UPSC- Security Forces- CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force)- IAS General Studies-3 -by...

UPSC- Security Forces- CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force)- IAS General Studies-3 -by Dhamija


Discussion about CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) which is a security force in the Syllabus of General Studies Paper 3 of the UPSC Civil Services Examination (Also freely subscribe to our YouTube Education channel with about 100 free videos on UPSC IAS and other competitive examinations):

History of CRPF

  • Originally constituted as the Crown Representative Police on 27 July, 1939, it is one of the oldest Central Para Military Forces (now termed as Central Armed Police Force).
  • After Independence, the force was renamed as Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) by an Act of Parliament on December 28, 1949.
  • This Act is Central Reserve Police Force Act, 1949.
  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the then Union Home Minister, visualised a multi-dimensional role for it in tune with the changing needs of a newly independent nation.
  • The force played a significant role during the amalgamation of the princely States into the Indian Union. It helped the Union Government in disciplining the rebellious princely States of Junagarh and the small principality of Kathiawar in Gujarat which had declined to join the Indian Union.
  • The CRPF bore the brunt of the first Chinese attack on India at Hot Springs in Ladakh on October 21, 1959.
  • A small CRPF patrol was ambushed by the Chinese in which 10 of its men made their supreme sacrifice for the country.
  • Their martyrdom on October 21 is remembered throughout the country as the Police Commemoration Day every year.
  • During the Chinese aggression of 1962, CRPF once again assisted the Indian Army in Arunachal Pradesh. 8 CRPF personnel were killed in action.
  • In 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars also, CRPF fought shoulder-to-shoulder with the Indian Army, both on the Western and Eastern borders.
  • CRPF has been deployed as part of Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka to fight the militant cadres.
  • CRPF personnel were also sent to Haiti, Namibia, Somalia and Maldives to deal with law and order situation there, as a part of the UN Peace Keeping Force.

Introduction to CRPF

  • Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is the premier central police force of the Union of India, with mandate for internal security.
  • It is India’s largest Central Armed Police Force.
  • It has a sanctioned strength of about 3,08,000 personnel.
  • It annual budget for Financial Year 2016-17 is ₹ 17,868.53 crore
  • CRPF has 235 Battalions, including:
    • 203 executive Battalions,
    • 5 Mahila (women) Battalions,
    • 10 RAF (Rapid Action Force) Battalions,
    • 10 CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) Battalions,
    • 5 Signal Battalions and
  • CPRF has 1 Special Duty Group, 1 Parliament Duty Group), 42 Group Centres, 20 Training Institutions, and several hospitals.

CRPF – Organisation

  • CRPF is headed by a Director General (DG) at Force Hqrs at New Delhi.
  • Present DG is Shri K. Durga Prasad (IPS: 1981 : Telangana)
  • It is divided into 4 Zones, headed by Spl DG or Addl DG:
    • J&K Zone
    • North-east Zone
    • Central Zone
    • Southern Zone
  • Each Zone is divided into various Sectors, headed by an IG.
  • In addition, CRPF has 4 Addl. DG level officers at New Delhi for functional duties such as Works, HQ, CRPF Academy, Training. They have IG level officers under them for various functional duties.

Duties performed by CRPF

  • Crowd control
  • Riot control
  • Counter-Militancy and Counter-Insurgency operations.
  • Dealing with Left Wing Extremism (i.e., Naxalism or Maoism)
  • Security arrangement with regard to elections in disturbed areas.
  • Protection of VIPs
  • Protection of vital installations (such as Airport, Powerhouses, Bridges, Doordarshan Kendras, All India Radio Stations, residence of Governors and Chief Ministers, Nationalised Banks and other Government establishments in insurgency affected State).
  • Checking environmental degradation and protection of local Flora and Fauna
  • Fighting aggression during War time, assisting the military, wherever required.
  • Participating in UN Peace Keeping Mission
  • Rescue and Relief operations at the time of Natural Calamities.

