Patna: RPF Director General Arun Kumar on Saturday said he has advised officials not to fight with squatters during a rail-roko agitation, but register cases against them to get them debarred from contesting polls.
The move would work as a deterrent for people indulging in such protests, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) chief said. "I have asked RPF officials to book people under section 174 of the Railways Act for indulging in rail-roko. If anyone is convicted under this Act, he or she cannot contest elections," Kumar told reporters here.
One violates section 174 of the Railways Act, 1989 if he or she obstructs or attempts to obstruct any train by squatting or picketing, or by tampering with railway equipment. The offence is punishable with imprisonment for a maximum term of two years, or with fine, or with both.
Section 8 in The Representation of the People Act, 1951, says a person convicted of any offence and sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two years would be disqualified from contesting elections.
"I have asked officials not to fight with protesting people who indulge in rail-roko. Rather, make a video or take a photo of such incidents and register cases against them and ensure conviction as it would debar them from contesting elections," Kumar said.
"Conviction under the provisions of IPC is a bit difficult one but under the Railway Act, one has to produce video/photo as evidence to ensure conviction of the accused," the top RPF official said.
People in the western region especially in Mumbai have understood to a large extent the consequences of rail-roko or damaging railway properties during such agitations, he said. Kumar, who took over as RPF DG on September 30, was here to hold discussions with various security agencies of the East Central Railway (ECR), headquartered at Hajipur in Bihar.
He also announced the schedule for holding online examination to fill up 8619 posts of constables and 1120 posts of sub-inspectors in RPF and Railway Protection Special Force (RPSF).
The examination will be conducted zone-wise in the six zones across the country, he said, adding that the first examination would start from December 19 for group E-- North Frontier Railway followed by the other five zones.
He said it was for the first time that applications were invited online and the exam too was being conducted online across the country. Kumar said over 500 touts were arrested and 10 crore tickets, including used ones, were seized during a raid conducted on November 2 across the country by the RPF. RPF also recovered narcotics/contraband items and liquor worth Rs 9.13 crore besides arresting 62 persons in this regard in ECR zone, he said.