view to seeing that fittings have not been tampered with;
  • Removal of bodies of persons who dies in trains or on station premises and conveyance to hospital of sick passengers.

 

Additionally, GRP is tasked with accidents and crime inquiry, “prevention and detection of crime on railways,” and general public assistance.

 

The official role of the RPF, on the other hand, is threefold.

  • To protect Railway Property, Railway Passenger and passenger areas.
  • To ensure safety, security in trains so as to boost the confidence of the traveling public.
  • To coordinate security related activities between the various agencies involved.

 

The primary responsibility of the RPF is the protection of railway property. As a result, the thrust of RPF activity includes action against vandals and miscreants sabotaging or desecrating railway property. Under the Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act 1966, RPF has the power to prosecute individuals with illegal possession of railway property. Section 29 of the Railways Act gives RPF legal backing to prosecute individuals “involved in unauthorized activities in trains/station premises viz. alarm chain pulling, unauthorized vending/hawking, unauthorized entry into ladies and reserved compartments etc. RPF also escorts around 1,300 important passenger and freight trains and routinely escorts trains in vulnerable areas. Additionally, the RPF is also tasked with “providing access control, regulation, and general security on the platforms, in passenger areas, and circulating areas.”

 

Twelve battalions of RPSF are currently deployed in sensitive areas including the northeast, parts of J&K, and areas affected by LWE. Additionally, RPF personnel are used for railway riot and demonstration control purposes. RPF is also in the process of integrating technology that will feature CCTV cameras, access control, personal and baggage screening measures as well as bomb detection and disposal systems.

 

While on paper there may seem to be a clear delineation of most duties between GRP and RPF, the reality is much more complicated and confusing as most of the actions do not happen in a vacuum and the general public, for the most part, is unaware of the difference of roles between GRP and RPF.

more
Where Does the Money Go:

The Ministry of Railways does not provide an accurate accounting of RPF budget. However, the ministry has put forth an amendment for 2012 that would make RPF responsible for all railway related law and security issues. If this passes, an expansion of RPF is to be expected. The RPF already faces a shortage of 13,000 personnel. It can be reasonably concluded that majority of RPF’s budget, like that of any policing organization, is spent on day to day operations – salaries, equipment, procurement of needed systems, etc.

more
Controversies:

“A Railway Destruction Force”

As a result of a lack of clear legal boundaries, low pay, poor working conditions, mismanagement, and general pervasiveness of corruption, RPF is plagued by corruption and is hardly the model security force government officials make it out to be. Recognizing this, in March 2012, Justice Majumdar of the Mumbai High Court slammed the RPF when he observed: “It’s not RPF. It’s railway destruction force. They are only enriching themselves.” Asking for bribes is extremely common, and not limited only to junior personnel. In February 2012, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested a head constable for demanding a bribe from a local cargo moving firm. In March 2012, RPF personnel were arrested for issuing a fake bail bond to an individual caught crossing railway tracks. In what has now become a controversial scandal, RPF officials stationed at Kurla in 2008-2009 caught people crossing tracks and released them on fake cash bail bonds. So far no action has been taken against these personnel. Jamshed Cama, a counselor for the Railway Suburban Passengers Association, observed “RPF officials are the biggest crooks. There are hundreds of these cases. It cannot happen without complicity of officials.” In another instance, CBI arrested an RPF inspector for “alleged corrupt activities and amassing huge assets beyond his source of income.” 

 

Bail Bond Scam: Corruption Is Like Cancer, Says HC (Daily News & Analysis)

No Action Against Railway Protection Force Men Irks HC (by Rosy Sequeira, Times of India)

RPF Men ‘Con’ Dadar Man Caught Crossing Tracks (by Anand Holla, Mumbai Mirror)

CBI Arrests Head Constable Of RPF, Inspector And Other Official Of ESIC In Separate Bribery Cases (by Netindian News Network, Netindian.Com)

116 Graft Cases Still Under Probe: Anti-Corruption Unit (by PTI, Outlook India)

Railway Protection Force Men Caught Red-handed Evading Octroi (by Anjaya Anparthi, Times of India)

 

Mamata Banerjee’s Coziness With RPF

Try as she might, former railway minister Mamata Banerjee can’t seem to quit the RPF. Instead of using a security detail from the renown black cats, the current chief Minister of West Bengal  has instead continued to employee members of the Railway protection force who guarded her during her tenure as railways chieftain. The relationship is highly unusual, especially considering Banerjee also employed IPF men while campaigning for the chief ministership. Her explanation according to one member of her party, the Trinamool Congress, has been no less partisan: She doesn’t trust anyone associated with the Communist Party regime that ruled West Bengal for 34 years.  

 

Eventually, in July 2011, a funding crisis forced to seek protection from the West Bengal police as she was no longer permitted to maintain her cherished 78-member RPF security detail. Instead Banerjee now has to rely on just 12 RPF members.

