Special Correspondent

Force being modernised with weaponry, communication systems

NEW DELHI: Railway Minister Lalu Prasad on Wednesday announced recruitment of 24,000 Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel to firm up the security of railways and passengers.

He was speaking at the RPF anniversary-cum-investiture ceremony here.

Mr. Prasad exhorted RPF men to do their best to check crimes such as dacoity and face new challenges.

While lauding the service rendered by the RPF personnel, he said the Jagjiwan Ram RPF Academy would be provided with more facilities.

The force was being modernised with modern weaponry, communication systems and more personnel.

Mr. Prasad announced a reward of Rs.15 lakh for RPF personnel for their excellent performance.

Ministers of State for Railways Naranbhai J. Rathwa and R. Velu; Chairman of Railway Board J. P. Batra; Director General of RPF A. K. Suri and other senior officials were present.

Fall in crime rate

Mr. Suri said alertness on the part of the RPF personnel had resulted in reduction in crimes.

In all 1,627 children were rescued during the year and handed over to their parents/non-governmental organisations.

Coordination

The RPF was actively coordinating with the Government Railway Police and State Police in tackling crimes such as blasts on trains, especially in crowded places, protecting railway tracks and dealing with challenges from terrorists/extremists, he said.