Jaya opposes amendment of RPF Act, writes to PM

Jayalalithaa asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to instruct Railway Ministry not to proceed with the move.

Chennai: Describing the proposal to amend
the Railway Protection Force (RPF) Act as "another attempt by
the Centre to take away the rights of the powers of states",
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Tuesday asked Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh to instruct Railway Ministry not to
proceed with the move.

"I, request you to issue suitable instructions to the
Ministry of Railways not to proceed with the proposed
amendment to the Railway Protection Act, 1957," she said in a
letter addressed to Singh.

The proposal was "yet another blatant attempt by the
government to usurp the powers of the states," she said,
adding, "public order and police are state subjects and
proposing an amendment with regard to these is clearly an
attempt to encroach upon the powers of the states.

"... It would be lethal to the federal structure of the
nation," she said.

Noting that the proposed amendment was seeking to provide
powers of a police officer to a RPF personnel, Jayalalithaa,
in her letter said, "... It is violative of the provisions of
the Indian Police Act - 1861."

The Government Railway Police (GRP) is "ill-conceived",
she said, adding the GRP serves as a `link between RPF and the
District Police`.

"In the absence of this wing (GRP), coordination between
RPF and the state police will suffer," she pointed out.

"The Government Railway Police deals with not only cases
of theft but also death on railway tracks. Transferring these
cases to the district police will place a heavy burden on the
district police. Further, the States will lose the funding now
given for the GRP...," Jayalalithaa said.

She warned that if the trend of making railway stations
and trains exclusive to RPF personnel, "a time may come when
the district police may be barred from entering Railway
Stations for making the arrest of accused wanted in local
police cases".


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