Railway Protection Force
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The Railway Protection Force (RPF) is a security force of India entrusted with protecting railway passengers, passenger area and railway property of the Indian Railways .This is the only central armed police force (CAPF) which has the power to arrest, investigate and prosecute criminals. The force is under the authority of Ministry of Railways (India). The strength of RPF is about 65,000. As on 1.1.2014, sanctioned strength of Group 'A' officers in RPF is 441 including 127 officers recruited through Civil Services Examination of UPSC. RPF is headed by the Director General (DG).Mr Dharmendra Kumar was appointed as DG, RPF on 21/08/2017 He succeeded S K Bhagat, who superannuated on 20 February 2016. Since superannuation of Mr R.R. Verma, senior most RPF officer viz. Mr P.S. Rawal had been looking after the duties of DG.
- Carry on an unrelenting fight against criminals in protecting railway passengers, passenger area and railway property.
- Facilitate passenger-travel and security by removing all anti-social elements from trains, railway premises and passenger area.
- Remain vigilant to prevent trafficking in women and children and take appropriate action to rehabilitate destitute children found in Railway areas.
- Co-operate with other departments of the Railways in improving the efficiency and image of the Indian Railways.
- Act as a bridge between the Government Railway Police/local police and the Railway administration.
- Adopt proactively all modern technology, best human rights practices, management techniques and special measures for protection of female and elderly passengers and children, in the pursuit of these objectives.
The origin of this force was 'Watch & Ward' and functioned under the administrative control of railway administration. Later on this force was renamed as Railway Protection Force and its members were provided with the power of arrest without warrant for the unlawful possession of railway property. The term railway property included only the properties owned by the railway administration. In due course of time, the definition for the term Railway Property was extended and it included the properties owned by, or in the charge of or entrusted with the railways. The offenders are booked under the Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act 1966 which is shortly known as RP(UP) Act 1966. Now the Railway Protection Force has a separate administrative system and functions under the general supervision of the Railway Administration.
Evolution of the RPF
The maintenance and security of Railways, the vital artery of national communication and economic progress has been a major concern of the Government of India that goes back to the times when the Railway commenced their operations in India in 1854. Since railways have a linear territory traversing inter-state lines, a foolproof security system has been hard to provide. Nevertheless, the genesis of such an endeavor can be traced back to 1854 when East Indian Railways employed certain staff designated as ‘Police’ to denote its own force by enacting the Police Act, 1861 and deployed a contingent for the security of the railway with the owner companies bearing their upkeep. The Railway Companies exercised full control over the Police Force.
On the recommendation of Railway Police Committee, 1872, Railway Police was organized into ‘Govt. Police’ (The precursor of GRP) for Law enforcement and ‘Company Police’ (The precursor of RPF) for Watch and Ward duties in Railways. The actual separation of duties came into effect in 1881. By 1882, as a result of formal division of the Police Force deployed on the railways into “Government Police” and “Private (Companies) Police”, the Railway Companies directly assumed the responsibility of protection and Security of their property as well as of the goods entrusted to them by public for carriage. For this, they appointed “Chowkidars” for various departments and placed them under control of their local departmental heads. With an increase in commercial traffic and consequential steep rise in the incidence of theft of goods entrusted to railways for carriage, the “Chowkidar” system was reorganized after the first World War onto Watch & Ward organization under a single superior officer designated as Superintendent, Watch & Ward – a system which continued up to 1954.Thus the Railway Police Administration functioned under three different systems viz the district system, as a part of District Police; the provincial system, for each province and the Railway Administration system, separate Railway Police for each Railway Administration in spite of recommendations of Indian Police commission, 1902-03. The provincial system found acceptance on recommendation of Railway Police Committee, 1921 and the present GRP came into existence. The ‘Company Police’ evolved into present RPF in 1957 passing through "Watch and Ward" phase from 1872-1954, and as "Railway Security Force" from 1954-1956. RPF was also given limited legal powers under Railway Stores (Unlawful Possession) Act.
