7 Feb 2014

CRPF – A Multi-Pronged, Multi-Tasking, Versatile Force

Central Reserve Police Force
Central Reserve Police Force, the largest Paramilitary of the world, has come of age and has matured into a multi-pronged, multi-tasking, versatile Force, fighting with varied adversaries. Adaptability has been a keyword for CRPF, which has come across many intricate and complicated forms of internal security issues threatening the largest democracy. 
Ever since its birth, in 1939 as Crown Representative Police, to deal with hooligans like criminal and dacoits, it is constantly at task with increased demands. Over the decades, it has shown its prowess in challenging the enemy on its home-turf. May it be the tough terrain of Left Wing Extremism Area, treacherous terrain of North-East, the diehard Militants of Punjab or extremists flourishing in J & K. CRPF has stood the test of time. Apart from exchanging bullets with militants, CRPF had been instrumental in maintaining law and order during General Elections, Amarnath Yatra, J & K agitation, Kandhmal and …….the list is unending. During any national calamity, CRPF remains one of the first responders.
            Today CRPF is fighting in three areas of conflict, i.e., North-East insurgency, J & K militants and Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas. Of the three, LWE affected area is the one which has in recent years grabbed the attention, in terms of intensity of conflict. The so called Maoists are throwing a serious challenge not just due to the number of atrocities committed by them but also due to the pace and space it is expanding. The constant operations and presence of CRPF in the Maoist affected area resulted in sharp decline of human casualties and recovery of huge illegal weapons and stores. Pathbreaking success was scored by CRPF and CoBRA commandos (the elite special forces of CRPF) on 24th November, 2011 in a meticulously planned operation. CRPF, on one hand, took tough stand on naxals and launched major offensive operations, it simultaneously worked for the betterment of society by undertaking Civic Action Programme. 
It is conducting Civic Action Programmes, which are basically support programmes for the lowest strata of society and students, even in the impenetrable areas, where the local administration is yet to make a foray. These programmes have thus acted as a bridge between the administration and local populace, in those areas and the district administration gets a first hand account of the problems being faced by the local population. Though the present thrust is on Left-Wing affected areas, but the problems of J & K and North-East have also not been put on backburner. Constant vigil and eye on anti-national elements is kept and offensive operations are launched, whenever required.
Training and Morale constitute the backbone of any uniformed force. In view of the latest operational scenario, every jawan has to be self-contained, light weight, having night vision capabilities, possessing precision weaponry, able to handle sophisticated weapon and high tech radio equipment, proficient in GPS and map reading and expert in Jungle Craft and Survival, which is the need of the Force. The training syllabi of the Force has been revamped to meet the specific need of the Force, keeping in view the multifarious duties it performs.
One minute drills of various types such as uniform drill, strengthening drills, weapons drills, vehicle drills, reflex drills, operational drill, survival drill, night drill and sports drill etc. have been introduced. Strenuous Heli-slithering exercise aimed for Confidence training, has been started. A  week long jungle survival training, in addition to the one already existing, has been introduced to train the officers and men to conceptualize real time situations, based on “train as you fight and fight as you train” basis. Counter Insurgency and Anti Terrorism ( CIAT ) Course at Silchar ( Assam) or Shivpuri (M.P.), has been made compulsory for Officers after their basic training. This prepares them for effective leadership in LWE areas. Baffle ranges (50mtrs. To 200 mtrs.) have been created at 13 different locations. Dynamic targets in these give a feel of a real time field like situation. 
A Pool of Trainers is created by introduction of “Training of Trainers” course to maintain a steady flow of trainers. Mentoring for trainers has been introduced for building correct attitude and bringing necessary attitudinal change to develop positive attitude for preparation of outstanding instructors. Buddy System has been introduced to enhance operational efficiency and also effective welfare of personnel.
             To enhance and sharpen the operational capabilities of the Force, with an eye on its diverse roles, skill-specific Specialized Schools have been set up across the country. Intelligence School at Kadarpur, Gurgaon will train the personnel in the crucial skill of intelligence gathering; ToT (Training of Trainers) School, at Dharampur, Himachal Pradesh will ensure a steady supply of high-quality trainers for the Force. To counter the menace of IEDs, an Indian Institute of IED Management ( IIIM ) has been established at Pune. Since the thrust of the Force at present, is on Naxal dominated areas, a National Institute of Jungle Warfare  is being established at Belgaum, Karnataka.  
To ensure unbridled delivery of sumptuous food to jawans, a College of Cooking and Catering Management, Taralu, Karnataka has been established. A College of Information & Technology has been set up at Bangalore, Karnataka. To keep the  fervor of communal harmony intact, a RAF Training School is being set up at Meerut shortly. In addition to above, a “Dog Breeding and Training School” has been set up at Taralu, Bangalore. These schools will considerably enhance the strike capability of the Force.
A giant leap towards the welfare of personnel has been taken with the Cabinet Committee on Security approving the proposal of MHA to declare retired Central Armed Police Force personnel as “Ex-Central Armed Police Force Personnel” and the State/UT governments have been requested to extend suitable benefits to them on the lines of benefits extended by the State/UT Governments to the Ex-Servicemen of Defence Forces.
The Ministry of Railways has approved attachment of extra coach in 7 trains, of sectors in North-East, J & K, Central and Southern region, on regular basis, for CAPF personnel serving in these regions, for a period of one year.
It is said “Knowledge is Power, Ideas Rule the world”. CRPF provides educational assistance to its personnel for providing good education to the wards of its personnel. Two state-of-the-Art schools viz. CRPF Public School Rohini and CRPF Public School, Dwarka have been established in Delhi to provide quality education to students. Rankwise Percentage of Scholarship to meritorious children of personnel has also been increased and in the case of Followers/deceased/disabled/single girl child, only passing marks are required for earning a scholarship.
Risk Fund benefits to families of deceased have been substantially enhanced, with a portion of the sum to be awarded to the parents of the deceased. Owing to a increased number of injured personnel in various operations, the invalidation benefits have been increased from two to four fold with varying degree of invalidation. The immediate financial assistance to the next of kin of deceased,  towards funeral charges, has also been increased from Rs. 10,000/- to Rs.15,000/-.
CRPF is living up to its motto of “Service & Loyalty”, with worthwhile contribution to the unhindered progress of the nation.

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