The Railway Protection Force (RPF) recovered narcotics worth Rs 40.58 crores and arrested 1,108 persons in three years, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw informed on Wednesday.
In a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Vaishnaw said that RPF has been empowered to arrest, search and seize under Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act, 1966, The Railways Act, 1989 (as amended in 2003), The RPF Act, 1957 and The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003.
Under the power conferred through these Acts, RPF conducts arrests and seizures and prosecutes offenders with an aim to control crime against passengers and railway property.
Between 2019 and 2021, the minister informed that 1,262 cases have been detected and 1,108 persons have been arrested by RPF.
Further, Vaishnaw said that the central government empowered RPF officers of the rank of Assistant Sub-Inspector and above, to exercise the powers and perform the duties within the areas of their respective jurisdiction and also authorised the said officers to exercise the powers conferred upon them under section 67 of the NDPS Act.
The narcotic drugs seized and suspects arrested by RPF under NDPS Act are handed over to the agencies empowered to register and investigate including Government Railway Police/local police/Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and State Excise etc.