1. P1: Plight of paramilitary forces
  2. P2: Chhattisgarh attack

P1: Plight of paramilitary forces

  • Syllabus point: (GS3) Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate
  • Context: Frontline ran an article in May 2014 issue

While frontline has used the word paramilitary throughout their article, you must keep in mind, we have only three paramilitary forces as per the official definition by government of India. (Ref: Business Standard 2011)

Paramilitary forces Central armed police forces
Their chief is a military officer Their DG is an IPS officer.
  1. Assam Rifles
  2. Special Frontier Force
  3. Coast Guard
  1. CRPF (Central reserve Police Force)
  2. ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force)
  3. BSF (Border Security Force)
  4. SSB (Shashtra Seema Bal)
  5. CISF (Central industrial security force)

Why these forces are DEMORALIZED?

  1. High attrition rate – resignation and voluntary retirement. (>16k left in last 3 years)
  2. Shortage of man power = heavy workload.
  3. 15-18 hours continuous duty, sometimes not even allowed to sit down (e.g. CISF jawans on airport).
  4. Suicides and “Fratricide” i.e. soldiers killing their colleagues and seniors in frustration. >400 died in last 5 years.
  5. If a soldier dies on duty, his family doesn’t receive compensation on time.
  6. Top post occupied by IPS officers, who don’t understand the plight of the force. They just consider it as timepass short stint.
  7. Often, no family accommodate at posting areas. Even education, healthcare, water and electricity is erratic in their government quarters.
  8. There is no concept of peace posting. No break in duty. 80% of the personnel never get to live with their family during entire posting.
  9. Career promotion system not as smoothly organized as in army. These officers donot get same pay and perks like others in “Organized” Group-A central services.
  10. No hardship allowance or risk allowance (recently HM agreed to fix this)
  11. even when transferred, they don’t get transfer allowance.

Steps taken by government so far:

Under Modi-sarkar (June 2014)

  1. Hardship allowance in naxal area will be similar to what they get in J&K and North East. (meaning a constable will get ~8000 extra per month)
  2. After completing tenure in naxal area, they will get posting in the area of their choice. (Inspired from American model in Afghanistan)
  3. Out of turn promotion for exceptional service and bravery.

Side note: Home ministry renamed naxal division to “Left wing extremism (LWE) division”

Under UPA:

  1. Monetary benefits under Modified Assured Career Progression (MACP) – given after 12,24 and 36 years of service. In other words, even if you don’t get promotion, you still get higher pay-scale.
  2. Grievance redressal mechanism
  3. Improved living condition
  4. STD calling facility to family members.
  5. Better Risk allowance
  6. Yoga, meditation, canteen and recreational facilities

Mock Interview Question: If you’re made the Home minister of India, what’ll you do to boost the morale of personnel deployed in naxal areas?.

P2: Chhattisgarh attack

Major attacks in in recent times:
  • Dantewara: Biggest attack on CRPF, more than 70 personnel killed.
  • Entire Congress state-leadership wiped out in an ambushed Bastar, Chhatigarh.
March 2014
  • CRPF was deployed to protect on-going road works in Sukma dist., Chhastisgarh.
  • Maoists surrounded them, killed 15 personnel + 1 civilian.

Why this recent Attack?

  1. This area-corridor is corridor used by rebels to enter and leave chhatisgarh.
  2. But on going Lok Sabha election preparation => increase deployment of police => Maoists nervous.
  3. To send a fear “message” to locals: don’t vote in election (OR vote in favour of the candidate we recommend.)
  4. This was TCOC attack (Tactical counter offensive campaign). Basically, Maoists will run a gang run for 3-4 months- they’ll ambush security personnel for looting weapons. This March-June period provides them good forest cover to hide movement from drones and police informants.

What went wrong?

  • Personnel did not follow the standard operating procedure (SOP). They should have taken a different travel route every day.
  • Downplayed the warning/information from MHA and local people.
  • Failed to learn from past mistakes. deficit of Training-Technology and leadership.
  • Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) not fully utilized = lack of mobile connectivity in red corridor.
  • NTRO (Natioanal Technical Reconnaissance Organisation) operates Israeli Drones for surveillance. But their airbase is in Hyderabad=> drones cannot travel long. + shortage of pilots.
  • Lack of coordination between CRPF and state police

Future strategy: (List not exhaustive)

  • Deploy women police officers in moist-hit areas => reduce human rights violence cases, better communication with locals => reduce base for Maoist
  • NTRO’s drone base should be moved closer to rebel strongholds in Chattisgarh and Jharkhand.
  • Better coordination among intelligence agency with security agencies. (which is never going to happen.)
  • Equip CRPF modern weaponry and training and cutting edge technology for intelligence.
  • Increase recruitment of local tribals in state police service.

Visit Mrunal.org/Polity for entire Archive of Polity articles published so far.