New Delhi: Thrice the number of CRPF jawans fell prey to depression, heart attack and malaria than were killed in anti-Naxal operations across the country between 2009-2013, a parliamentary panel has found. Asking the government to look into the issues of these jawans on a “war footing”, the panel, in its latest report tabled in Rajya Sabha, said that while 228 personnel in the country’s largest paramilitary force fell prey to depression, heart attacks claimed the lives of 642 troopers while malaria killed 108 personnel during the said period.
On the other hand, the force saw 323 operational deaths in the 10 Left Wing Extremism-hit states of the country during the five years under review. “The committee is shocked to note that the number of deaths, 978, due to suicide caused by depression, and heart attack and malaria is almost triple that of deaths, i.e., 323, caused by Left Wing Extremism (for Central Reserve Police Force).
“(It) apprehends that the figure of death due to above- mentioned reasons may run into thousands if all Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and border guarding forces are taken into consideration… the government should immediately take measures on a war footing for attending to the grave situation,” said the standing committee of Home Affairs.
The panel urged the government to look into the long- pending grievances of these jawans, who are the lead force for anti-Maoist operations and for controlling law and order situation along with the local police in various states during any disturbances. “The committee is sympathetic to the desperate situation of paramilitary personnel. It feels that the government should look into the agonies through which they pass while working in difficult circumstances. The committee understands that when the personnel of paramilitary forces pass through stress and feel de-motivated and demoralised, it would have far-reaching negative repercussions.
“The committee, therefore, recommends that the government should look into the long-pending grievances of the paramilitary personnel and address them in a time-bound manner,” it said.