False Glory

Discussion in 'Internal Security' started by ALBY, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. ALBY

    ALBY Elite Member Elite Member

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    The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is one of India’s largest paramilitary forces, operating in all zones of conflict—in Jammu & Kashmir, in Naxal-affected states, and in the Northeast. Often, many CRPF soldiers are from such areas themselves. They take on a big risk by joining the force, given the threats their families sometimes have to face from insurgent groups. In the recent suicide attack on a CRPF camp in Kashmir Valley, one of the five slain soldiers belonged to a Naxal-affected part of Jharkhand. Likewise, many men who come from J&K serve with the CRPF in Naxal-affected regions.

    Under an unwritten policy of such forces, those who brave adverse circumstances to sign up and serve their country are encouraged so that they feel proud of their decision. But on the ground, sadly, things are far from ideal. More often than not, those serving at the lower rungs are frustrated because of low salaries, pathetic working conditions and the apathy of senior officers.

    What follows is a sordid tale from the Naxal belt of Bihar where a senior CRPF officer, a senior Indian Police Service officer and an inspector connived to get themselves nominated for the prestigious President’s Police Medal for Gallantry (PPMG), while sidelining two brave soldiers from J&K. There is clear evidence to suggest that the senior IPS officer and the inspector were not even present at the site of the operation for which their names were recommended for the medal. And the person blowing their lid is a young officer of the CRPF itself.

    On the night of 1 January 2012, Charlie Company of the 205 Battalion of Cobra, the anti-Naxal wing of the CRPF, received specific information on the presence of a Naxal squad in a jungle under Chutia Police Station of Bihar’s Rohtas district. Immediately, two teams of the force under the command of Deputy Commandant TN Singh swung into action. At about 2 am, the Cobra team of over two dozen men proceeded in three vehicles towards Matiyaon, about 10 km from Chutia Police Station. They were accompanied by two policemen from the Nauhatta Police Station. It is an operational necessity in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) areas that paramilitary forces be accompanied by state police personnel on an operation. They used headlights while travelling through the villages. Later, as per standard operating procedure, they switched them off and moved slowly, guided by torchlight shone by a soldier sitting next to the first vehicle’s driver. Afterwards, they walked stealthily for about 3 km through the jungle. While one of the teams, Team 9, stayed behind, five members of Team 8, led by TN Singh, moved forward. Over a small bridge, identified as ‘Pulia No 119’, they spotted a Naxal sentry who too saw them and alerted his squad. Within seconds, the Cobra team came under fire. The five, Deputy Commandant TN Singh, his radio operator Shailendra, constables Birju, Imtiaz and Mohammed Ramzan, took position in two places. A fierce fight ensued in which handgrenades were lobbed as well. It lasted about 20 minutes. Three Naxals died, one of them under odd circumstances, while a young Naxal guerilla, Sushil Kumar Chaudhary, was arrested.

    Of the four who fought alongside TN Singh, two are from J&K: Imtiaz and Mohammed Ramzan. Two days later, a deputy inspector general identified as Umesh Kumar visited the soldiers and said that the two boys from Kashmir should be recommended for Gallantry awards. But when the final list was made, their names were not included. The list had the names of TN Singh and Birju, apart from two others who were not even present at the encounter: Rohtas Superintendent of Police Manu Maharaj and Chutia Police Station in-charge Arun Kumar Akela.

    +++
    The injustice went unopposed for about a year. The overlooked jawans did not raise an objection. They were resigned to their fate, telling themselves that this was how the system worked. They stayed on in the force, but their morale fell. On crucial operations, they lost their will to take any initiative. It affected the morale of other jawans as well.

    It was on an operation of the same company in the dangerously Naxal-affected Latehar district of Jharkhand that an assistant commandant of the CRPF noticed that his boys were just not interested in doing their job; they seemed to be dragging their feet. The CRPF officer’s name is Praveen Kumar. He has a Master’s in International Relations from Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, and had joined the CRPF with a single mission: to make a difference in Naxal areas, to change the local population’s perception of India and its paramilitary forces. One day in Latehar, exasperated by his sluggish jawans, he asked them: “Itna chotu jaisa kyun ban gaye ho?” Why had they turned so useless? It was then that the men revealed to him why they were so put off.

