Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)

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History of CRPF

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is the premier central police force of the Union of India for internal security. Originally constituted as the Crown Representative Police in 1939, it is one of the oldest Central para military forces (now termed as Central Armed Police Force). CRPF was raised as a sequel to the political unrest and the agitations in the then princely States of India following the Madras Resolution of the All-India Congress Committee in 1936 and the ever-growing desire of the Crown Representative to help the vast majority of the native States to preserve law and order as a part of the imperial policy.

After Independence, the force was renamed as Central Reserve Police Force by an Act of Parliament on December 28, 1949. This Act constituted CRPF as an armed force of the Union. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the then Home Minister, visualised a multi-dimensional role for it in tune with the changing needs of a newly independent nation.

The force played a significant role during the amalgamation of the princely States into the Indian Union. It helped the Union Government in disciplining the rebellious princely States of Junagarh and the small principality of Kathiawar in Gujarat which had declined to join the Indian Union.

Soon after Independence, contingents of the CRPF were sent on Kutch, Rajasthan and Sindh borders to check infiltration and trans-border crimes. They were, subsequently, deployed on the Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir following attacks launched by the Pakistani infiltrators. The CRPF bore the brunt of the first Chinese attack on India at Hot Springs (Ladakh) on October 21, 1959. A small CRPF patrol was ambushed by the Chinese in which ten of its men made their supreme sacrifice for the country. Their martyrdom on October 21 is remembered throughout the country as the Police Commemoration Day every year.

During the Chinese aggression of 1962, the Force once again assisted the Indian Army in Arunachal Pradesh. Eight CRPF personnel were killed in action. In 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars also the Force fought shoulder-to-shoulder with the Indian Army, both on the Western and Eastern borders.

For the first time in the history of para-military Forces in India, thirteen companies of CRPF including a detachment of women were airlifted to join the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka to fight the militant caders. Besides, CRPF personnel were also sent to Haiti, Namibia, Somalia and Maldives to deal with law and order situation there, as a part of the UN Peace Keeping Force.

In the late seventies, when the extremist elements disturbed peace in Tripura and Manipur, CRPF battalions were deployed in strength. Simultaneously, there was a turmoil in the Brahmaputra Valley. The CRPF had to be inducted in strength not only to maintain law and order but also to keep lines of communication free from disruption. The commitments of the Force continue to be very high in the North-East in dealing with the insurgency.

Role

The Central Reserve Police Force came into existence as Crown Representative’s Police on 27th July 1939. It became the Central Reserve Police Force on enactment of the CRPF Act on 28th December 1949.

The Force has grown into a big organization with 243 Bns, (including 210 executive Bns, 6 Mahila Bns, 15 RAF Bns, 10 CoBRA Bns, 5 Signal Bns and 1 Special Duty Group, 1 Parliament Duty Group).

It is All India in character, both in deployment and in its composition. Due to its unique capability to quickly adapt to various situational requirements, and also, to work in perfect harmony with the State Police, CRPF has, over the years, acquired the distinction of being perhaps the most acceptable Force, by the people and the State administrations.

Broad gamut of duties performed by the CRPF are:

  • Crowd control
  • Riot control
  • Counter Millitancy / Insurgency operations.
  • Dealing with Left Wing Extremism
  • Overall co-ordination of large scale security arrangement specially with regard to elections in disturbed areas.
  • Protection of VIPs and vital installations.
  • Checking environmental de-gradation and protection of local Flora and Fauna
  • Fighting aggression during War time
  • Participating in UN Peace Keeping Mission
  • Rescue and Relief operations at the time of Natural Calamities.

Besides Law and Order and counter insurgency duties, the role of CRPF in the General Elections, held repeatedly during the past few years, has been very significant and vital. This is especially true for the trouble torn States of J&K, Bihar and States of NorthEast. During the Parliamentary elections & State Assembly Election , the CRPF played a major role in the security arrangements.

One of the vital roles of the CRPF, which is not very evident, is guarding vital Central Govt. installations such as Airport, Powerhouses, Bridges, Doordarshan Kendras, All India Radio Stations, residence of Governers and Chief Ministers, Nationalised Banksand other Government establishments in insurgency affected States. The CRPF is ensuring the safety of the Democratic Institutions, and preventing the take over of civil society by the militants, in these highly disturbed areas. This contribution of theCRPF, though not very visible, is nonetheless very vital.

7.5% of the Force is deployed for the security of VIPs mostly in North-Eastern States, J&K, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh which include Governors, Chief Ministers, Ministers, MsP and MsLA of J&K, Assam,Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland, Tripura and Mizoram. CRPF is also providing security (Static guard) at the residence/office of Prime Minister of India, various Union Ministers and MsP and other dignitaries.

