RPF to get additional 24,000 personnel: Lalu
New Delhi, Nov 22 (UNI) Railway Minister Lalu Prasad today announced recruitment of additional 24000 personnel for the Railway Protection Force (RPF) to gear up its strength further and also promised to modernise the Force by equipping it with the latest weaponry.
Mr Prasad made this announcement at the RPF Anniversary-cum-Investiture ceremony at the RPSF Parade Grounds here, where he was the chief guest.
Emphasising on the importance of quality training of the RPF personnel, the minister said the Jagjiwan Ram RPF Academy would be provided with more facilities for training. On the occasion, he also announced a reward of Rs 15 lakh for the RPF personnel for their excellent performance.
Ministers of State for Railways Naranbhai J. Rathwa and R. Velu, Railway Board Chairman J. P. Batra, RPF Director General RPF A. K.
Suri and other senior officials were also present on the occasion.
Addressing the gathering at the Investiture Ceremony, Mr. Prasad exhorted the RPF personnel to do their best to protect the lives and properties of railway passengers and innovate new methods to face the new challenges.
Applauding the RPF for living up to the expectations of railway passengers, he said the RPF was being modernised and laced with modern weaponry, modern communication systems and more personnel.
Mr Prasad had a word of praise for the Force personnel on their excellent performance and devotion to duty, which had resulted in better protection and comfort for railway passengers.
''I am glad to know that RPF is escorting 1392 trains every day and 3600 jawans have been deployed as part of strengthening the Access Control System at 696 railway stations, to prevent criminal activities,'' he said and exhorted them to do their best to stop crimes like dacoity and offences against women passengers.
Ms Jaya Singh Chauhan, Chief Security Officer, North-Eastern Railway, became the first lady officer in the history of RPF to receive the Police Medal for Meritorious Service.
Late Binay Kumar Rai was awarded the Police Medal for Gallantry for 2005 which was received by his widow.
In all, 8 RPF personnel were awarded with Police Medals for Gallantry for the years 2005 and 2006. A total of 47 RPF personnel were awarded Police Medals for Meritorious Service.
The Railway Minister's Medal for Bravery were bagged by Cons B Dhesi and Cons Rishi Raj. The Railway Minister's Medal for Best Investigation was bagged by J Sastry, ASC, S N Joshi, IPF and P C C Kasar, IPF.
Earlier, delivering the welcome address, RPF Director General A K Suri informed that action was taken, under various provisions of the Railway Act, against more than 10 lakh people during the current year, which yielded a record Rs.38 crore as fine.
''Constant action and alertness on the part of the RPF personnel has resulted in reduction in number of crimes and passengers are now more confident,'' he said, pointiong out that 1,627 children were rescued during the year and handed over to their parents or NGOs.
Mr Suri said the RPF is actively coordinating with the Government Railway Police (GRP) and State Police in tackling crimes like blasts on trains, protecting railway tracks, besides dealing with challenges from terrorists and extremists.
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