Remedial measures against accidental firing by RPF/RPSF staff: Security Circular No. 02/2022
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
No. 2021/Sec (Cr)/Firing/45175
New Delhi, Dated: 02/02/2022
The Principal Chief Security Commissioners/RPF,
All Zonal Railways,
RPSF, ICF, KRCL, CORE, RDSO and all PU’s,
Director/JR RPF Academy/LKO, TC/MLY & KGP.
(SECURITY CIRCULAR NO- 02/2022)
Sub: Remedial measures against accidental firing by RPF/RPSF staff.
In the recent days, several incidents of accidental firing by RPF personnel have been reported across Indian Railways. Even though no fatality or major injury has been reported in these incidents. chances of fatalities/injuries cannot be ruled out if such incidents continue to recur with alarming regularity in future too. During the outcome of the Courts of Inquiry constituted in this regard, it was established that these incidents were mainly due to carelessness in handling fire arms. by RPF personnel, particularly at the time of tissue/deposit of Arms/Ammunition in Kote. There may be some incidents of accidental firing, attributable to lack of sufficient training, non-adherence to prescribed safety precautions, lack of supervision and lack of interest/mindfulness. Incidents also occur due to unprofessional handling of weapon by our staff. It is high time to focus on taking steps to avoid such incidents in future.
2. In view of the above guidelines/instructions in succeeding paragraphs are issued in addition to the safety instructions already available. All the members of the Force are instructed to follow them in letter and spirit to avoid any scope for occurrence of accidental firing. Negligence towards or non-compliance of these guidelines should be dealt with appropriate!) by the controlling and disciplinary authorities.
(i) A safety zone of 5ft length, 3ft depth and 3ft breadth should be constructed near armour, which should be filled with sand. Straight rubber tube/pipe should be used for further 2 safety. in which the barrel should be inserted while loading, unloading. In case of paucity of space. a plastic water tank filled with sand may be provided with rubber tube/pipe having bigger diameter than the barrel.
(ii) Readable Notice Boards/Posters of safety precautions and of drill for issue and deposit of weapons should be properly displayed in Armoury, Mess, Barracks, etc so that all persons can read and refresh their memory and skills in this regard. The same should also be read for the staff while mounting and dismounting once a week at the level of RPF Post and Out Post.
(iii) Suitable arrangements of CCTV recording should be made so that IPF can check if the drills & guidelines are followed or not by the staff near kote.
B. Drill after issue of Arms & Ammunitions:- :
This drill should be conducted with the command of party commander if Arms & Ammunitions are issued to a party. If A&A are issued to an individual, he should conduct the drill for himself.
(i) On issue of Arm & Ammunitions to a person, that person shall count and check the ammunitions to ensure that they are live and correct in caliber and number in the Kote itself in the presence of the issuing authority. He shall not check the weapon inside the 04 walls of Kote. :
(ii) After that he shall come out of the Kote and inspect his weapon, only from outside, to ensure that it’s outer parts are clean, intact and not damaged.
(iii) Then after he shall fill the rounds in the magazines as per the scale and keep them in his pouches.
(iv) Then after party commander takes his position and commands others to fall-in line with command “Toli Line Ban” or “Duty Party Fall-in Line”, obeying the command, all members of the party fall in the line on his left side in Baju Shastra position. Then he commands “Nirikshan Ke Liye Janch Shastra”. The members take the taught position of “Janch Shastra” and take/hold the recoil parts backwards by using HOC/hand so that the commander can inspect the inside of barrel from muzzle end. The commander gets his own weapon’s barrel inspected by the first member in line and then inspects others’ weapon’s barrel to ensure that it is clean and there is no round in the chamber. After the commander’s inspection of barrel, each individual shall check and ensure that his weapon’s inner visible parts like ejector, extractor and firing pin are in normal condition. Each member, then takes / allows to go the recoil parts forward. Then he goes to the Satety Sand Box, inserts the barrel in the Pipe as taught, operates the trigger takes the barrel out, puts the safety catch to “S”, goes to a safe place, loads one magazine in housing of his weapon and again ensures that the safety catch is put to “S” only. All members then disperse for duty.
Provided that, where there is no Safety Sand Box, after checking of inner visible parts by each member, the commander commands “Chalwale Purje Age Kar”. The party members obey the command, then direct the barrel 45° up towards safe direction in the sky, operate the trigger, put the safety catch on “S” and come to “Baju Shastra Position”. Then the commander commands “Ek Magazine Bhar”. The members obey the command by loading one magazine in the housing of their weapon and again ensure the safety catch is put on “S”. Then the commander commands “Duty Ke Liye Line Tod”. The members obey the command and disperse for duty.
