Nearly 60,000 Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) veterans in the state are now in a better position to claim benefits from the State Government with the Centre officially granting them the status of ‘Ex-Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) Personnel’.
The November 23 Union Ministry of Home Affairs order in this regard would aid the personnel who had retired from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
It is estimated that ex-service CAPF personnel number roughly around 7.5 lakh at the national level, of which Kerala accounts for 60,000.
It had been a long-standing grievance that they were not treated on par with the personnel of the Army, Navy and Air Force despite their service in some of the toughest terrains and meeting phenomenally stiff challenges.
“The Cabinet Committee on Security had approved the proposal of the Union Home Affairs Ministry to declare CAPF personnel from CRPF, BSF, CISF, ITBP and SSB as ‘Ex-Central Armed Police Force personnel’ (Ex-CAPF personnel). Based on such a designation, the State/UT Governments concerned may extend suitable benefits to them on the lines of the benefits extended by the State/UT Governments to the Ex-Servicemen of the Defence Forces,” said a memo issued by the Resettlement and Welfare Directorate wing of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
“This decision is indeed a big step for the CAPF veterans who spend their best years facing danger and then go home literally empty-handed,” said P S Nair, a former CRPF man and present general secretary of the AICPMF Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association.
“Unlike armed forces veterans who benefit from a large number of State Government schemes after retirement, CAPF veterans have to be content with just their pension,” he said.
“This decision will enable us to claim benefits including re-employment opportunities for men leaving the forces at a relatively early stage, academic reservation for our children for professional courses, medical facilities etc from the State Governments,” he said.
“Around 50,000 personnel retire from these forces every year at the national-level. The number of retired personnel is large. In Kerala, for instance, CRPF, the biggest of these forces, had started recruitment way back in 1956,” he said.