 

Trust Deficit in West Bengal: CM Mamata gets Railway cops to guard her (by Amitabh Sinha and Raghavendra Rao, Indian Express)

Fund Crunch Hits Mamata Security, RPF Detail Slashed (Times of India)

more
Suggested Reforms:

Railway Protection Force (Amendment) Bill, 2011

The current legal limitations on RPF and the division of roles between RPF, GRP, and district police is hindering railway security. A recent security audit conducted by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India blasted the security situation and pointed out that “there is a distinct lack of security consciousness on the part of the Railway Administration” and observed that “issues regarding inter-agency co-ordination (between the RPF and the GRP and /or state police) pointed out by audit in its earlier Audit Report are still persisting, despite remedial action taken by the Railways.” An IR report delineating the differences between role of the three concerned agencies mentioned that “the existing jurisdictional anomaly is such that more than one agency is involved” and concluded that the “dichotomy in the system of having two agencies for policing and security has not at all helped to find an effective solution.” The Railway Protection Force (Amendment) Bill, 2011 seeks to rectify these issues by providing a clear legal and jurisdictional mandate for RPF. It is generally assumed that enacting this reform will substantially improve railway security.

 

Security Management in Indian Railway: Executive Summary (Comptroller and Auditor General of India) (pdf)

CAG Blasts Railways For Not Securing CST Post-26 /11 (Times of India)

Role Of RPF, GRP, & District Police (Indian Railways)

Politics Overshadows National Issues (Jagran Post)

Keep Security on Track (The Hindu)

Secure the Railways (Times of India)

more
Debate:

Railway Protection Force (Amendment) Bill, 2011

The Ministry of Railways has introduced an amendment to the Railway Protection Force Act that would effectively make RPF the responsible entity for all railway related law, order, and security issues. This would change the 1973 amendment where the RPF was given the task of protecting moving trains and railways stations but not the power to register cases against the offender. The GRP was responsible for this move. The issue at the center of this debate is efficiency versus the balance of state and federal power.

 

The Amendment Should be Enacted

The support for this position comes from long central government as well as entities concerned with the proper functioning of railway security. The amendment would require the withdrawal of GRP from railway stations and would empower RPF with police powers that have traditionally belonged to state police officers. Proponents claim that the amendment will allow for centralization, better security provision, standardization of procedures, and a resolution of jurisdictional issues that often occur for crimes committed on moving trains. RPF points to the CBI model to show that state and local borders do not necessarily have to create issues. If successfully passed, this will be first time that a paramilitary force has acquired general policing powers.

 

Railways to Move RPF Amendment Bill (IBNLive)

New Amendment to Give More Powers to RPF (by Kumod Verma, Times of India)

Centre-States' Face-Off in Offing Over Amendment to RPF Act (by Mahendra Kumar Singh, Times of India)

 

The Amendment Should Not be Enacted

This position is advocated by Chief Ministers of various states as well as entities concerned with creeping federal power. The crux of the issue is federalism and a clear delineation of and respect for state powers. In response to the proposed amendment, Gujarat CM Narendra Modi wrote “The proposed amendment Bill, which is intended to confer the powers of State Police Officers to Railway Protection Force (RPF) is unwarranted, violation of the constitutional spirit and blow to federal structure of India. It usurps power of the state legislature” and deals “a serious blow to the federal structure of the country”. Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa stated the amendment was ““another attempt by the Centre to take away the rights of the powers of states.” She observed that “public order and police are state subjects and proposing an amendment with regard to these is clearly an attempt to encroach upon the powers of the states.... It would be lethal to the federal structure of the nation.” Opposition to this amendment follows a similar conflict between state and central government on the issue of the creation of the National Counter-Terrorism Center.  

 

After NCTC, Narendra Modi Now Opposes RPF Amendment Bill (Daily News & Analysis)

Modi To PM: Changes In RPF Act Unwarranted (Indian Express)

Jayalalithaa Writes To PM Against RPF Amendment (Deccan Chronicle)

Jaya, Naveen Join Modi In Opposing RPF Amendments (Rediff News)

more
Former Directors:

Ranjit Sinha

Ranjit Sinha served as the Director General RPF from November 2008 until May 2011. Sinha is a 1974 batch Bihar cadre IPS officer. He holds a master’s degree from Patna University, an M. Phil from the Indian Institute of Public Administration, and Diploma in HR Management from Wollongong University.

 

He has previously served as the Additional Superintendent of Police at Ranchi and Superintendent of Police, Special Branch at Police Headquarters in Patna. He first came to central government as the Deputy Inspector General, Central Bureau of Investigation, Patna and later as the Joint Director (Anti-corruption) and Joint Director (Administration) in Delhi. He later joined the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) as Inspector General (Operations) and Inspector General (Personnel) at CRPF Directorate General. He was later promoted to be the Assistant Director General of ITBP. He became the Director General of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police in December 2012.

 

Official Biography

more

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Founded: 1953 (established as the Railway Security Force)
Annual Budget:
Employees: 65,000
Railway Protection Force
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