    Once they were back in Rohtas, Praveen assembled his men and had them talk openly about the night of 1 January—an exercise that he recorded on his video camera. In that exchange, a copy of which is with Open, several jawans spoke up and make it clear that SP Manu Maharaj and Inspector Arun Kumar Akela played no role in the encounter, and it was more than three hours later that they arrived at the site. They testify that Maharaj and Akela did fire a few shots in the air, but this was much after the hostilities had ceased. Then Akela filed an FIR on the spot, falsely claiming that both he and the SP took part in the encounter.

    The FIR reads like a comedy. In the first few lines, Akela claims that the whole operation was led by Manu Maharaj. On page 3, Akela claims that when they were proceeding towards the Naxal squad, a guerilla in black clothes saw them and shouted: “Arre Cobra commander, SP aur Chutia ka bada babu Akela police ke saath aaya hai. Yahin mauka hai in sabon ko maar do” (Hey, the Cobra commander, SP and Chutia’s main officer Akela have come with the police. This is the right time to kill all of them). What Akela forgot in his enthusiasm was that at about 5 am in the dense fog of that January night, it would not have been possible for the Naxal sentry to identify each individual, let alone how silly it would have been of him to alert his comrades with such a loud and longwinded message.

    On page 7 of the FIR, Akela reports that the SP fired one round of his pistol and two of his AK-47 rifle, while Akela fired five rounds. The Cobra team, meanwhile, fired a total of 154 rounds plus five handgrenades. Imtiaz fired 26 rounds of his AK-47 rifle, while Ramzan fired 16. They lobbed one handgrenade each. The FIR goes on to describe in detail how bullets flew all around the policemen. On page 7, Akela states that the SP’s driver also fired one round. This is a blunder. According to the standard operation procedure, vehicles and drivers must be kept away from the main spot of the armed offensive. If the SP was in a vehicle, then how was it possible at all to catch the Naxal squad by surprise?

    That is not all. Praveen then went on to record another conversation with one of the policemen from the Nauhatta Police Station who had accompanied the Cobra forces. Constable Arun Kumar Jha confirms at least twice that SP Maharaj and Inspector Akela were not present at the encounter. Later, Praveen assembles all his men once again and asks them to describe the sequence of events on the night of 1 January 2012. He reads parts of the FIR aloud and waves it at them.

    Praveen: Isme bol rahe hein ki SP ne AK-47 aur Pistol donon se fire kiya (This says that the SP fired both his AK-47 [rifle] and Pistol)

    One Jawan: Teen ghanta baad (three hours later) Laughter…

    Another Jawan: … jab firing khatam ho gaya (after the firing had stopped)

    In the first video shot on the CRPF campus, one of the jawans addresses Praveen and says: “Sir, aap poochche thhe na kaisa chotu jaisa ban gaye ho. Yahaan ka system ne bana diya hai” (Sir, you had asked why we have become so useless. The system here has made us so).

    The most damning evidence of the farce is a video shot at the encounter site. It is daylight by now. Deputy Commandant TN Singh, without realising that the camera is on video mode, speaks to the SP on his mobile phone, guiding him to the exact spot: “Akelaji aa gaye hein, Sir… Matiyaon ke opposite mein, pul ke neeche… Jeep saawdhani se seedhe chale aayiye” (Akela has arrived, Sir… it is opposite Matiyaon, underneath the bridge… drive the Jeep carefully, straight). In another clipping, at two spots, gunshots reverberate in the air while jawans stand at ease just a little away. The bodies of the slain Naxals are visible too. These are the shots the SP and inspector had fired later.

    +++
    Open also spoke independently to the two jawans from J&K who fought along with their deputy commandant in the operation. Mohammed Ramzan testifies that both Maharaj and Akela reached the site at least three hours later—after TN Singh had informed them of it via his mobile phone. “I never imagined that they would include their names along those who conducted that operation. It was only later when I read their names in the FIR that I realised what they were up to,” Ramzan says. “Humko bahut feeling hua (I felt very bad),” he says, “We were initially told that our names would be sent for the Gallantry awards, but later nothing happened.”