C. Drill before deposit of Arms & Ammunitions:-
This drill should be conducted with the command of party commander if Arms & Ammunitions are to be deposited by a party. If A&A are to be deposited by an individual, he should conduct the drill for himself. H
(i) Once the armed party returns to deposit Arm & Ammunitions in the Kote, the party commander takes his position outside the Kote and commands the party to fall-in. With his command “Toli Line Ban”, Or “Duty Party Faill-In Line”, the members fall-in line in Baju Shastra position on his left side. The commander commands “Khada Morcha Le”. All members including the commander take their left leg 12” apart on left side and lift the Rifle up from the floor and keep it standing on right thigh, Then the commander commands “Utaar Magzine”. All members unload the magazines and put it in their respective pouches. The commander commands “Nirikshan Ke Liye Janch Shastra”. All members take the position of “Janch Shastra” and take/hold the recoil parts backwards by using HOC/hand so that the commander can inspect the inside of barrel from muzzle end. The commander gets his own weapon’s barrel inspected by the first member in line and then inspects others’ weapon’s barrel to ensure that it is clean and there is no round in the chamber. After the commander’s inspection of barrel, each individual shall check and ensure that his weapon’s inner visible parts like ejector, extractor and firing pin are in normal condition. He, then takes / allows to go the recoil parts forward. Then all go in queue turn by turn to the Safety Sand Box and each inserts the barrel in the Pipe as taught, operates the trigger, takes the barrel out and puts the safety catch to “S” position. All members then disperse to clean and deposit their A&A.
Provided that, where there is no Safety Sand Box, after checking of inner visible parts by each member, the commander commands “Chalwale Purje Age Kar”. The party members obey the command, then direct the barrel 45° up towards safe direction in the sky. operate the trigger, put the safety catch on “S” and come to “Baju Shastra Position”. Then there are dispersed by the commander to clean and deposit the A&A.
(ii) Thereafter, the weapon will be cleaned with dry cloth. Inside of the barrel will be cleaned with dry chindi and oiled with oil chindi before depositing. Oil will also be applied on the outside steel parts of the weapon. Thereafter every member shall unload the rounds from magazines, ensure rounds are correct, inspect his weapon. only from outside, to ensure that its outer parts are clean, intact and not damaged, enter into the Kote in a queue and deposit the A&A.
D. Do’s & Don’ts for Armed Man
(i) Always consider a weapon as loaded.
(ii) Make it a habit, not to put finger on the trigger unless it is required to fire or press the trigger to make the weapon safe.
(iii) Duty staff shall draw/deposit Arms &Ammunition properly from kote. only tor themselves.
(iv) Remove the magazine from housing before depositing the weapon in kote or before — keeping at any other place and keep it safe in pouch.
(v) Ensure keeping safety catch at “S” position while moving with a loaded weapon.
(vi) Before moving the loaded arms from one place to another, the Make Safe operation must be performed.
(vii) Usually the personal weapon remains with the personnel/concerned statt. However, when a weapon is issued after concerned staff reports back from leave, he ‘has to. inspect it (Nirikshan) and ensure that his weapon does not carry chambered round and the safety catch is on S position, immediately after drawing it from kote.
(viii) In case the staff is carrying chambered round in his weapon during operation duties, he needs to be careful and should ensure that the safety catch remains on safe mode. He needs to make his weapon safe on return from duty. In addition, identity of staff carrying chambered round should be known to the Coy/ Platoon/ section/ contingent/ commander/ Party IC.
(ix) While not on duty, weapons should he kept with safe Custody/Armed guard. Pistols issued to officers and men deployed even in disturbed areas should be deposited in the Kote during night and off duty hours except those issued on specific assignment.
(i) Do not point barrel towards anybody. Barrel should always be kept in safe direction. Unless there is provision of a safety zone, the barrel should be raised at 45 degree angle or above from the ground pointing towards the sky at the time of “Khalikar” operation.
(ii) No one shall clean the weapon in Lines/Barrack. It should be cleaned strictly on maintenance day or other day/time as notified by SO (Subordinate officer) at an earmarked place. Cleaning should always be done under personal supervision and guidance of SO. Individuals should not indulge themselves in weapon cleaning without supervision by SO.
(iii) Ensure keeping the weapons in kote or at a designated place only. Loaded weapons. should not be taken to living barrack/place unless specific orders are issued by competent authority.
(iv) Any user of the weapon should not play with or indulge in un-necessary fiddling with the weapon.
(v) Weapons should not be issued to or allowed to be handled by unauthorized, untrained personnel.
(vi) No weapon, especially the loaded one, should be dropped from hand by any personnel.
(vii) Weapon will always be carried by the RPF/RPSF staff receiving the weapon on issue from kote. It shall never be left unguarded/unattended.
(i) The SO or NCO working as In-Charge of the Kote, who is responsible for issue and deposit of Arms & Ammunitions and their safety should not be frequently changed. When changed, all minor details and healthy practices should be thoroughly passed on to the relieving officer. For that, enough time period should be permitted for handing over and taking over the charge.
(ii) All Arms & Ammunitions shall be issued and deposited in the kote under the supervision of a Subordinate Officer or Kote NCO, well versed with the handling of A&A.
(iii) If a person is found even under the mildest influence of intoxicant, the weapon shall not be issued to him and if already issued, must be withdrawn immediately.
