RPF not empowered to investigate cases of human trafficking: Railway Minister Vaishnaw

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New Delhi, Feb 8 (PTI) The Railway Protection Force (RPF) is not empowered to investigate human trafficking and whenever such cases are detected, they are reported to the police, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has informed the Lok Sabha.


Vaishnaw said this in a written reply on Wednesday while responding to questions raised by Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar, who wanted to know the role played by the RPF in preventing human trafficking.

The minister said state governments are responsible for the prevention, detection, registration and investigation of crime and the maintenance of law and order on railway premises through their law enforcement agencies such as the Government Railway Police (GRP) or the district police.

“Railway Protection Force (RPF) supplements the efforts of the GRP or the district police to provide better protection and security to railway property, passenger area and passengers and for matters connected therewith,” he said.


“RPF is not empowered to investigate cases of human trafficking and whenever any case of suspected human trafficking is detected by RPF, the same is reported to the GRP or the district police. The persons rescued and apprehended are handed over to concerned police for further necessary action as per law,” Vaishnaw added.

According to the minister, a pan-India drive, ‘Operation AAHT’, is undertaken by the RPF to take effective action in cases of human trafficking through railways.

To strengthen the action against human trafficking, more than 750 Anti-Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs) have been set up by the RPF.


“Also, field formations of RPF have been sensitised to act proactively involving all the stakeholders to prevent any type of human trafficking through railways, particularly from the vulnerable districts of the country bordering Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar,” Vaishnaw said.

Regarding the RPF’s preparedness to check the digital footprint of human trafficking, the minister informed the Lower House of Parliament that the force has established 16 zonal cyber cells.

“A TOPARC Unit (TECH OPERATIONS FOR POTENT ACTION AGAINST RAILWAY CRIME) at the Railway Board was also established in the year 2022. The specialised unit is dedicated to monitoring, supervising and supporting field units on actionable inputs…,” Vaishnaw said.

“Additionally access to the National Database of Human Traffickers of the National Crime Records Bureau through the Inter-operable Criminal Justice System has been provided to the RPF for collecting intelligence relating to suspicious activities of human traffickers,” he added. PTI JP JP IJT IJT