    The other jawan, Imtiaz, corroborates Ramzan’s version of events. “The SP was told over the phone. He came later and fired in the air pointing his rifle at the hills,” he says.

    “I felt that since we are from Kashmir, we were not recommended for this award,” says Ramzan. He and Imtiaz are speaking freely for the first time since the incident. This is because they feel that a senior officer is finally ready to stand up for them. On his part, Praveen says that all he wants right now is justice for his boys. He has sent a formal complaint to various agencies, including the Director General of the CRPF, the Prime Minister’s Office and President of India, citing the evidence he has gathered to show how records were fudged for two police officers to get Gallantry awards. Writes Praveen in his formal complaint: ‘So who will and why put self life (sic) on the edge of death in such risky operations? These are a few lines which I heard from the subordinate officers and Jawans which poses the real picture of fading faith and trust in the nomination for gallantry medals and other rewards.’ Another question is Deputy Commandant TN Singh’s motive. What interest does a senior CRPF officer have in falsely stating that a state police officer led an operation that was actually under his own command? The answer lies in the faulty hierarchy of police forces in India. It is common for paramilitary officers to ingratiate themselves with IPS officers, even those with less experience on the job, because the latter ascend the hierarchy faster and are often deputed to the forces in positions of power.

    The CRPF has not responded to a questionnaire sent to its Director General. But sources say that the two J&K jawans will now be recommended for the DG’s Commendation Disc, a decision they say has been taken recently. It is another matter that two other jawans of the same company got the same honour for the same operation months ago. Bihar’s Principal Secretary (Home) Amir Subhani, when contacted, says he does not act on the hearsay of journalists.

    There has been a lot of pressure on Praveen Kumar since the fraud-peddling officers learnt that he is ‘up to something.’ “The SP has called me many times, asking me if my complaint has gone beyond Bihar,” he says. On record, both Maharaj and Akela stick to their version of events when contacted by Open. “Facts are being concocted,” says Manu Maharaj. But going by the evidence, it is he who has tried to do exactly that.


    http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/nation/false-glory
     
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  3. ALBY

    ALBY Elite Member Elite Member

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    The story is old but it shows the main reason why our para miitary forces have low morale and are not fighting well unlike the army
    It is high time that the injustice towards paramilitary should be stopped and forces like CRPF which are fighting CI ops like army should be given equal status and the age old demand of deamds of paramilitary personell for equal rights and services enjoyed by military should be granted..
     
  4. ALBY

    ALBY Elite Member Elite Member

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    BSF, CRPF in dire straits: Study

    The two important units of the Central armed police forces – the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) – are working in poor condition, reveals a study report commissioned by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

    The report, based on field investigations at various locations of the BSF and the CRPF, suggests that cases of suicides among para-military personnel are higher than the national average.

    It is also resulting in increasing number of incidences of resignation and voluntary retirement.

    In the last 5 years, 1,483 CRPF personnel and 997 of the BSF resigned from service.

    The report, a copy of which is in the possession of Express, reveals that paramilitary personnel fighting insurgency across the country are also required to struggle with bureaucratic system to avail the welfare schemes run by the government for their families and dependents.

    The study, conducted by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmadabad, at 12 locations of the BSF and 13 locations of the CRPF, also found the heavy stress among personnel as a reason for rising suicide cases in the force.

    The two largest and strongest para-military forces (CRPF 2, 52,000 & BSF 2, 40,000 personnel - approximate figure) also failed to address the grievances of personnel.

    Lack of sleep and leave and high level of salary discrepancy are crushing the morale of force, says the report.

    “Many force personnel have raised their voice against the existing system in which there is no fixed working time for them. Fatigued personnel have very little time to rest and recuperate.

    The situation is further aggravated due to shortage of manpower.

    Even when troops return from duties on the frontline to headquarters and group-centres the dwelling is neither comfortable nor sufficient resulting in personnel keeping families in their home-towns,” report said.

    With minimal assistance offered to address their grievances, the force personnel are found to be under tremendous stress in performing their duties.

    They also complained of performing duties that did not come under their responsibility.

