Fighting the Tough Fight

The new DG CRPF has his task cut out to handle the various problems in the country

Smruti D

The newly appointed Director General (DG), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Kuldiep Singh at his first press interaction after taking over said that a total of 725 companies of the force will be stationed in West Bengal for the upcoming assembly elections, each company comprising 72 personnel.

226 Terrorists, 37 Maoists Killed Since 2020: DG CRPF

Singh, a 1986-batch IPS officer of the West Bengal cadre, was appointed the Director General of the force on March 16 and will serve the force till September 2022. He took over from Dr A. P. Maheshwari, whose term ended on February 28.

Briefing the press about the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Singh stated that from the beginning of 2020, a total of 226 terrorists were killed and 296 were apprehended by the security forces. He stated that the instances of stone-pelting had ‘drastically’ come down. Regarding ‘sticky’ bombs that can be attached to vehicles and detonated remotely, he said that these were found and seized by the security personnel during raids but no case of them being attached to vehicles had come to the fore as yet. In the valley, 378 arms and 41 improvised explosive device (IEDs) had been recovered.

The CRPF, Singh said, had been provided with two Armoured Troops Transporter (ATT) vehicles, 21 bullet-proof gypsies and 19 bullet-proof one-tonne vehicles to be used by Jammu and Kashmir-based units. These inductions prove to be of significance due to the incident that took place 14 February 2019, where a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden SUV into a convoy of vehicles carrying 40 CRPF jawans.

In the Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) areas, Singh stated that a total of 37 Maoists were killed, 710 apprehended and 448 surrendered. The number of IEDs recovered stood at 710. He noted that the number of apprehensions and surrenders had increased. Security personnel performed 77 encounters in the LWE area.

Incidentally, just two days prior to this press conference, on March 16, four Maoists were neutralised by a joint operation carried out by CoBRA personnel and Bihar Police in the state’s Gaya district. From the site of encounter, three AK-47 rifles and an INSAS rifle was recovered.

Singh said that there had been ‘significant reduction’ in the cases of Maoist violence. He said, “With our persistent operations and capacity building we have pushed the Maoists into corners and restricted their activity.”

He added, “The force ventured deeper into the Maoist strongholds and set up 18 Forward Operating Bases to maximise its reach and operational effectiveness in the areas. This has enabled swifter operations and immediate actions on the intelligence inputs.”

While deployed in LWE areas, the security personnel are placed remotely and do not have immediate medical facilities available to them in case of health emergencies. The DG in his address to the media stated the force’s efforts to make both, travel and medical facilities, available to them by setting up of Field Hospitals, surgical units in the interior regions such as Basaguida and Bheji among others. These hospitals will also be extending medical care to locals in the area. In case of air travel, the CRPF has signed an MoU with Pawan Hans to hire services of 10-11 seater Dauphin SA365N helicopters in operational areas. These helicopters have already started this month at Karanpur, CRPF Camp I Chhattisgarh.

On the death toll of number of CRPF personnel fighting in Jammu and Kashmir and LWE areas, he said 26 jawans in total had laid down their lives in 2020-2021. The number of deaths recorded in Jammu and Kashmir were much higher as compared to those in the LWE regions. While 19 died in Jammu and Kashmir, seven were killed in LWE areas.

The DG gave a list of the equipment that are currently in use in the CRPF. He said that the force used ‘emerging’ technologies’ in the field of surveillance, navigation, mobility, firing and rescue. UAV trackers, all terrain rugged vehicle (ATRV), ALSA, high-precision assault rifles, fusion monocular, laser embedded scanners with optical as well as thermal features, ROOK, AI and geospatial tools for ops planning suites. He said these were being used as ‘force multipliers’.

The CRPF is currently providing security cover to 69 protectees of different ‘threat categories’. The VIP Security Training Centre (VSTC) at GC CRPF Greater Noida has been set up for the pre-induction and orientation training for personnel who will be employed in extending VIP security duties.



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