Mumbai: RPF to distribute manual among staffers on how to use weapons safely

These, among other things, form part of a two-page booklet on weapon safety and maintenance which will be given to RPF cops; it will also have instructions on how to prevent guns from jamming

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has decided to distribute a manual among its staffers so that they can maintain their weapons and ensure their own safety as well as that of others.

RPF cops stand guard at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.  File pic for representation
RPF cops stand guard at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.  File pic for representation

RPF has prepared a two-page manual on ‘how to safely manage weapons’, which will soon go into print and be distributed to its staff police officials in the Mumbai division. The initiative was taken by Alok Bohra, the outgoing senior divisional security commissioner, who prepared the 29-point booklet.

“This will soon be distributed to our staff,” he told mid-day. Some of these points mention where the barrel of the rifle should point, how to keep the weapon when not in use, what to do when the gun doesn’t fire on the trigger press and how to periodically clean and oil its parts.

Preventing misfires
The manual also asks the user not to fiddle with the weapon and always consider it loaded; it also instructs them to unload the magazine while exchanging the rifles, use appropriate weapons and lists the positions in which the carbine rifle should be kept while standing on the platform or travelling in trains.

According to RPF sources, there have cases in the past where weapons have been mistakenly fired. More worryingly, however, are the incidents like during the 26/11 terror attacks when guns didn’t work despite the cop pulling the trigger. In such a situation, it is of paramount importance that the weapons are maintained and in working condition.

The officers said their staffers needed to read the manuals regularly and follow them, since the weapons are not put to use regularly. While officials claimed that their staffers are given sufficient training on how to use weapons, the manual will serve as a refresher course.

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