    Sometimes, they were made to perform tasks of lower grade and at other time, they were also required to do menial tasks like watering plants and working in the staff mass.

    The report also suggested outsourcing of non-core activities on the lines of forces in the US, Australia and Canada.

    The data collected from 100 BSF and 106 CRPF officers in the report also present a dismal picture at the top.

    “Many officers who joined the force as Assistant Commandant and completed more than 16 years of service have not yet been granted PB-4 scale ( Lt Colonels in the Army are entitled).

    There is no fixed yearwise promotion system in place and officers are unsure of their career enhancement opportunities.

    BSF, CRPF in dire straits: Study - The New Indian Express
     
  5. ALBY

    ALBY Elite Member Elite Member

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    CRPF: A force in denial

    The CRPF is in news for all the wrong reasons – and with reason too. Firstly they have lost 26 soldiers to Left Wing Extremists (LWEs). Secondly they have, along with the J&K police, botched up the situation in Kashmir valley. Thirdly they are doing the same in West Bengal.

    So why is the CRPF being unable to get their act together? The answer lies in the fact that the force is not being able to re-invent itself for the roles it is being made to undertake. The CRPF came into existence as Crown Representative’s Police and became the Central Reserve Police Force on enactment of the CRPF Act in 1949. The CRPF has grown into a big organization with battalions of varied kinds including 181 executive Bns, 2 Mahila Bns, 10 Rapid Action Force Bns (basically riot police), 6 CoBRA Bns (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action – counter LWE force), 2 Disaster Management (National Disaster Response Force) Bns and several other training, administrative institutions and hospitals. Essentially a police force with a feudal mindset, in LWE territory they are being expected to perform counter-LWE tasks – something performed by the infantry in the army. Infantry operations are extremely different from police tasks and require a totally different skill-set and training, when compared to lathi-wielding tasks that the CRPF usually performs. The CRPF leadership is either unable to understand this difference or if they do understand, then they are unable to make the requisite changes.

    One possible change would be to reorganise the CRPF battalions into role specific orientation. Thus one set of battalions could be earmarked as Counter-insurgency battalions (CI) while the others could continue to be tasked as Executive battalions or be renamed Law & Order battalions. The CI battalions would then have to shed their lathis and mental baggage and get down to training. Ideally, each battalion should be sent to train as one in army environs under army tutellage. Officers must train with men – share their hardships and lead from the front. The Indian Army is an officer led army – and that is how it must be for success especially in CI operations.

    CRPF also needs to get out of the lathi and tear-gas and firing routine in crowd control. The initial deaths in J&K are unpardonable since adequate crowd control and non-lethal weapons are available in the open market. Protests leading to firing and further protests and further firing are a vicious but avoidable cycle. Innovative approaches to crowd control are required. Unfortunately, the khaki dress has become a symbol of hate and is getting targetted systematically. No matter what Chief Minister Omar Abdullah says, there is truth in the fact that the CRPF are a victim of their own high-handedness. This attitude has added fuel to the fire left smouldering by the separatists who have taken advantage of the CRPF weakness.

    What the CRPF lacks the most is efficient leadership. They have officers upto the rank of Commandant who come up from the rank of the Assistant Commandant when they join as young officers. These officers lead the troops in all operations. Unfortunately, the feudal mindset and police culture affects them as well. What is required are officers well trained in CI operations. Even more important are higher level leadership. This is where the rot lies since most of the DIGs and IGs and DGs are IPS officers who have never served in counter-insurgency operations. While they may have been excellent policemen, they have never led troops in CI operations and have no clue how to go about planning such operations. Thus on the ground, CRPF troops go around harassing villagers – adding fire to the fuel of LWE.

    CRPF: A force in denial | India Security Monitor
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
  6. ALBY

    ALBY Elite Member Elite Member

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    Heading for Disaster
    By Ghazala Wahab

    In 2011, 33 BSF and 36 CRPF personnel killed themselves, taking the number of suicides since 2007 to 152 and 184 respectively. Same year, there were two cases of fratricide in the BSF and 10 cases in the CRPF. Of those who did not take this extreme step, 4,852 BSF and 2,333 CRPF personnel sought voluntary retirement from the service in 2011. Same year, 229 BSF and 406 CRPF personnel, mostly officers, quit the service after paying the government the conditional three months of pay and allowances or the training charges (whichever is higher).


