Passenger safety is GRP's duty, says RPF

Jan 18, 2013, 07:10 IST | Karishni Khanna

Statement was made in the affidavit submitted by RPF authorities in the HC yesterday in response to a PIL filed by an NGO asking about the steps taken for the safety of women commuters

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) on Thursday submitted an affidavit in the Bombay High Court, detailing the measures it has implemented to protect women passengers. In the affidavit, the RPF stated that it was the GRP’s responsibility to ensure passenger safety.

A female RPF personnel stands guard during peak hours at Parel station. File pic

In the affidavit, RPF Additional Chief Security Commissioner Atul Pathak mentioned: “The RPF is basically concerned with removing unauthorised hawkers and trespassers from platforms and bridges, and protectingrailway property and other places belonging to the railways... The key area of passenger security continues to be with the GRP.”

Currently, RPF personnel have been instructed to catch offenders and hand them over to the GRP. “Lodging of FIRs in respect to offences committed on railway premises including trains, and prosecution thereof, is the subject matter of the GRP,” he added.

It also mentioned that the railways made regular announcements at night, cautioning women from travelling in compartments lacking security personnel. The affidavit was filed in response to a PIL submitted by the Help Mumbai Foundation, an NGO focusing on the safety of women in the city. The NGO had submitted the PIL on December 5, 2012.

Pathak, who had prepared the affidavit on January 12, stated that the RPF has already provided separate compartments for women passengers, in both first and second class and its helpline number 1311 was widely publicised. Regular raids were conducted on anti-social elements, and 5,984 people were arrested and prosecuted by the RPF in 2012.

The Western Railway (WR) has also formed two teams to patrol trains between 9 pm and 6 am. The teams are in constant touch with the control room so mishaps can be reported right away. Besides, female constables and home guards are also on duty during peak hours and at night.

With the force seeking to fill 11,952 vacancies, of which 10 per cent are reserved for women, the recruitment process for RPF personnel is in progress. The written tests would be held in June-July. In addition, female RPF constables in plain clothes regularly patrol stations, and CCTVs have been placed at vital locations.

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