17.5% of the Force is deputed for guarding the important installations of Central and State Govts mostly in insurgency affected areas which includes Secretariats, Doordarshan Kendras, Telephone exchanges, Banks, Hydroelectric projects, Jails etc. CRPF is also deployed for the security of Parliament House.

10 Coys of CRPF are deployed for the security of three sensitive shrines i.e. Krishna Janma Bhoomi, Shahi Idgah Masjidcomplex (Mathura), Ram Janma Bhoomi- Barbi Masjid complex (Ayodhya) and Kashi Vishwanath Temple- Gyanvapi Mosque(Varanasi). 4 Coys of the Force are deputed for the security of Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, Katra, Jammu (J&K).

Security Activities

Central Reserve Police Force is the largest Central Armed Police Force of India and has a glorified past and an eventful present.The history is replete with innumerable “SAGAs OF BRAVERY” which act as inspirational and guiding principles to this force. Since its inception in 1939, it has travelled a long way from providing assistance during the merger of small Princely States into Indian Union and handling of the Partition Riots. Today it is fighting a full scale guerrilla war in the Maoist affected zones. CRPFhas over the years fought some tough battles and stood along with the Army during war. Ten brave soldiers of CRPF achieved martyrdom when Chinese troops intruded into Indian Territory and attacked its patrol at Hot springs (Laddakh) on 21 Oct, 1959.Two CRPF companies deployed at Sardar Post in Kutch repulsed an attack of a brigade of Pakistan Army on 9th April 1965. The battle of Sardar Post is revered as the best battle ever fought in the history of Police forces. In the internal security front it foiled Parliament attack on 13 December, 2001 and Ayodhya attack on 27th July 2005.

CRPF also played a pivotal role in curbing militancy in Punjab during 1980s and insurgency in Tripura during 1990s. In 2001, onthe recommendation of group of Ministers, CRPF was designated as the premier internal security force of the country. Today,more than one third of the force is deployed in left wing extremist affected areas to control left-wing extremism. CRPF’scontributed vastly in wiping out the naxalism from West Bengal and from Kaimur and Rohtas areas of Bihar. The naxals were flushed out from Saranda forest area of Jharkhand which was a major base area for them. Despite scattered deployment, CRPF neutralized top maoist leader Kishanji in 2011 and made major forays into so called liberated naxal areas like Saranda ( in 2011),Maad (in 2012), Cut-off area (in 2012), Burha Pahad (in 2012), Silger & Pedia (in 2013).

CRPF also undertook rescue and relief operations during various natural calamities like Orissa Super Cyclone (1999), Gujarat Earthquake (2001), Tsunami (2004) and J&K Earthquake (2005). CRPF has proved it’s mettle during various overseas UNdeployments like Srilanka (1987), Haiti (1995), Kosovo (2000) & Liberia (Women Contingent) (2007) also.

Till date, 1997 brave soldiers of CRPF have made supreme sacrifice of their lives in the service of the Nation. For display inoperational valour it has been decorated 01 George Cross, 03 King’s PMG, 01 Ashok Chakra, 01 Kirti Chakra, 01 Vir Chakra, 12Shaurya Chakras,1 Padma Shree, 49 PPFSMG, 185 PPMG, 1028 PMG, 5 IPMG, 4 Vishist Seva Medal, 1 Yudh Seva Medal, 5Sena Medal, 91 PM’s Police Medal for Life Saving and 2 Jeevan Raksha Padak.

In last five years CRPF has neutralized 715 militants/naxals, apprehended 10626, forced the surrender of 1994, recovered 5176arms, 162743 number of assorted ammunitions, 54394 kgs of explosives, 2917 grenades, 2298 bombs, 56 rockets, 2063 IEDs,31653 detonators, 4084 gelatin sticks, 13850 kgs of narcotics and over 10 crores of cash.

Role During Elections

  • Central Reserve Police Force is the agency, the government heavily banks upon to ensure free and fair elections : be it the Parliamentary or the Assembly Elections around the country. CRPF continues to discharge this onerous responsibility with a great sense of pride and commitment.
  • Co-ordinates with Ministry of Home Affairs, Election Commission of India, Railway Board and other CAPFs/SAPs/BWHGs/IRBns.
  • Co-ordinates with poll going States by constituting “State Level Co-ordination Group”.
  • Coordinates movement and deployment of troops deputed for election duties by setting up dedicated 24×7 control room at ForceHQ and at poll going state.
  • Security profiling of the state going to poll.
  • Planning deployment of troops according to sensitivity of the area/ booth in consultation with State authority.
  • Generating/ issuing unique ID to all forces so that the local authorities of poll going states shall comfortably deploy the troops inclose quarters so that the troops commander can have proper command and control.
  • Pre-induction training to the troops deployed for election duties in which the troops are trained according to the security profiling ofthe state.