    Listing these figures, an internal document of ministry of home affairs offers reasons for this disturbing trend. It says that the services and the ministry have not been able to ‘address the problems of the personnel; provide them with a conducive and motivated work environment and is thus losing a trained workforce’. In addition to job dissatisfaction and stagnation at work, it cites inadequate grievance redressal mechanism within the service as another cause for distress among the personnel. Poor work conditions (including inhuman habitats in remote areas) and long separation from families bring up the rear.

    This document was circulated among all the central armed police forces (CAPF) before the meeting of director generals of BSF, CRPF, ITBP, SSB, Assam Rifles and CISF on 27 February 2012. The minister of state for home affairs, who chaired this meeting, wanted the DGs to internally discuss the document within their services so that some remedial measures could be initiated. What transpired during the meeting is not known but the figures speak of the enormity of distress in the two key Paramilitary forces of the country. Apparently, in the first two months of 2012, 11 CRPF officers have already put in their papers and are willing to give amounts in the range of Rs 200,000 plus to the government as their training costs to get release from the service. Most of these officers with less than seven years of service form the important fighting arm of the force which is heavily committed in three disparate theatres like Jammu and Kashmir, Left-wing Extremism areas and the Northeast.

    While all the factors assessed by the MHA are valid, the most important reason, according to a middle-level BSF officer, is the service conditions, whereby with each passing day, the prospects of career progression for cadre officers are becoming bleaker. “I made the biggest mistake of my life by joining the BSF,” says an officer who has often considered putting in his papers but has been held back because of personal reasons. “When I joined the service, I was drawn by the images of BSF personnel chasing smugglers on camels in Rajasthan. There used to be a television show on Door Darshan (National television channel) when I was a child. That image got imprinted on my mind. Though I had family members in the army and the police, I was determined to join the BSF,” he tells me. But disillusionment was quick to follow. “I had no idea that the government of India had envisaged the Paramilitary forces as an inferior service,” he says.

    The sentiment that paramilitary forces are perceived as inferior by the government is becoming widespread among the ranks and files of the services. One CRPF officer, who opted for the service after a degree in engineering, narrates a conversation he had with a CRPF driver a few months ago. The subject of the chat was a fellow officer who had recently resigned after getting a job in a private sector company with the annual package of Rs 12,00,000. Ferrying him one day, the driver referring to the officer who had resigned, remarked, “Sahab knowledge-wala insaan hai... apna bahar achcha se set kar liya... aaj ki date me jo bhi achcha hai woh bahar nikal jaata hai (Sir is intelligent. He has fixed himself very well outside. These days, anyone who is good leaves the service). His insinuation was that those who are still stuck with the CRPF are not good enough to get jobs outside. Says the CRPF officer narrating this incident, “I was shocked at his inference. It took me 30 minutes to explain to him that those who are staying back in the CRPF have more guts than those who are leaving. Even we have high qualifications and potential, but we are sticking around because this job gives us the satisfaction of playing a direct role in nation-building.”

    Nobler the sentiment, greater the disappointment. Even though all the paramilitary services under the ministry of home affairs have various degrees of crisis, the situation in the CRPF is worse than others. In the last five years, as the government of India woke up to the grim reality of Left-Wing Extremism poaching on the mineral and forest wealth of the country, there was a need for rapid induction of central forces in to the affected areas. The state police forces of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa — the new contiguous battleground for the Maoists — neither had the numbers nor resources to take on this existential threat.

    Till 2009, the Union government had deployed only 33 battalions of the CAPFs in all the nine LWE-affected states as compared to over 70 battalions of CAPF (mainly CRPF) in Jammu and Kashmir alone. After 2009, as conflict in central India deepened, the government rapidly inducted 39 more battalions in the sector in three years (roughly 46,800 personnel), taking the total number to 72 battalions in the theatre. While some CRPF battalions were pulled in from J&K and the Northeast, a substantial number was cleared to be raised in a hurry. Unlike the Indian Police Service (IPS), where the governing rules stipulate annual new raisings of only three per cent of the existing cadre base to keep pace with the training and promotional pyramid, unmanageable numbers were recruited in the CRPF without any thought for their training or subsequent promotions. The situation came to such a pass that the CRPF personnel were compelled to undergo training in Group Centres, apart from the training academies of other forces.