(iv) While getting the weapon and rounds issued/deposited, the weapon should be properly unloaded as per prescribed drill with command of the Party Commander.
(v) At the time of issue/deposit of the weapons, the Party Commander shall, with proper word of Command, have them loaded/unloaded as a drill and only then, disperse personnel for their duty points/Barracks.
(vi) While mounting and dismounting of shifts of armed parties, all personnel shall be briefed, regarding proper handling and not fiddling with weapons, by the shift In-charge.
(vii) At Post/Unit/Coy level, the supervisory officer shall put emphasis on weapon handling, safe loading/unloading of Arms/Ammunitions and their proper upkeep.
(viii) SOs (Subordinate officers) and DOs (Duty Officers) during their rounds of checking Armed personnel shall ensure that the message of careful handling of weapon is imparted on regular basis to all such personnel working in their area/time of duty.
(ix) While escorting trains or during other duties with A/A, utmost caution should be exercised in handling arms, as unnecessary operation may result in accidental firing resulting in casualties.
(xx) There is a need for regular interaction between Inspector and the officers and staffs — under his command so that symptomatic problems, if any. are identified and remedial measures are taken immediately by him so as to prevent any mishandling of Arms & Ammunitions in future.
(xi) If a case of any accidental firing by RPF staff is reported, his immediate supervisor and the Unit-Incharges/IPF will also be held accountable for slack supervision, notwithstanding as to whether the IPF/Unit IC was on duty on the date of incident or otherwise, if he has not followed these guidelines in immediate past as per records.
(xii) ‘It shall be ensured that there is no ammunition in the chamber or magazine whenever any mock operational exercise/demonstration is under taken.
(xiii) Proper musketry practice may be conducted before Annual Range Classification (ARC), Range discipline of high degree must be maintained during ARC practice.
(xiv) The safety precautions for weapon handling may also be read out during Marker/Roll call at least once every week and during Suraksha Sammellan/Inspection.
(xv) The weapons should always be kept in perfect working condition This can be ensured only if regular periodical inspections are carried out by Unit Armourer.
(xvi) Inspection by Armourer at specified intervals must be ensured to check the working of Arms & Ammunitions.
(xvii) Arms declared unfit by armourer should immediately be removed from duty.
(xviii) All registers pertaining to A/A i.e. A-1, A-2, A-3 & A-4 should be maintained properly.
(xix) It is the duty of Divisional/Battalion Security Heads and other Gazetted officers under him/her to see how best they can tackle the problem and take effective measures to minimize accidents with the weapons. It hardly needs to be emphasized that the loss of a Force Personnel’s life merely due to careless handling of arms is not the type of death he/she deserves.
(xx) Divisional/Battalion Security Heads should ensure strict compliance of these guidelines and safety precautions. Incidents of negligent discharge of weapons, also known as accidental firing incident, should be dealt with strictly. In every proven case of negligent discharge of weapon, major punishment must be inflicted after following due process. They should counsel and create awareness in this regard among the staff and Subordinate Officers, through their various meetings like Suraksha Sammelan.
(xxi) Annual events/competition on weapon handling/proficiency may also be organized by appropriate Unit-In-Charges at Armoury levels to orient the troops for taking interest in safe & secure handling of weapons.
(xxii) These guidelines are not exhaustive and PCSCs may issue additional guidelines in furtherance to the objective of prevention of accidental firing by RPF/RPSF men
(i) Handling of specialized/sophisticated weapons must be done only by RPF/RPSF personnel trained for that weapon.
(ii) On the job training is the best way to update professional inputs and tactical knowledge, based on the latest trends in the operational scenario. For this, concerted effort may be made to refresh the professional competence of staff in firing and safe handling of weapons in different situations, under personal supervision of Post/Unit/Coy Commanders. Such regular training on weapon handling should be conducted at Jawan’s Headquarters. A record should be maintained by IPF about such training to members of the Force by name. Each member of the unit must undergo such on the job training once in three months.
(iii) An hour long session, one day per week, preferably in the morning may be earmarked for weapon handling practice at post/company/ division/ Battalion/zonal headquarter in addition to the weekly morning parade day. For example morning parades may be conducted on Monday mornings & weapon handling on Friday mornings.
(iv) Ensure conducting proper short term capsule courses in Units/institutions for newly introduced weapons.
(v) The Rules and regulations regarding Refresher Courses should be followed strictly. Constables & Head Constables must be sent for 01 month refresher course, once in every OS years to the Zonal Training Institutes by their IPF In-charges and Divisional Heads. Similarly, the SOs 1.e. ASI, SI & IPF must be sent for Refresher Course of 01 month in ZTI, once 1n 08 years by their IPF In-charges and the Divisional Head.
(vi) A Booklet on safety of Arms and Ammunition and precautionary measures to be taken should be circulated to all RPSF battalions and all Zonal Railways for distribution to all staff. CO/SA may get the booklet prepared with approval of PCSC/RPSE and circulate to Battalions/Zones.
Source: Railway Board PDF