Special Roles

RAF

RAF stands for “Rapid Action Force”. A specialized force, It was raised in Oct 1992 with 10 Bn’s which has now been increased to 15 Bn’s as 5 more units have been added w.e.f 01/01/2018. These units were set up to deal with riots and riot like situations, to instill confidence amongst all sections of the society and also, handle internal security duty.

RAF is a zero response force which gets to the crisis situation within a minimal time, thus enthuses an immediate sense of security and confidence amongst the general public.

This force also has the credit for having a separate flag signifying peace and was proud recipient of president’s color presented to it by SH L.K. Advani, then Deputy Prime Minister Of India on 7th Oct. 2003 for its selfless service to the nation in the 11th year of coming into existence.
RAF trained male and female contingents for UN peace keeping mission to different countries (i.e. Haiti, Kosovo, Liberia, etc) every year, continue to earn accolades and excellence in international forum for their highest order of professionalism.

This specialized force has 15 battalions which are numbered 99 to 108 and 83, 91, 97, 114, 194.It is headed by an officer of the rank of Inspector general.

The smallest functional unit in the force is a ‘Team’ commanded by an inspector, has three components namely riot control element, tear smoke element and fire element. It has been organised as an independent striking unit.

One team in a company of RAF is comprised of women personnel so as to deal more effectively with situation where the force forces women demonstrators.

Mahila Battalions

CRPF is the only Para Military Force in the Country which have 06 Mahila (Ladies) Battalions. After its training in March 1987, 88(M) Bn won laurels for its work assisting the Meerut riots and later with the IPKF in Srilanka. Personnel of second Mahila battalion (135 Bn) performed creditably during the Lok Sabha elections 1996 in many states. At present mahila personnel are deployed in active duty in Jammu & Kashmir, Ayodhya, Manipur, Assam and other parts of the country where they are doing commendable job. In addition each RAF battalion has a Mahila (Ladies) component consisting of 96 personnel.

With increasing participation of women in politics, agitation and crime, policemen have been feeling handicapped in handling women agitations especially because even a small, real or alleged misdemeanour on their part in dealing with any matter related to women has the potential of turning into a serious law & order problem. To cope with such eventualities the first Mahila Bn in CRPF, the 88(M) Bn was created in 1986 with HQR in Delhi. The successful experiment of the 88 (Mahila) Bn and the ever increasing requirement of a Mahila component in dealing with emerging law and order situation as well as the Government emphasis to empower the women Department had taken a of raising the second and third Mahila Bn i.e the 135 (M) Bn with HQR at Gandhinagar (Gujarat) in 1995 and the 213 Bn with HQR at Nagpur(Maharastra) in 2011.

Further to augment above concept a new CRPF Mahila Bn. i.e. the 232(M) Bn is also being raised at Ajmer 2014-15. 02 more Mahila Bns were raised during 2015-16 & 2016-17 respectively.

The Mahila Bn. celebrated it’s Silver Jubilee this year. H.E. The President of India, Smt. Pratibha D. Patil took salute of the parade. Smt. Meira Kumar, Hon’ble Speaker of Lok Sabha honoured the achievers of the unit which included Padamsri Ms. Kunja Rani Devi and the gallantry medalists. Sh. Kapil Sibal, Hon’ble Minister for Communications released “First Day Cover”. A Coffee Table Book was also released by Shri P. Chidambaram, Hon’ble Home Minister. Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson NAC presented a trophy to the 88 ( Mahila ) Battalion.

CoBRA

The Govt. of India had accorded approval for setting up the Commando Battalions for Resolute Action (CoBRA) for guerrilla/jungle warfare type operations for dealing with extremists and insurgents, etc. vide MHA U.O. NO. 16011/5/200-PF.IV dated 12/09/2008.
The Govt. accorded sanction of raising of 10 unattached battalions of CoBRA in CRPF, with a Sector Headquarter for these battalions headed by an Inspector General. The raising schedule is given below :-

  • 2008-09 : 02 (two) Bns and Sector Hqrs, CoBRA
  • 2009-10 : 04 (four) Battalions.
  • 2010-11 : 04 (four) Battalions.

The CoBRA Sector started functioning at Dte. Genl., CRPF, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi under the Command of Shri K. Durga Prasad,IPS, IG, CoBRA Sector. Later, in March 2009, the Sector HQ shifted to Pushp Vihar, New Delhi and since 11/11/2009 it has been functioning at Old Secretariat, Civil Lines Delhi-54.

Source here.

For Wikipedia entry on CRPF, click here.

For more articles in Policepedia, click here.

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