NEW DELHI: As many as 100 personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have succumbed to COVID-19 with maximum casualties being reported from the CRPF, according to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). As on September 10, the seven central forces had together recorded 25,418 infections, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Responding to questions on the issue by Congress parliamentarian Anumala Revanth Reddy, Rai shared a breakup of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the forces as on September 10. The most affected in terms of cases as well as fatalities is the largest paramilitary force --Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) with 8270 cases and 35 deaths.
The second highest fatalities have been reported by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) which has lost 24 of its personnel to the coronavirus infection. CISF, which guards airports and vital installations across the country, has also recorded a total of 1312 positive cases.
Like CRPF, the Border Security Force (BSF) has also recorded over 8000 infections. Mandated to guard India-Pakistan and India Bangladesh borders, BSF has lost 23 soldiers to the coronavirus infection and the force has seen a total of 8083 COVID positive cases.
The third-highest number of infections among the forces has been reported by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police with 3067 COVID positive cases. The mountain trained force that guards the India-China border has lost seven personnel to the disease. The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), mandated to secure the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders has seen 2869 COVID-19 cases and six deaths.
Assam Rifles, tasked with the maintenance of law and order in the North East, has lost five soldiers to the infection. The oldest paramilitary force which also guards the Indo-Myanmar border in the North East has registered a total of 1605 cases of coronavirus. The specialized counter-terrorism force--National Security Guard has fortunately not recorded any COVID-19 death but has registered 1605 infections.
Reddy also asked the minister whether any special compensation was given to the family of CAPF personnel dying due to COVID-19.
In a written reply, Rai said, “Yes Sir. In addition to normal benefits available to a CAPF personnel on death, it has been decided to provide Rs. 15 lakh to Next of Kins through “Bharat Ke Veer” Funds, in case CAPF personnel dies due to Covid-19 infection contracted while deployed on Covid- 19 related duties”.