NEW DELHI: DEPLOYED in Jammu and Kashmir, North East and Maoist areas, the CRPF — India’s largest paramilitary force — is being stretched to its limit.
The parliamentary panel on Home Affairs, headed by Congress leader Anand Sharma, has said “almost 98% of CRPF training companies remain deployed” and this affects its overall efficiency, besides denying troops much wanted training, rest and recuperation. The committee has also pointed out “constant increase in demand of CRPF deployment by the states and their over dependence on the force.”
CRPF is mandated to render some of the toughest internal security tasks like combating Maoists in 10 states, tackling terrorism in Jammu-Kashmir and insurgency in the North East. Besides being deployed on a permanent basis in these disturbed zones, the 2.7 lakh strong force is rushed to other states for maintaining law and order situations, election related duties, etc. At any given time, 61 CRPF battalions are deployed in J&K, while 114 battalions, including 9 battalions of its military unit Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) and 15 battalions of its specialized unit RAF are present in Maoist-hit states.
Except Sikkim, CRPF is deployed in the entire North East with 36 battalions there. One company in each battalion is supposed to be on training at any given time, but sources admitted that for more than a year now, the companies have hardly got any training. “The committee expresses its concern over the submission of MHA that even training companies are deployed to meet emergent requirements and other exigencies for law and order, election related duties. The committee wonders as to how new recruits including training reserves, without adequate/proper training, would be able to handle the emergent situations,” the panel said, asking MHA to issue directions to states to reduce overdependence of states on CRPF.