Tag Archives: Government Railway Police (GRP)

Bibek Debroy: Policing the railways

I was at an ATM the other day. In the adjacent parking lot, I noticed a thief run off with a woman’s purse. I requested the security guard, “Chase that man and arrest him.” The guard shrugged and said he couldn’t because he wasn’t a policeman.

This is a story I concocted to grab your attention. However, few people outside legal circles know that in many common law jurisdictions, there are provisions for citizens to arrest individuals. That’s true of our Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) too. Section 43(1) states, “Any private person may arrest or cause to be arrested by any person who in his presence commits a non-bailable and cognisable offence, or any proclaimed offender, and, without unnecessary delay, shall make over or cause to be made over any person so arrested to a police officer, or, in the absence of a police officer, take such a person or cause him to be taken into custody to the nearest police station.”

Contrary to what some people think, RPF doesn’t stand for Railway Police Force – it is the Railway Protection Force. There is a railway police force too – it is the Government Railway Police (GRP). It is part of the state police. Law and order and policing on railways, including on trains, is the responsibility of the GRP.

The RPF was never meant to be a police force, not in the strict sense. A force doesn’t become ‘police’ unless it is ‘enrolled’ under the Police Act (1861). The RPF isn’t that, even if it is headed by someone from the Indian Police Service and even though it is an ‘armed force’ of the Union.

The history of the RPF and the evolution of police functions on railways depend on the timeline, the vintage. What was true of 1861 wasn’t true of 1921 (when a committee was set up). To state it simply, chowkidars employed in private railways metamorphosed into a watch and ward system. In 1953, this watch and ward system became the Railway Security Force, with virtually no police powers. In 1955, this force got some teeth because of the Railway Stores (Unlawful Possession) Act, but only if you were found to be in unlawful possession of railway property. Finally, in 1957, we got the RPF, but it could only investigate and prosecute for unlawful possession of railway property and also had related powers of search and arrest. There is a Railways Act of 1989, which has an entire chapter on offences against the Indian Railways (IR). Some are more serious offences than the others. Section 179(1) says, “If any person commits any offence mentioned in sections… (more serious offences), he may be arrested without warrant or other written authority by any railway servant or police officer not below the rank of a head constable.”

First, under the CrPC, anyone has the right to perform the arrest of a citizen – nothing special about the RPF. Second, there is nothing special about the RPF for Section 179(1) of the Railways Act either. Under this, a “railway servant means any person employed by the central government or by a railway administration in connection with the service of a railway”. Therefore, if the IR decides that a travelling ticket examiner should have such rights, the Railways Act authorises the IR to do this. Notice that Section 179 gives powers to arrest for cognisable offences, while Section 180 does that for non-cognisable offences. Hence, non-RPF staff (engineers, supervisors) also have the power to lodge FIRs with the GRP. Third, law and order is a state subject. States decide who possesses the powers of criminal investigation (and even lodging FIRs), regardless of amendments to the Railways Act and the RPF Act granting greater powers to the RPF. The present status quo, with multiplicity across the RPF, GRP and state (district) police, is unsatisfactory and I counted 19 committees that have recommended unification.

Scrap the RPF. Scrap the GRP. Merge the two. Recommendations across committees are assorted. The IR wants the RPF and even to increase its strength from the present 75,000. (The GRP strength is 37,500.) State governments won’t grant the RPF more powers. We are in a bind. For the GRP, the IR contributes 50 per cent of the cost, the rest is borne by the state governments. As long as we are in the bind, the GRP remains the real ‘police’. Hence, as an instance, when a new line is constructed, one needs to budget for the additional GRP (provide for 50 per cent) and do assorted stuff such as provide for their housing. With a focus on the RPF, the IR won’t do that. The GRP is neglected and the RPF has no powers. Today, among mail/express trains, around 1,300 are escorted by the RPF and around 2,200 by the GRP. As a passenger, before you expect the man with the gun on the train to do something against an offence, find out whether he is with the RPF or the GRP. By the way, on an average, it costs Rs 24 per train km to get trains protected by the RPF. For the Western Zone, the figure is as high as Rs 62. One reason for this high figure is that RPF personnel are not exclusively stationed on trains, platforms, yards and production units. Without success, I have tried to find out how many of the 75,000 are in core railway areas and how many have non-core duties. This break-up may be the reason why the RPF is favoured by the IR.
The writer is a member of the National Institution for Transforming India Aayog. The views are personal

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Posted by on November 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


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LIC Presents the Cheque of Rs.2000 crore as the First Tranche of Funding Assistance to Railways

Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), a PSU of Government of India presented the cheque of Rs.2000 crore to Railway PSU Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) as the first tranche of funding assistance to Railways for its projects. This handing over of cheque was done today i.e. 27.10.2015 at an impressive function at Rail Bhawan in the presence of Ministry of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu. The cheque was handed over by Shri S.B. Mainak, MD/LIC to Shri Rajiv Dutt, MD/IRFC. On this occasion, Chairman Railway Board Shri A.K. Mital, Financial Commissioner (Railways) & Chairman, IRFC Shri S. Mookerjee; and other Board Members & other Railway and LIC officials were among those present.

