Central Para-Military Forces of India Needs Country’s
Compassion & Sympathy
Submitted by P.S Nair, General Secretary, All India Central Paramilitary Forces Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association before the well wishers of the Country.
Website: www.aicpmfewa.org, Email Id:
Phone: 0474,2764734, 09387906001
India has a plethora of police forces, with different organizations, both at the central as well as the state levels. Additional units of such forces are also being raised. Till a few years back, these forces were used more on the basis of availability than their primary tasks. As an example, the Border Security Force (BSF), which is meant for deployment on the international borders, was for long used for conducting counter-insurgency operations. Although the tasks were rationalized once again in 2001 when a major exercise was carried out by a Group of Ministers (GoM), the tendency to use these police forces in an ad hoc manner continues. Between the Army and civil Police are Paramilitary Forces CRPF, BSF, CISF, ITBP and SSB are combatant and tactical Forces. The role of these forces in the defense of our country and their sacrifices in the wars India thought cannot be over looked. They are shifted from one hard situation to another without any break for recoupment. They have to work away from their families for very long periods and are supposed to make supreme sacrifices while discharging their duties to the Country. They are the first line of defense and are deployed at high altitude between 5000 to 20000 feet on the International Borders with the history of fighting enemy shoulder to shoulder with the Army in every war India fought after independence and other operations and faced heavy casualties. The 7th Schedule of the Constitution of India puts Army, Navy, Air Force and other Armed Forces of the Union together. As per the Acts of each Paramilitary Forces passed by the Parliament time to time, they are the Armed Forces of the Union. Therefore, discriminating the Army and Paramilitary Forces in the matter of Pay and Pension and other facilities is violation of 7th Schedule of the Constitution of India. whenever we ask for any facilities/concessions, we are shamelessly told that we are not entitled for the same because the Paramilitary Forces are governed by CCS (Pension) Rules. Vide a notification dated 22 Dec. 2003 the Ministry of Finance exempted the Armed Forces of the Union from the purview of New Contributory Pension System introduced with effect from 01 Jan. 2004 for all new entrants to the Central Govt. Services. Subsequently the MoF clarified that the Central Paramilitary Forces which are also notified as Armed Forces of the Union are not exempted. This seems to be a deliberate discrimination.
India has a large number of internal security challenges, where groups of militants have taken up arms to force the nation to meet their demands. These include the insurgencies in all the states of the north east, the major Pakistan-supported insurgency in J & K and the growing Maoist insurgency in six states of the country.
The Para Military forces are capable of carrying out their internal security tasks in an efficient manner, and are capable of conducting high grade internal security operations, including counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations.
In India, law and order is a state responsibility. States maintain police forces for routine law and order, crime prevention and investigations, traffic control and similar well known duties. In addition, states also maintain armed police units for dealing with higher levels of law and order situations. Although the central government is not responsible for law and order, it does maintain a variety of large armed police forces for allotment to the states whenever demands are made by the states. As the responsibility of border management is that of the central government, it maintains forces for border security also. Accordingly the act of CRPF, BSF, CISF, ITBP and SSB were passed as “Bills” in different sessions of the Parliament envisages these Forces as Paramilitary Forces (CPMF)
“Para-Military force is responsible for guarding India's land borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh during peacetime and preventing trans-border crimes. During a wartime situation, the bulks of Para-Military units are placed under the command of the army and are re-deployed in accordance with the army’s plan. It we examine the Paramilitary Forces in Asian Countries, We can see that they are neither part of Army nor civil Police, but are closely associated with both in their operations. They are combatant and tactical Forces that means the combat Forces comes
Para-Military is responsible for guarding the Indo-Tibetan Border, covering approximately 2115 km. The force is trained in mountaineering.
Para-Military is also deployed on the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders.
Para-Military forces assist the police forces of the states and union territories' in managing high grade law and order situations and to conduct counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations. Its force personnel are also trained to respond rapidly to sectarian violence and other major riot situations. Para-Military currently raising strong anti-naxal force consisting of a number of COBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) battalions.
Para-Military force (CISF) force was raised to guard industrial installations around the country owned by the Central government, as well as for securing seaports and airports. Recently CISF has also started providing services to non government organizations.
The GoM on internal security, in its recommendations made in mid-2001 had identified the CRPF as the force of choice for countering high level law and order situations, including insurgency and terrorism. Prior to this, other police forces were also being used to tackle low grade insurgency, in addition to varied other tasks, like election duties, VIP security, dealing with communal and other type of riots and so on. The BSF force personnel are being used to assist the army in conducting Counter Insurgency (CI) and Counter Terrorism (CT) tasks in border areas.
