NEW DELHI: A voluminous CRPF memorandum to the Seventh Central Pay Commission says that “the satisfaction level of family accommodation in the CRPF is only 12.58 per cent which means that 88 per cent are not provided family accommodation by the government. Long separation from the family deprives the individual of a normal married life, which results in biological, emotional and psychological torture. Needless to say that this is leading to high number of family discords in the force.” It further adds that number of peace posting locations are available only to less than 20 per cent of the personnel since 80 per cent of the men have to be transferred from one operational theatre to another. During the last year alone, 1,160 companies moved from one place to another 1,268 times.
DEATH ZONE: The memorandum is an eye-opener and exposes the role of successive governments in adopting a step-motherly attitude towards the force, which has been facing the brunt of almost 90 per cent of conflicts in the country. As many as 596 men, including officers, have died in conflicts and 5,737 have been injured in the line of duty during the last 10 years. In a shocking revelation, the CRPF has told the government that 2,956 jawans have died in the last five years because of inhuman and poor living conditions. The force has attached photographs revealing the absolutely unliveable conditions of the CRPF camps. It has noted that “at most of the places of deployment, the jawans are made to live in sub-human conditions to such an extent that they have suffered 102 malarial deaths and 8,282 malaria cases during the last five years.” Of the total 1,544 deaths in the last five years, 207 jawans committed suicide and 614 died of heart attacks.
Seeking an immediate reform, the CRPF has bluntly told the government that candidates do not want to join the CRPF, which immediately needs 18,846 men to fill the vacant positions. The attrition is also high in Women Battalion of the force, and 516 personnel, including Women Officers, out of the total strength of 5,125 personnel quit the job. The number of personnel leaving the force for greener pastures is extremely high. Moreover, the widows or wards of CRPF personnel killed in action are flatly refused compassionate appointments.
“Different criterion for granting compensation for similar conditions is highly injudicious and discriminatory,” the document states.
Contending that armed forces personnel are given such privileges, the CRPF said unlike the Army they are fighting every day against enemies within the country, but are not given similar facilities by the government.
WOUNDED WITHOUT PAY: Shockingly, when jawans are injured in the line of duty, they are not treated as “on duty” while undergoing medical treatment and considered as “on leave without pay”. Many of them remain without pay for months as injuries sustained in blasts and ambushes take a very long time to recover. “This is highly demotivating and discourages the force’s personnel towards operational valour,” says the report, seeking reforms for such an unspeakable rule.
“The enemy’s bullet doesn’t differentiate between organisations and colours of uniform,” CRPF letter says, adding that the people committed to the national cause and ready to make supreme sacrifices should be equally honoured and compensated.
“The supreme sacrifice of life cannot be assigned different values,” it says, adding that the government must evolve a new formula to do justice to the paramilitary forces, in terms of improving living conditions, increase hardship allowances, provide family accommodation and various other perks, and packages they deserve.