It may be recalled that just within fifteen days of presenting the Railway Budget 2015-16, an important commitment of Budget announcement was fulfilled on 11.03.2015 when Railways and LIC signed an MoU for the highest ever funding of Rs. 1.5 lakh crore from LIC to Railways.

Addressing the gathering, Minister for Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, pointed out that finding resources for investment in capacity enhancement projects was a major challenge for Railways. Without investment, it would not be possible to decongest the network, increase traffic output and generate adequate internal resources. He said that without the fresh investment, the Railways would have gone further down and down and it would not have succeeded in breaking the vicious cycle. The Railway budget 2015-16 had, therefore, envisaged a new source of funds in the form of Institutional Finance. It was a big achievement that within a few days of presenting the budget, the Ministry of Railways signed a Memorandum of Understanding with LIC for funding assistance of Rs.1.5 lakh crore for financing Railway projects over a period of 5 years.

As LIC funding will be of 30 year tenor, it matches the Railways’ requirement of long term funds for investment in projects. LIC funds will carry low interest rates tied to Government security, and the cost of funds are expected to come down further over a period of time. Shri Suresh Prabhakar said that an important beginning has been made today with the release of first cheque of LIC funds. It is now for the Railways to match up to the challenge of utilizing the funds in a productive and appropriate manner for realizing maximum benefit. He said that these funds will not only meet the requirement for the new railway projects but will also be utilised for those ongoing projects which will bring quick benefit to the railway system. He said that this arrangement of funds from LIC will be beneficial for both the organizations. Referring to Railway PSU IRFC, Shri Suresh Prabhu said that IRFC has now emerged as an important vehicle for channelizing investment for Railways.

In his speech, MD/LIC Shri Mainak described it as a Golden Day as LIC has found a partner in the Indian Railways which is a viable and sound organization for investing the long term funds available with LIC. MD/LIC offered continued support for Railway projects in future.

The LIC funds are available to the Railways at a rate of 30 bps over the 10-year benchmark yield. The tenor is 30 years with a moratorium of 5 years followed by payment of only interest from year 6 to year 10. From the 11th to the 30th year the loan will be repaid in equated instalments.

Advisor Finance, Railway Board, Shri P.V. Vaidialingam proposed the Vote of Thanks at the end of the programme. Ms. Namita Mehrotra, Executive Director Finance (Resource Mobilization) Railway Board, conducted the proceedings of the programme.

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Posted by on October 27, 2015 in Uncategorized


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LIC develops bond worth Rs 2,000 crore with Indian Railways

Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) will hand over a cheque of Rs 2,000 crore to Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC), the first tranche of its financial assistance, tomorrow for investment in capacity augmentation projects.

Railways had signed an MoU with LIC in March this year for financial assistance of Rs 1.5 lakh crore over the next five years for implementing railway projects.

IRFC will issue bonds to be subscribed by LIC for the purpose, said a senior railway ministry official.

Though the financial assistance is available from the current fiscal, there would be a five-year moratorium on interest and loan repayment.

The official said that Rs 2,000 crore LIC fund will be utilised for laying new lines to decongest busiest rail corridors.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will be the chief guest at the function to mark the handing over of the first cheque of Rs 2,000 crore by LIC to IRFC towards financial assistance to Railways as per the MoU.

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Posted by on October 26, 2015 in Uncategorized


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RPF’s TRAP to Prevent Crime on Suburban Trains And Stations

After a couple of on-train robberies near Korukkupet and Meenambakkam station, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) has decided to set up a special robbery detection unit titled Train Robbery Avoidance Party (TRAP), a couple of weeks ago.

Consisting of four plain-clothes RPF and Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel per team, TRAP teams will be patrolling the stations on the theft-prone suburban train stretch between Guindy-Guduvanchery on the Chennai Egmore-Tambaram-Chengalpattu section from 9 pm to 6 am. This is the period when anti-social elements in dark corners of railway stations are active, officials said.


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Posted by on August 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Mystery woman keeps Railway Station clean in Maddur

A woman who speaks to no one keeps the railway station here spic-and-span.

When the 65-year-old speaks at all, it is to herself, and in Marathi. That has earned her the moniker of ‘Marathi Amma’.

For 15 years, she has swept and scrubbed the platforms clean, working from dawn to dusk.

Her day begins at 4 am. After a bath in a nearby canal, she starts cleaning the three platforms.

“She plunges into the job headlong and keeps at it till she is satisfied, sometimes all through the day,” says

M Nagaraj, a Government Railway Police (GRP) constable. She also clears the shrubs along the tracks and carries the waste in the fold of her sari before dumping it in the trash can.

