NEW DELHI: The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is a unit that is continuously in the line of fire and this factor is taking a mental and physical toll on its force. In the last three years, the CRPF has lost over a 100 jawans to suicides, and 123 have been killed in the line of duty.
While the nation’s focus is on the attack that martyred 44 CRPF personnel in Pulwama, the statistics are alarming, and current DG Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar has been working on finding a solution to tackle this.
The CRPF is entrusted with leading the internal security duty. It is committed in the Counter Insurgency, Counter Terrorism, Left Wing Extremism (LWE). The poll duties, VIP protection, riot control are other additional duties.
An officer posted in Kashmir said, “The entire force of about 300,000 personnel remains on duty throughout. 35 battalions are committed in the Northeast states, about 70 are in J&K and around 80 are in LWE operations.”
The pressure of the job and the family takes its toll on the mental health of the jawans. “The force does not have the capacity to provide accommodation to the families and this adds to the stress,” said a CRPF officer.
While 85% of the force is operationally committed, the other 15% is deployed at places like Ayodhya, Kashi Viswanath, Parliament Duty, VIP duty, which demand administrative and other operational commitments.
The other reason that adds to the job stress is a string of ambiguous intelligence inputs that always forces the jawan to be on guard leading to mental saturation.
The Minister of State (Home) Kiren Rijiju in March 2018 says that since 2015 till January 2018, 8,725 personnel of CRPF took voluntary retirement and 1,895 resigned from the force.