Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday called upon the Railway Protection Force (RPF) to shun highhandedness and to discharge their duties with a human touch.
Speaking at the Investiture Parade of the RPF, Ms. Banerjee expressed her concern over repeated complaints of passengers being thrown out of running trains by the RPF personnel and asked them to act with greater tack and understanding.
The Railway Minister hoped that the RPF personnel would stop torturing passengers at least keeping in mind that it brought a bad name to the railways. If there were problems, there are several ways to tackle them without having to use brutal force.
She asked them to be sensitive to the needs of the travelling public particularly the elderly and women while seeking to protect railway property and the safety and security of passengers while rendering a service to the nation.
In order to promote civility and good manners in the rank and file of the RPF, Ms. Banerjee announced to reward those providing service with a smile. The Minister of Railway Award will be an annual decoration for the RPF personnel.
Stating that law and order was a State subject, Ms. Banerjee underlined the limitations of the RPF in intervening in a number of matters and appealed for greater coordination with the GRP and the State police as security issues now carried a national connotation.
Apart from calling upon the railway administration to take proper care of the RPF staff, Ms. Banerjee also announced to recruit 5000 more personnel to strengthen the security network across the country. She announced creation of a female commando unit and to follow it up with the necessary recruitment.
Minister of State for Railways K. H. Muniyappa, who inspected the parade, called for improvement in the working of the force to dispel apprehensions in the minds of the passengers.
RPF DGP Ranjit Sinha announced setting up of a commando training institute at Canning in West Bengal and said that the FBI had chosen six RPF personnel to impart training in anti-naxalite operations. They along with six from the Home Ministry will be part of the 12 member team which the FBI will train at its own cost.