Some interesting facts:

  • 5% of CRPF is deployed for the security of VIPs mostly in North-Eastern States, J&K, and other States, including in Delhi.
  • 5% of CRPF is deputed for guarding the important installations of Central and State Govts mostly in insurgency affected areas.
  • 10 Companies of CRPF are deployed for the security of three sensitive shrines i.e.,
  1. Krishna Janma Bhoomi – Shahi Idgah Masjid complex (Mathura),
  2. Ram Janma Bhoomi- Barbi Masjid complex (Ayodhya) and
  3. Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque (Varanasi).
  • 4 Companies of CRPF are deputed for the security of Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, Katra (J&K).
  • About 2000 brave soldiers of CRPF have made supreme sacrifice of their lives in the service of the Nation.

Role of CRPF during Elections

  • CRPF is the agency, the government heavily banks upon to ensure free and fair elections : be it the Parliamentary or the Assembly Elections around the country.
  • In fact, on most occasions, multi-phase elections are held (instead of a single day election) only to ensure availability of Central Armed Police Forces (mainly CRPF).
  • Co-ordinates with Ministry of Home Affairs, Election Commission of India, and other CAPFs/SAPs.
  • Co-ordinates with poll going States by constituting “State Level Co-ordination Group”.
  • Coordinates movement and deployment of troops deputed for election duties by setting up dedicated 24×7 control room at Force HQ and at poll going state.
  • Security profiling of the state going to poll.
  • Planning deployment of troops according to sensitivity of the area/ booth in consultation with State authority.

Special Role of CRPF – RAF

  • RAF stands for “Rapid Action Force“.
  • It is a specialized force, raised by converting 10 unattached battalions of CRPF in Oct. 1992.
  • These units were set up to deal with riots and riot like situations, to instil confidence amongst all sections of the society and also, handle internal security duty.
  • RAF units are specially trained to deal with riots and riot-like situations.

Special Role of CRPF – Mahila (women) Battalions

  • With increasing participation of women in politics, agitations and crime, policemen have been feeling handicapped in handling women agitations, especially because even a small, real or alleged misdemeanour on their part in dealing with any matter related to women has the potential of turning into a serious law & order problem.
  • CRPF has 5 Mahila (women) Battalions.
  • At present, mahila personnel are deployed in active duty in Jammu & Kashmir, Ayodhya, Manipur, Assam and other parts of the country where they are doing commendable job.
  • In addition, each RAF battalion has a Mahila (Ladies) component consisting of 96 personnel.

Special Role of CRPF – CoBRA

  • CoBRA – Commando Battalion for Resolute Action
  • CoBRA was added to the CRPF in 2008 to counter the Naxalite movement in India.
  • CoBRA is a specialised CRPF unit which is specifically trained in guerilla warfare and jungle warfare.
  • CoBRA has been trained to track, hunt and eliminate small Naxalite groups. It is trained to survive, fight and win in the jungle.
  • There are currently 10 CoBRA units.
  • These CoBRA units have been trained, equipped and deployed in all Left Wing Extremist (LWE) and Insurgent affected areas of the states of Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, as well as Assam & Meghalaya.

CRPF – Weapons

CRPF uses basic Infantry weapons, such as:

  • Pistol Auto 9mm 1A and Glock 17 9 mm pistols
  • Heckler & Koch MP5
  • INSAS 5.56 mm assault rifles
  • INSAS 5.56 mm light machine guns (LMG) replacing the Bren L4 machine guns
  • AGS-30 Plamya 30 mm automatic grenade launcher
  • AKM for counter-insurgency
  • Tavor TAR-21
  • Micro Tavor (X95) Bullpup.
  • FN MAG
  • OFB 51mm Mortar
  • OFB 81mm Mortar
  • Carl Gustav 84 mm recoilless rifles
  • Land mine detectors.

Watch the YouTube video with full explanation:

This video discusses brief details of the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) which is a security force covered under the item “Various Security Forces and agencies and their mandate” mentioned in the Syllabus of General Studies Paper 3 of the UPSC Civil Services Examination.

This video is useful for the aspirants of the UPSC Civil Services Examination (for IAS, IPS, IFS, and Group-A Central Services), and also for aspirants of other competitive examinations.

This video has been prepared by Dr. Ashok Dhamija, a former IPS.


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