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RPF teams to escort about 5000 trains


New Delhi, Dec 10 (PTI) Bolstering rail security, Railway Protection Force escort teams will soon be deployed in 5000 trains and their personnel equipped with mobile phones to remain connected with passengers.

Though about 11,000 trains run daily, only 1300 are escorted by RPF escort teams.

“Our aim is to cover as many as 5000 trains by RPF escorting teams,” said RPF Director General Krishna Choudhary here today after inaugurating a three-day sensitisation programme for escorting personnel.

“There are about 11,000 trains running daily of which only a few selected trains are being provided security escort service. Currently, about 1300 trains are being escorted by RPF while GRP is involved in escorting 2200 trains.

“We are in the process of recruiting 16,500 RPF personnel by April and we are hoping to cover more trains to be escorted thereafter,” Chaudhury said.

Generally four to six personnel are deployed for escorting a train barring Naxal and other sensitive areas where about 20 RPF personnel are involved in the job.

Each escort party will be given mobile phone and that phone number will be made known to the passengers of that particular train.

As the escort party should be accessible, passengers would be provided mobile phones of the personnel.

Railways is in discussion with mobile service operators to have a special series of number for this purpose.

“We want a special series of number which will also include the number of that particular number,” Chaudhury said.

The DG also suggested that the escort team should be led by a Sub-Inspector rank officer as against the current practice of being led by a head constable.

He also noted that the security helpline launched for passengers have got good response.

The training programme aims to sensitise escorting personnel on their behaviour towards women passengers, knowledge of modus operandi of various criminals and identification of troubled spots en route.

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