    One former home secretary told me a year ago, “What choice did we have? We had to raise the numbers rapidly.” Giving a sense of what numbers have been raised in what time frame, one CRPF officer recently told me that more directly appointed gazetted officers were recruited from 2005 to 2011, than were recruited in 15 years from 1990 to 2005. Incidentally, directly appointed gazetted officers coming through the competitive UPSC examination are better educated than their predecessors and hence their aspirations and level of expectation from the service are higher than the earlier stock.

    Going back to the numbers, at the last count, since 2009, 10 battalions of the specialist counter-Maoist force CoBRA and 10 general duty battalions of the CRPF have been raised. At the moment 219th battalion of CRPF is under raising, making the force the largest paramilitary in India. Since raising of CoBRA was the greater priority at that time, the general duty battalions were poached upon to fill the ranks of the CoBRA battalions, creating severe shortfalls in the former.

    Last year, a CRPF 2IC (second in command to the Commandant), posted in J&K told me that a group of young officers had made a petition to Director General CRPF’s office that the new raisings be used to fill the existing vacancies in the service instead of adding the number of battalions. Nothing came out of the petition. The funds were allocated for new raisings and not to plug the gaps. As a result, a large number of battalions are operating without the requisite number of officers. This leads to operations not being led by officers and thereby inviting criticism from other forces which decry the CRPF culture of officers not leading their men. Viewed dispassionately, it appeared that the government was seeking security in numbers and not capabilities. A very dangerous inference from here is that it didn’t really care about endangering the lives of men by throwing them in difficult operational areas without adequate training, equipment or secure infrastructure.

    In the Maoist-affected areas, the CRPF (even the BSF and ITBP) troops do not even have the basic infrastructure, let aside secure infrastructure. Investigating the massacre of 75 CRPF personnel on 6 April 2010 at Tadmetla, near the Chintalnar village in Chhattisgarh, E.N. Ram Mohan was appalled at the way the CRPF posts in the remote areas were rendered defenceless without any perimeter security. In J&K, while they do not have this vulnerability, the troops are forced to live in inhuman conditions with even officers having to share toilets. Despite the extremities of the weather, a large number lives out of tents.

    The CRPF 2I/C I had met last year said that these service conditions are creating a chasm between the men and their officers. “The men blame us for their poor living conditions, without realising that we are completely helpless and dependent either on the state government or the senior brass sitting in Delhi,” he said.

    However, the long-term fallout of this rapid raising has been that the CRPF’s bottom is becoming wider with non-proportional ascent, when viewed in terms of a pyramid. Realising that this was a major cause of heartburn among cadre officers (directly appointed gazetted officers), the MHA constituted a cadre review board last year, fourth since the CRPF came into being. Though supposed to have been held once every five years to assess the health of the service, the first CRPF cadre review took place only in 1981. The purpose of the current review is to reorganise the officer cadre in such a way that bottlenecks are removed and career progression aspirations of officers are addressed.

    For instance, at the moment, there are 2,204 assistant commandants in the CRPF. Of these, 979 rise to become deputy commandants, 273 become 2I/C, 295 become commandants, 166 DIGs, 28 IGs, four ADGs, 3 SDGs and one director general. Till the rank of commandants, the positions are entirely reserved for the cadre officers. The lateral entry of IPS officers starts at the level of the DIG, where the ratio is roughly 80:20 between the CRPF and IPS with a couple of positions earmarked for the army. Thereafter, promotion prospects of CRPF cadre officers are progressively reduced. At the IG level the ratio becomes 50:50. It becomes 1:3 at the level of additional director general, 0:3 at the level of special director general and 0:1 at the level of the DG.

