- Feb 23, 2009
'Unnatural deaths' on high in CRPF
More CRPF personnel were killed due to suicides, fratricides and accidental firing than casualties sustained in action 2011.
While 42 CRPF personnel committed suicide last year, six were killed due to fratricide and seven lost their lives due to accidental firing/explosion, only 29 personnel were killed in action. As many as 143 persons were killed in action in 2010, 70 in the preceding 2009 and 67 in 2008.
Insiders said the fratricidal killings were a result of the deteriorating discipline in the force and the suicides could be a result of faulty recruitment and training as the psychological make up of such persons is not assessed in advance.
Sources also attributed the deaths due to suicides to lack of promotional avenues to the Personnel Below Officers Rank (PBORs) and increasing stress levels arising out of lack of peace postings.
With casualties suffered in action is lowest since Punjab militancy erupted about 24 years back, the paramilitary plans to reorient its strategy in the current year by making use of small team operations in Naxal areas so as to further tilt its balance in its favour.
The paramilitary also recovered 1055 arms, 15,188 rounds of ammunition, 5598 kg of explosives, 155 grenades, 680 bombs, 478 IEDs, 7975 detonators and 1099 gelatin sticks.
CRPF Director General K Vijay Kumar has termed the elimination of top Naxal leader Mallojula Koteswar Rao alias Kishenji as the biggest achievement of the force in 2011 and aspires to further bring down the casualties suffered by it. Last year, 29 CRPF personnel lost their lives in action, including 26 in Naxal areas but it succeeded in eliminating 72 Naxals, apprehending 1683 ultras and forcing surrender of 44 Naxals. "We are consolidating now and this year it is time to deliver. "¦I am sure that troops under your command will continue to sustain the spirit and momentum in the year to come and especially this year," Kumar said in a confidential letter to the commandants of different theatres including in the Naxal areas.
Kumar further said, "Although I derive a lot of satisfaction in lowering of casualty figures due to rigourous training and tactical movement of troops, yet there is scope of improving our performance."
Kumar, however, failed to mention the sensitive issue of suicides in his letter sent to theatres of action. He said it is the small team operations that would tilt the balance. While big operations may be desiarbale, in certain spots, we need to take a call. Small teams acting furtively and tactically basing their operations on sharp intelligence can reap big rewards, he said.
"...field commanders have to reorient their strategy based on the local conditions and the available intelligence. But only a highly trained team can achieve it," he said in his letter.
Likewise in Jammu and Kashmir, the CRPF along with the State police succeeded in neutralising 38 militants without suffering any casualties. As many as 84 militants were also apprehended, six surrendered and 129 arms were recovered in operations during the year besides seizure of 45 rockets, 18 IEDs, 232 grenades 600 detonators.
In the North-East, CRPF liquidated 10 extremists (seven in Assam and 3 in Meghalaya) besides 439 extremists were apprehended and 545 surrendered, 232 arms and 15739 rounds of ammunition were recovered. Recoveries also included 39 grenades, 17 IEDs, 500 detonators and 85 gelatin sticks. The CRPF, however, lost three lives in operations in the North-East last year.
'Unnatural deaths' on high in CRPF