The Railway Protection Force will have its own commando force to counter threats from militants and Naxals, a top RPF official has said.
The proposed commando force would be deployed in states like Jammu and Kashmir, North-East region and Naxal-hit areas, RPF Director General Ranjit Sinha told journalists in Tiruchirappalli on Saturday evening.
"The Railways, of late, had become the soft target of the Naxals in Orissa and Chhattisgarh. This is one of the reasons why we are raising the commando force," he said, participating in the 81st passing out parade of RPF and Railway Protection Special Force (RPSF) at the RPF training centre in Tiruchirappalli .
The commando personnel would be trained at the Central Reserve Police Force Training Centre at Silchar. Services of the Army and the Commando force of Andhra Pradesh would also be utilised for training the new force.
He said the Centre had been requested to provide AK-47 rifles and bulletproof jackets to all RPSF personnel.
Security at 140 railway stations was being beefed up under an integrated scheme and government had allocated a special fund of Rs 350 crore this year for the purpose, Sinha said.
Sophisticated security equipment, including luggage scanner and CCTVs, would be provided to the force and a bomb detection and disposal squad would also be part of it.
He said an RPF proposal for recruiting 22,000 constables to meet the security requirements in view of the increasing number of trains was pending with the Centre.