    The cadre review board has partially tried to address these bottlenecks by widening the centre of the pyramid. Raising the number of assistant commandants to 2,299, it has created more positions progressively. For instance, it has proposed 1,049 deputy commandants, 352 2I/Cs, 344 commandants, 206 DIGs, 51 IGs, 11 ADGs, four SDGs and one DG. Even though the lateral induction of the IPS and a couple of army officers would continue in the position of DIG and above (but not beyond ADG, which is the reserve of the IPS alone), the prospects for the cadre officers would also brighten. Apparently, MHA is hopeful that in the next few years the ratio that is skewed against the cadre officers would be reversed.

    In fact, the 6th Central Pay Commission had recommended that 50 per cent of all the posts of IG and above should be filled by cadre officers by promotion. Going further, it suggested that even the director general of CRPF should be appointed on a rotation basis, implying that the post should be filled by IPS officer followed by the CRPF cadre officer successively. While the cadre review board accepted the recommendation in spirit, on the ground it still falls short, as its recommendations show.

    But strange things seem to be happening within the CRPF’s top echelons. Responding to the cadre review board’s recommendations, the organisational directorate of the CRPF has apparently prepared its own recommendations on cadre review. According to its suggestions, the number of assistant commandants will be 2,298, deputy commandants will be 1,024, 2I/Cs ought to be 362, commandants 348, DIGs 126, IGs 58, ADGs 29, SDGs five and one director general.

    It is not difficult to see what is being recommended. Basically, the promotional pyramid has been divided into two. One level from assistant commandants to the DIG is for the cadre officers and the second level from IG to the DG for the IPS officers. Interestingly, since the DIG is a field rank and bulk of CRPF is increasingly getting committed in the difficult Left-Wing Extremism areas, the IPS officers are not very keen to come into CRPF at this level. Currently, of 166 DIGs, 30 positions are reserved for the IPS, of which half are vacant. Instead of filling them up by cadre officers, the CRPF policy-makers are trying to do away with these numbers; hence, the proposed reduction in the number of DIGs from the current 166 to 126. Beyond this, the numbers increase, with the maximum growth in the rank of the ADG. Here the ratio favours the IPS officers. Very few CRPF officers rise to become ADGs (despite the earmarked vacancies for them) because the stipulation of doing a certain number of years in each rank, exhausts their service years by the time they reach the rank of IGs. In lower ranks, those of deputy commandants and 2I/Cs, many officers get stuck for several years for want of vacancies in the middle rung. Even the handful of CRPF cadre officers who find themselves on the chair of IGs or ADGs are relegated to non-operational, non-policy-making streams.

    Calling the exercise of cadre review a mockery, one CRPF commandant says, “Whose review is this? Is this review meant to improve service conditions of the CRPF cadre officers by ensuring timely promotions or is it to create more senior ranks for IPS officers who want to spend a few years in Delhi?” It is difficult not to conclude that vested interests are at play here. To say that cadre officers are not trained or capable of handling greater responsibilities which would come with higher ranks is to reinforce the belief that the government treats CAPFs as an inferior service. After all, why can’t cadre officers approved for higher ranks do specialised courses or undergo additional training to equip them to handle bigger responsibilities; unless of course, the government deems them as inferior services. In that case, shouldn’t it then classify them as such so that those who join it set their sights lower? Besides, how can then the government leave the biggest internal security challenge — the LWE — in the incapable hands of the CAPFs.

    I wonder if we realise the severity of the ailment that is crippling Indian Paramilitary forces, especially the CRPF, which is turning into a force where men have little confidence in the officers who lead them, and officers have no confidence in their seniors who make policies for them. Is this not a recipe for disaster?

    FORCE Newsmagazine: Heading for Disaster
     
  7. FRYCRY

    FRYCRY Regular Member

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    Yes even i have heard the same that the new CRPF assistant commandants face a tough time and CRPF is not like army where you can get smooth uplift in rankings.. They work in poor conditions and IPS holds high positions which is totally unfair.
     
  8. OneGrimPilgrim

    OneGrimPilgrim Senior Member Senior Member

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    whr invaders hv been eulogised, heroes binned!!
    the conditions are such that, its said that its totally possible that you spend your entire service-life (in CRPF) in tents in camps, without ever getting to stay/having a bunk in a pucca building/premise.
     

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