Thus, for a full 100 years, the Force though being used for providing security to the vital artery of national communication and economic progress did not itself have any legislative status. Therefore, the Govt. instituted a special enquiry through Director, Intelligence Bureau (Ministry of Home Affairs) who in his report in 1954 forcefully brought out the necessity of organising the Watch & Ward on a statutory basis. The Railway Board also appointed a Security Adviser to the Railway Board in July, 1953 to work out the details for the reorganisation of the Watch & Ward department. It was decided in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs that there should be an integrated well organised force on the model of the Police with adequate supervisory staff specially trained to meet the particular aspects of crime that were relevant to Railway property and to work in close collaboration and act as a second line to the States Police with whom, under the Constitution, policing on Railways rested. This led to the R.P.F. Bill for the better protection and security. It was only on 29 August 1957 that a Railway Protection Force Act was enacted by the Parliament and Railway Security Force was renamed as Railway Protection Force. The RPF Rules were made on 10 September 1959 and RPF Regulations wee formulated in 1966.In the meantime in 1962 “Special Emergency Force” has been raised from the existing strength of RPF during Chinese Aggression, which was especially entrusted the task to protect trains in border districts. In 1965 it has been renamed as “Railway Protection Special Force” (RPSF). In 1966 RPF has been given legal powers for better protection of Railway property by enacting Railway Property (Unlawful Possession.) Act.
But, while the provisions of RPF Act were soon found wanting for the maintenance of an effective and disciplined Force, the RPF Rules and Regulations too were found judicially unsound. The RPF Act, 1957 was accordingly modified by Parliament vide Act No.60 of 1985 on 20 September 1985 for the constitution and maintenance of the Force as an armed force of the Union. For carrying out the purposes of the Act, RPF Rules 1987 was framed.
Pay structure (gazetted officers)
|Grade||RPF Position||Salary (monthly)||Equivalent Position or Designation in the Government of India (GOI)|
|Above Super Time Scale (Apex Scale)||Director General of Police||₹80,000 (fixed) plus grade pay-Nil||Director (GOI), Director General (GOI), Secretary (R) Cabinet Secretariat (GOI), Director General in CAPFs. Lieutenant-General (army commander, three-star rank).|
|Above Super Time Scale (HAG)(Pay-Band-4)||Additional Director General (ADG)||₹77,000-₹89,000 plus grade pay of ₹15,000||Additional Director General of Police, Commissioner of Police (City), Special or Additional Director (GOI), Special or Additional Secretary (R) Cabinet Secretariat (GOI), ADG in CAPFs. Lieutenant-General (three-star rank).|
|Super Time Scale (Senior Administrative Grade)(Pay-Band-4)(IG after 5 years of service as DIG)||Chief Security Commissioner (CSC)
Inspector-General (IG), RPSF
|₹43,400-₹77,000 plus grade pay of ₹12,000||Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police (City), Joint Secretary if empaneled as such (R) Cabinet Secretariat (GOI), IG of CAPFs. Major-General (two-star rank).|
|Super Time Scale (DIG/Conservator Grade)(Pay-Band-4)(DIG after 5 years of service as Sr. DSC/Sr. Commandant RPSF)||Additional Chief Security Commissioner (ACSC)
Deputy Inspector-General (DIG), RPSF
|₹43,400-₹77,000 plus grade pay of ₹9900||Deputy Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police (City), Director (R) Cabinet Secretariat (GOI), DIG in CAPFs. Brigadier (one-star rank).|
|Selection Grade(Pay-Band-4)(After 8 years of service as DSC/Commandant RPSF)||Deputy Chief Security Commissioner (DCSC)
Sr. Security Commissioner, Sr. Divisional Security Commissioner (Division)
Sr. Commandant RPSF
|43,400-INR77,000 plus grade Pay of ₹9700+||Senior Superintendent of Police, Director (R) Cabinet Secretariat (GOI), Commandants of CAPFs. Colonel.|
|Senior Time Scale (Pay-Band-3)(After 5 years of service in cadre)||Divisional Security Commissioner (Division)
Security Commissioner RPF
|₹19,600-₹49,100 plus grade pay of ₹8600||Additional Superintendent of Police, Deputy Commandants of CAPFs. Major (pay grade).|
|Junior Time Scale(Pay-Band-3)||Assistant Security Commissioner (ASC)
Assistant Commandant RPSF/Adjutant
|₹19,600-₹49,100 plus grade pay of ₹7400||Deputy Superintendent of Police, Circle Officer, Senior Field Officer (R) Cabinet Secretariat. Lieutenant (pay grade).|
- DOPT letter number23/03/2013-EO(SM-1) dated 29.04.2016
- "Service Profile for Group "A" Officers in Railway Protection Force" (PDF). RPF. Retrieved 2 August 2015.