Marathi Amma does all the hard work without expecting anything in return. “She does not ask anyone for money or food or anything at all,” says Maileshaiah, one of Maddur’s four station masters.

Railway staff and policemen offer her `5 or `10 once in a while, and she accepts it quietly. Her only other compensation is that the railway staff hand her some wheat or rice that spills during unloading. Maddur is a key point for the grain trade.

“The station definitely needs her. She does 90 per cent of the cleaning here,” says Maileshaiah.

Two other cleaners work on contract, but Marathi Amma is considered the most important worker around.

H S Raghupathy, station master at Maddur from 2010 to 2013, used to give her a minimum of `50 a day from his pocket.

“Whenever there is a crowd, Amma gets agitated and behaves irrationally, sometimes pelting stones,” says Maniyaiah, another station master.

Some of the railway staff refer to her as ‘mental’.

But she has won many hearts. “I’ve seen her here from the metre gauge days,” says Nagaraj, a canteen employee.

The Bengaluru-Mysuru line that runs through Maddur was laid in 1882. The conversion from metre to broad gauge was budgeted in 1978 and completed in 1992.

Marathi Amma’s immediate family is well placed, according to Maniyaiah. “They came by car one day to take her along, but she refused to go with them,” he said.

The lean-built Marathi Amma chooses to be by herself and does not show any interest in communicating with anyone.

On the rare occasions that she speaks with others or talks aloud, no one understands her language.

Attempts by this reporter to draw her into a conversation went in vain.

Her only outing is to a shop some distance from the station, where she buys milk, tea and betel leaves by just pointing at them.

At night, she sleeps on Platform 1 outside the police post. If it rains, she moves to Platform 2 or 3, which are covered. GRP cops, who usually shoo away people loitering at the station, respect her. “If anyone is a nuisance, we drive them out. She is really useful around here,” a policeman said.

Marathi Amma is dignified and self-respecting. “She will not take money or food from strangers but only from those she knows for years,” the policeman said.

Her belongings, comprising a few clothes and odds and ends, are all placed in a corner on Platform 1. She has built a tiny shelter with plastic sheets outside the station, which she zealously guards. It only has space to sit. She cooks her food outside the shelter, using firewood.

Marathi Amma was handed over to government-run homes twice, but returned to the station. Now, no one wants her to leave.

– See more at:

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Posted by on May 9, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Now, lodge e-report of missing item on moving train

Passengers don’t need to go to a railway police station to lodge an FIR about missing items in Uttar Pradesh anymore.

They can register their complaint of missing items on moving train, thanks to a dedicated web portal and a multi-interface app. The app, which was on a trial basis since January, will now be fully functional.

ADG (Railways) S Javeed Ahamd, “A mobile and web-based app, called UPP Lost Article Report App will now help train passengers to report about any article lost while travelling across the state of Uttar Pradesh.”

“Loss of nearly 40 items such as PAN card, voter ID card, credit card, wallet, laptop, phone, mark sheet and other items can now be reported through the app,” he said,

The app, available on Android and iOS, can also be downloaded from the official website of the UP police for free.

To use the app, one has to register oneself to log in. Following this, one will receive an OTP (one-time password). If you have lost a wallet and it had your voter ID card, PAN card, credit card etc, then you don’ t need to file multiple complaints as the app provides several lost categories while filing the report.

Speaking about the workings of the new system, government railway police (GRP) said the information of the lost item would then be registered in a database belonging to the State Crimes Record Bureau, based in Lucknow. A digitally signed lost article report would then be generated and sent to the complainant’s mobile phone and email-id. This would be useful for the authority issuing the duplicate document because they insist on having a police report of the lost item.

GRP officials also said they were working to upgrade the existing app. “The modified app will be able to show status updates of the case,” the officials said.


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Posted by on March 26, 2015 in Uncategorized


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An app to help passengers on board trains get help in emergencies

The Government Railway Police (GRP) has introduced an Android Application called ‘GRP Help App’ for the benefit of the train passengers.

The application will enable train passengers to seek any emergency help, report crime, pass on information regarding suspicious movement of persons or objects, and also provide feedback to GRP across the country ,  on just a click of a button.

On receipt of a message or complaint, the GRP will reach the passenger at the next GRP Police Station or Outpost, record a first information report (FIR), commence investigation and alert Government Railway Police at various stations.

 This application can be downloaded free of cost from the Google Play Store and installed in the passengers’ mobiles.

A press release of Salem Railway Division issued here on Wednesday urged the travelling public to make use of this facility and help Indian Railways to ensure safe and problem-free journey.

This application can be downloaded free of cost from the Google Play Store and installed in the passengers’ mobiles.

The Hindu

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Posted by on March 14, 2015 in Uncategorized


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