मुंबई Mumbai: To deal with terror alerts, the Railway Protection Force of Central Railway has formed a specialized unit of 30 Commandos, the focus of which will be largely on CST and other important Terminals, which witnessed the biggest attack by terrorists in the country from Pakistan on 26/11. The RPF’s 67-member canine squad will supplement the unit as and when required.
“The idea came up nearly three years ago. We started recruiting for the commando unit way back in 2011 but things did not fall in place till recently. Now we have 16 personnel inducted at that time and 14 fresh recruits and additional 120 RPF personnel,” said a top RPF officer.
The Commando Unit has been stationed at Mulund from where the personnel will be dispatched wherever terror inputs are received. The Commando Unit will also equipped with HAL’s indigenously developed Dhruv Helicopters owned by Navy and Army whenever required within minutes. “We received an input from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) on Saturday about a possible terror strike on Dadar station. Immediately, the commandos were sent to the station and they were deployed for most part of the day. But as Dadar records a large footfall in peak hours, other RPF and GRP personnel were asked to assist the commandos in carrying out checks,” said the officer. On days when there are no terror inputs, the commandos will be deployed in two-hour shifts at nodal stations during peak hours.
The commando personnel are armed with AK-47 rifles and the department has already made a demand for more sophisticated arms. “The members of the commando unit are in their late 20s or early 30s. Physical fitness is being given a priority,” said the RPF officer. The men were trained at the RPF training centre at Chinkhill in Nashik. In fact, some of them were sent back for a refresher’s course on Sunday.
CR will also get six more dogs to their 67-member canine squad. “The canines are being trained at the Border Security Force (BSF)’s national level training centre and will join us in September. Five of them are being taught how to detect narcotics, while one is being trained in sniffing out combustibles,” said the officer.