Senior leadership in Para-Military is from the IPS. They get seconded to the CRPF after doing stints in districts and divisions in various states. They thus have no expertise of commanding CPF’s, having commanded no sub-units of the force. Frustration has started creeping in the directly recruited officers, as almost all aspects from policy to decision making is in the hands of the IPS cadre officers. Thus, optimum advantage of directly recruited officers is not being taken.
In our country, we have to contend with both internal and external insurgencies and terrorism. External terrorism is of two categories - that which is actively supported by an inimical state (proxy war) and that launched independently by non-state actors. India is facing both. With regards to proxy wars and other externally sponsored high grade insurgencies, the Para-Military the only instrument with the government that can handle them with professional competence.
India has been tackling internal insurgencies for over five decades. The insurgencies in the north eastern states of India commenced in Nagaland and gradually encompassed all the states in that region. Para-Military force personnel were instrumental in containing terrorism in Punjab and in the state of Mizoram. Both were resolved with the cooperation of the people of these states. Another major challenge in the realm of internal security is the Naxalite insurgency, also called Maoist insurgency, which has been building up for the last two decades, but has now become so serious that the Prime Minister has stated that it is the biggest challenge for the country today.
The Naxalites had adopted the ideology of President Mao, who had begun the Cultural Revolution in China in 1966. The Naxalite movement did receive support from China but there was little evidence of material support. India managed to weaken the Naxalite movement significantly in 1971 by using the Para-Military. Thereafter, the movement remained underground till the early ’90s. It has resumed since the late ’90s, corresponding with India’s economic growth and has now become large and potent,especially as the benefits of economic growth have not trickled down. The Naxalites specifically inhabit an area known as the “Red Corridor,” which stretches from West Bengal to Karnataka state. The most violent states are Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Orissa. The entire region has rolling hills covered in dense jungle, with indifferent roads. These favour the Naxalites in controlling entry of outsiders, while the dense jungles make reconnaissance by aircraft extremely difficult.
Although the region has an abundance of raw materials in its hills and forests, the government has not been able to exploit these resources because it cannot effectively control them. The Naxalites too have resisted any government attempt to develop the area’s economy. The Naxalites consist of different groups, which operate fairly independently, but their poverty is a common denominator. Growth is of great importance, but the Naxalites are resisting such efforts, especially of bringing in foreign investors, because of inadequate compensation packages from both the government and corporate entities. Mainly CRPF personnel are deployed in these areas to cope up the situation. The Naxalites are not relying on violence alone, but are also making headway in social and political domains. Naxalites have formed sympathetic student groups and human-rights groups to help their cause and have even influenced people like Arundhiti Roy and others for advocating their case.
In Para-Military there are excellent officers, highly competent and well versed in conducting CI and CT operations. Conduct joint operations by the state armed police and the Para-Military force personnel. Para-Military have integrated and dedicated staff for operations, intelligence, logistics, legal, human rights, media interaction and the hearts and minds campaign.
CPOs play an important role in maintenance of law and order as well as guarding of international borders during peace time. In fact, almost 70% of the CPOs are engaged in guarding the borders with neighbors like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, China, Bhutan and Myanmar.
The CPOs not only aid the state police in maintaining public order and dealing with problems like terrorism, Naxalism and insurgency, but also undertake static security duties during assembly and parliamentary polls.
In fact, the then Union home secretary had submitted before the department-related parliamentary standing committee on home affairs in 2006 that it was the MHA's firm view that all the Para-military forces must have the same pay and pension benefits as the Armed Forces because a large percentage were guarding borders in treacherous conditions and were the first point of intervention. The committee, in its 119th report, subsequently recommended that CPOs should get pension as applicable to Army personnel.
"The committee is at a loss to understand as to why the ministry of finance is not acceding to the request of the MHA for continuing the same pay Pensionery benefits to CPOs as is applicable to the Army personnel. The duties performed by most of the CPOs' personnel are, more or less, similar to that of the Army. The Committee, therefore, endorses the proposal of the MHA for continuance of the Pensionery benefits to the personnel of CPOs as in case of the Army personnel," the standing committee had stated in its report. The care of CPMF and its destitute Ex-Servicemen widows and dependants is a National responsibility. Their welfare is more important because they render yeoman service to the Nation.
Being Armed Forces of Union and considering the arduous nature of duties and responsibilities of CPMFs Personnel which is entirely different from that of Civilian Central Govt. Employees it is high time to frame separate Service and Pension Rules & Exemption from the purview of New Contributory Pension System(NCPS) as there is no justification in regulating the service of CPMFs under the CCs Rules which deprived them benefits/Concessions being enjoyed by serving Retired Military Personnel which is against the spirit of natural justice. Hence there problems needs to be considered with compassion and sympathy by the Govt. We need whole hearted support from well wishers of the Country. Also we need all support for our “Fight for Right”