Is the CRPF overburdened?

India Sep 30, 2021

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Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is a Paramilitary Force which operates under the Ministry of Home Affairs and is responsible for maintaining law and order, counter insurgency, anti militancy and anti naxal operation against left wing extremists.

Under its responsibility is also the safety of places of importance as well as security of VIPs,

Apart from the above, CRPF companies have also been deployed across the country for maintaining the law and order situation from time to time on short notice as well as on long term basis.

Naxalite is the general designation given to several Maoist-oriented and militant insurgent and separatist groups that have operated intermittently in India, they mainly consist  of the poorest and socially marginalized group of people. They use Guerrilla warfare and jungle warfare as the means to bring instability to the region.

To carry out all the duties, It requires a robust leadership. This topic has made the news after the Sukma Bijapur attack on 3 April 2021  which led to the  loss of 22 lives of CRPF jawans.

It was said to be an operational and intelligence failure as security personnel were caught off guard as they suddenly came under indiscriminate fire from three formations of the naxals at Jonaguda village.

CRPF being the largest paramilitary force, to ensure the tasks bestowed upon it are carried out unhindered, it requires effective command  and high morale for the troops operating in such areas.

While the reality is quite saddening, according to a report submitted to The Rajya Sabha in 2018.

17 of 19 posts, i.e., approximately 90 percent of the posts at DIG level are lying vacant in CRPF, as these posts are reserved for the IPS officers, and there is the paucity of IPS officers opting for this deputation.

Training is an indispensable part of a police force to maintain efficiency, but no CRPF battalion as of now are purposed for rest and recuperation. Moreover, almost 98 percent of training companies remain deployed on various short term Law & Order assignments across the country.

There is a scope for a lot of improvement in the organisation that works in such stressful conditions and provides selfless service to the country.

Some solutions to the above mentioned problems could be.

Reducing the number of IPS officers on deputation because of limitedness rather the post can be handled by eligible officers from CRPF Cadre. It'll boost up morale in the forces.

A battalion can be raised for the particular task of rest and recuperation as of now, but the state government needs to train state police forces for handling adversity to reduce the load on CRPF.

A Battalion 241 is also being raised which will be composed of tribals and locals from the naxal affected region, with the objective of fighting the Naxal menace in the region and providing employment to the Schedule Tribes of the area thereby preventing them from joining naxals.

CRPF personnel, with vast and Rich experience and expertise in internal security operations, should be sent on deputation to The state police, especially in dealing with grave issues of militancy and extremism.

Overall these problems are very serious, as data suggests a total of 20684 personnel took voluntary retirement VRS from year 2011 to 2017.

This vacuum of leadership in the organisation is at the cost of the productivity and synergy of forces . These problems need to be acknowledged and worked upon to avoid such incidents in future.

This article has been written by Rutam Pimplapure for The Paradigm

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