Para Commandos - Indian Special Forces

aditya g

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Jan 14, 2014
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It is a rehash of existing videos ... No need for a separate thread for it.


Turning into a frog
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Mar 30, 2009
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Deya Roy, Defense enthusiast, family & friends in Forces & Services (DRDO, Para, NSG)
Answered Apr 18, 2017

Apart from the cons already stated, about being far away from family and field postings,it isthe fact that

Many of our Para SF are in a constant state of battle, because they are always fighting insurgents inside the country. As a result, they have a high martyr rate.

Too many para commandos have lost their lives, over the last 2 years. According to veteran SF officers, “Today, SF is being used to do tasks which better trained line infantry or para battalions can do.”

Poor pay is another factor, especially for a Jawan. For an officer the pay s still decent for soldiers it is a Pittance. We don’t pay them as much as we “claim” to respect them!! Rather, I would say, we underpay them.


Para (SF) in India is overused in the same way as the United States uses its Navy SEALS. Bangladesh War, J&K, near China Border, all over the North East, Myanmar, surgical strikes in Pakistan and now Naxals, you name it and they have fought it. As they are overused and overexposed.

  • According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, from January last year till 1 November, there had already been 20 encounters with militants, resulting in the death of 53 insurgents, 22 army personnel, and four civilians (and this is not counting ceasefire violations along the LOC.
  • In an interview the CO of 9 Para said, “We are either in an op (operation), or preparing for one, or coming back from one, and in this frenzied state, death is always a close companion.”
  • He says, “Casualty is very high in case of commandos. You cannot say that you failed. If you fail, you are dead, because the enemy would have killed you. When you are inside enemy territory, say Pakistan, if your strategies fail, you are usually killed by the enemy. It's like a suicide mission.”
  • The Paras are in a constant state of battle. 9 Paras task is largely to prevent infiltrating militants from getting to populated areas, or setting up a base of operations inside Kashmir. The same is true for 2 Para, 1 Para, and now 4 Para, who are constantly sent here and there.
  • After just 3 years in the SF, at the age of 24, one has been in more than 65 missions - many run for weeks or months when in J&K or in the North East.
  • A recent report a senior Para SF officer said that "there is no role for the paras within the borders of the country. The tasks they are being given can be undertaken by the infantry."
  • As per an interview, “Veteran para commandos of the Indian Army are appalled at the kind of losses they've suffered in the recent past while operating in Kashmir.”For long they have been used like just commandos, whereas they are a force trained for land, air and water.

When we think of SF fighting, we might think of surgical strikes, but not about fighting insurgents in J&K, the North East or other disputed areas…

  • SF operations yielded a kill ratio of 1:2.16 against militants in 2015 in the North East, which was a significant decline from 1:7.65 in the previous years. And slid to an all time low of 1:1.3 in J&K since July 2016, which was an average of 1:8 at the beginning of 2016.
  • In the year 2015 (known as years of relative peace in a 25-year conflict in J&K), as per TOI reports, 2 Sepoy Commandos and 2 Lance Naiks of 9 Para and 1 Colonel of 21 Para SF lost their lives in Kashmir, alone.
According to experts, since 2016, “facing the heat from SFs, the militants in the region have come together in an attempt to form a united platform.” The same has been true for the North East. 2016 turned out to be one of the bloodiest yearsfor security forces in J&K's history.

  • From Jan to April 2016, 9 Para SF personnel had lost their lives in Nagaland alone.
  • Over the last year, since the July CRPF pellets incidents, the numbers have increased many fold and the paras have lost “a colonel, two Captains, besides two Lance Naiks, apart from numerous soldiers”.
  • Last month in three operations, 6 Para SF personnel died…
    • This is not the first time that SF personnel have lost lives fighting terrorists in such numbers. The difference is that in the past, generally, such high numbers of casualties occurred in explosions, suicide attacks, ambushes and hit-and-run incidents in crowded places - always initiated by the terrorists.
    • A Para SF, who has served 6 years in SF, many of which were in Kashmir reports, “the locals are so angry that they are even pelting stones at the SFs, resulting in unusually large casualties on the SF side”, which according him was never heard of, not even in the 1990s.

If we can’t pay that 1% of our country’s Army, a decent salary of say 40,000, but can increase MP’s salary to 1 lakh from Rs. 50,000 [Nov 2016], I am not sure, what to think!

  • An Indian Army Soldier Receives Rs. 15,600 - Rs. 39,100 P.M., depending on years of service, where the soldiers required time-scale for promotion is more than double of an officers.
  • Special Forces Rs. 9,000 per month, Parachute Pay Rs. 1,200, Counterinsurgency 6,300, High Altitude 5,600. Transport Allowance is about 1,600 to 3,200.
  • For a soldier in Special Forces, of say, 5–6 years of experience would probably be receiving around 25,000–30,000, if he is posted in, say, J&K or North East.


I find that the point raised about Para SF, Garud and MARCOS is actually justified. NSG is better equiped and qualified for the close combat ops in the valley, when regular RR should be used for other parts of insurgency. NSG has even better gear and equipment than Para SF. Para SF boys are rare kind of boys and they should not thrown at this kind of ops. The objectives in COIN is very different than SF roles where the SF is supposed to neutralise hostiles in hostile territory. A standard COIN op in the valley neither requires the most valued quality of SF troops such as stealth and surprise, nor helps the SF gain an upper hand through their unique training.

This reply at quora is fairly old. I guess the salary has improved now after 7CPC implementation. But, the way I see the casualty lists include SF boys in the valley, I guess the SFs are being still used in COIN.
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