CRPF Full Form
CRPF stands for Central Reserve Police Force. This is India’s largest Central Armed Police Force. All the functions of CRPF are controlled by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) of the Indian Government. CRPF is responsible to help the police of the State and Union Territories in maintaining law & order and counter-insurgency. The traditional full form of the force is ‘Chalte Raho Pyare Force’ which means keep moving beloved force. This full form is given because the force continuously moves from one troubled place to another. They work with the motto of ‘Service and Loyalty’.
Other than this, CRPF also has an important role in the general elections of the country. Especially in the states like Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, and North East where regular violent conflicts took place. As per the records of 2019, a strength of more than 300,000 personnel is working in CRPF which makes it India’s largest paramilitary force. There are 246 battalions in CRPF.
Women Daredevils CRPF Parade on Republic Day
CRPF was converted into Central Reserve Police Force after independence on the enactment of the CRPF Act on 28 December 1949. But prior to the formation of CRPF, the force was known as Crown Representative’s Police which was originally formed on 27 July 1939. When it was CRP, it had two battalions in Nimach (North Indian Mounted Artillery and Cavalry Headquarters) and Madhya Pradesh. The primary duty of the department was to protect the residents of the Britishers in the sensitive areas of India.
On 21 October 1959, the Chinese Army attacked SI Karam Singh and 20 soldiers at Hot Springs in Ladakh which cause the death of 10 soldiers. After this tragedy,the day is observed as Police Commemoration Day nationwide.
During the 1960s, many battalions of state reserve police were merged into the CRPF. The border of India and Pakistan was also guarded by CRPF before the formation of the Border Security Force in 1965. In 2001, all the five terrorists who attacked the Indian Parliament in New Delhi were also killed by the CRPF troopers. On 5 July 2005, CRPF saved the complex of Ram Janambhoomi in Ayodhya when five terrorists attacked the complex. They penetrated the outer security but when they moved further, CRPF (forming the inner security ring) stopped them. After this successful encounter, the central government awarded the AC and Head Constable of the unit with ’Shaurya Chakra’.
In 2008, Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), a new wing became the part of CRPF. The main aim of this wing was to encounter the Naxalite movement.
In Nallamalla Forests of Andhra Pradesh, the largest search operation ever was done on 2 September 2009, with a number of 5000 CRPF soldiers. This was a rescue mission that was started to find the former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh YS Rajasekhara Reddy. As his helicopter went missing in Nallamalla Forests.
CRPF was deployed in Bhuj and Chambal ravines and East Punjab State Union (PEPSU) during the period of 1950s. When the process of amalgamation of princely states into the Indian Union was going on then CRPF played a vital role by disciplining the rebellious princely states like Junagarh and Kathiawar in Gujarat.The CRPF was also sent to the border on Kutch, Sindh, and Rajasthan to the continuous trans-border crimes and infiltration.
In 1962, when the Chinese aggression took place in Arunachal Pradesh, CRPF played an important role by helping the Indian Army. The CRPF was also assisted the army on Western and Eastern borders in 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak war.
To fight the Sri Lankan militant cadres and to bring peace there, thirteen companies of CRPF including a woman battalion were sent to Sri Lanka where they joined the Indian Peace Keeping Force. That was the first time in the paramilitary force’s history when a woman battalion was airlifted to another country on a mission. In order to tackle the problems related to law & order, CRPF personnel were also sent to some other places that include Haiti, Somalia, Namibia, and Maldives where they were working as a part of the UN Peace Keeping Force.
CRPF was also sent to control the situation in Tripura and Manipur when a disturbance was created by some fundamentalists there in the late seventies. CRPF also played a major role at the time of turbulence in the Brahmaputra River. The force not only maintained the law & order but also kept the communication lines undisrupted.The force is still highly responsible to control the insurgency in the North-East state of the country.
A Director-General who is an IPS officer is the head of the CRPF. The CRPF is divided into ten administrative sectors. All these sectors are headed by separate Inspector Generals. There are one or more administrative and/or Operational Ranges. These operational ranges are headed by the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police.
In CRPF, there are 243 battalions and each of them consists of 7 companies and each company has 1200 constables. The commandants guide each battalion while an Assistant Commandant is the head of each company.These officers are directly appointed as a Grade ‘A’ gazetted officer after clearing an exam that is conducted by the UPSC.
The CRPF is organized into a Headquarters that has three wings and four zones. The special director generals or additional director generals are the head of each zone. Each zone is subdivided into sectors and there is a separate head of these sectors called inspector general.
THE RAPID ACTION FORCE
In October 1992, this specialized wing of CRPF was formed with 15 battalions. The responsibility of the RAF is to solve and handle communal riots and related civil unrest. The battalions of RAF are numbered from 99 to 108.5. The force is intended to give a quick response to a crisis that’s why they are also called Zero Response Force. The force is also known for its beautiful and unique flag design
that signifies peace.
Rapid Action Force of CRPF
The smallest functioning unit in the force is a ‘Team’. The head of this unit is an inspector who commands the personnel. The tear smoke element, the riot control element and the fire element are its three components. In each company of the RAF, there are separate teams for the female components. This helps in effective dealing with women demonstrators.
PARLIAMENTARY DUTY GROUP
This is a unit of CRPF which is responsible to provide complete armed protection to the Parliament House of India.About 1,540 personnel of the CRPF are aimed for this task. Proper training in combating nuclear and biochemical attacks, behavioral management, and rescue operations is given to the members of PDG.
PDG at Parliament House of India
The basic infantry weapons are used by the CRPF that are manufactured by the Indian Ordnance Factories which works under the control of the Ordnance Factories Board. A large number of high power weapons are used by CRPF which are:
- Heckler & Koch MP5
- INSAS 5.56 mm assault rifles
- INSAS 5.56 mm light machine guns
- Pistol Auto 9 mm 1A and Glock 17 9 mm pistols
The weapons used by CRPF CoBRA trooper are:
- Tavor TAR-21
- AKM for counter-insurgency
- FN MAG
- MSMC 5.56 minsas
- AGS-30 Plamya 30 mm automatic grenade launcher
- OFB 51 mm Mortar
- OFB 81 mm Mortar
- Micro Tavor (X95) Bullpup
- Carl Gustav 84 mm recoilless rifles
Along with these weapons, CRPF also has land mine detectors.
WOMEN IN THE CRPF
There are three Mahila (Ladies) Battalions also in the CRPF. Thus, CRPF is the only Para Military Force in the country in which women personnel are also serving. At present these battalions are deployed in active duty in some parts of the country like Jammu& Kashmir, Manipur, Ayodhya, Assam, etc. In addition, there is 96 personnel consisted of a Mahila component in each battalion of RAF.
As the number of women participants is increasing in politics, agitation, and crime, it was becoming hard for the policemen to handle the women agitation because of their small, real, or alleged misdemeanor on their part. While dealing with any matter then it may create serious problems for these policemen as women may use some law & order against them. In 1986, 88(M) battalion, the first Mahila battalion was created to deal with such eventualities with
headquarters in Delhi.
Women Battalion in CRPF
After this succession second and third Mahila Bn was also created. These battalions were the 135 (M) Bn in 1995 which HQR was at Gandhinagar (Gujarat) and the 213 (M) Bn in 2011 with HQR at Nagpur (Maharashtra).
CoBRA Unit of CRPF
4 Shaurya Chakras, 1 PPMG, 1 Kirti Chakra, 117 PMG, and 1267 DG Commendation discs are awarded to CoBRA. The battalion lost its 31 personnel in action during operations.