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Railways may take a relook at firearms policy for RPF | India News


MUMBAI: The carnage on the Jaipur-Mumbai superfast train that left four dead may force a rethink on the policy on equipping RPF personnel with firearms in such large numbers during train escort duty.

A total of four personnel were deployed in the train escort team and AK-47 rifles were allocated to two constables, including the accused, Chetan Singh who fired 12 rounds of bullets. Assistant sub-inspector Tikaram Meena, among the four victims, and constable Narendra Parmar were in possession of revolvers with 10 rounds of bullets each. A Government Railway Police (GRP) official said, “This incident has shaken the railways. They said they will examine the policy of allowing firearms in large numbers.”
The GRP official said, “Usually heavy deployment is required on routes prone to attacks by Naxalites in the ‘red zone’ or stretches infamous for dacoity. Most trains that operate to and from Mumbai via Western Railway and Central Railway, though, pass through relatively safe routes,” the official added.

The decision to procure AK-47 in large numbers was taken in 2008. A railway official said, “The sight of security personnel with advanced weapons acts as a deterrence. It is a defensive ploy and should not be discarded.” In Mumbai, the plan to get AK-47 rifles was first thought of after the 26/11 attacks but got stuck in a limbo due to lack of enough rifles with the Army. Paramilitary forces generally get such weapons used by the Army. RPF’s armoury strengthened in 2011 after it was decided 15% of the head constables and 10% constables in the more than 60,000 strong force will be equipped with AK-47.


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