New Delhi, Feb 13 (PTI) Waking up to the threat ofMaoists and terrorists, Railways is procuring 6,000 AK-47rifles besides critical accessories like bullet-proof jacketsand helmets for its security personnel to protect trains andstations.
"We are in the process of acquiring 6,000 fullyautomatic AK-47 assault rifles from Bulgaria. The payments hasbeen made to Ministry of Home Affairs for the purchase," asenior Railway Ministry official told PTI.
The AK-47 assault rifles along with bullet proofjackets, helmets and walkie-talkies would be provided tospecially trained RPF personnel manning luxury trains andsensitive stations.
Besides the Maoist problem, railways is also facing aserious threat of terror attacks on its luxury trains likePalace-on-Wheel, Deccan Queen, Maharaja Express which mostlycarry high-end customers, including foreigners.
"Since passengers of these luxury trains are mostlyforeigners, any untoward incident involving them would attractworld attention. So, we have made a standard operatingprocedure with state governments to protect these trains," theofficial said.
RPF personnel deployed in Maoist-affected areas andalso in militancy-prone areas like Jammu and Kashmir andNorth-East will also be equipped with AK-47s.
The procurement of such large number of AK-47s willnot only boost the morale but also enhance effectiveness andfire-power of the RPF personnel, the official said.
The government is procuring more than 20,000 AK-47rifles for central paramilitary forces including RPF, BSF andCRPF. The procurement is being done through a global tenderingprocess.
"The pre-delivery inspection team has gone to Bulgariafor the purchase," said the official.
Railways is also acquiring CCTV systems, door-framemetal detectors, baggage screening system and hand-held metaldetectors for 200 stations as part of its integrated securitysystem.
"Security is also being strengthened at sensitivestations," the official said.