In what the country termed as one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, when a suicide bomber rammed his SUV packed with explosives into a CRPF bus, killing at least 44 troopers; we mourn the loss of our Jawans. While we condemn the heinous attack, we cannot let go of the fact that this was a great loss, not just in terms of casualties but also the loss of the most refined and unbeatable battalions of the nation.
Who are the CRPF Jawans?
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is the biggest of India’s Central Armed Police Forces and is ordained as India’s largest paramilitary force. It operates under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) of the Government of India. Their main role involves maintaining law and order and counter insurgency.
It was established in 1939 as the Crown Representative’s Police but was later changed post-independence and became the Central Reserve Police Force on enactment of the CRPF Act on 28 December 1949.
The battalions are divided into several groups that perform distinguished duties across India.
These are as follows:
The Rapid Action Force– a specialised wing to deal with communal riots and related civil unrest.
Parliament Duty Group– elite unit tasked to provide armed protection to Parliament House. The PDG members are trained in combating nuclear and bio-chemical attacks, rescue operations and behavioural management.
CoBRA – Commando Battalion for Resolute Action- It was added to the CRPF to counter the Naxalite movement in India.
Commando 469– They are specialized in counter-terrorism, reconnaissance, and sabotage. Classified as among the toughest and most competent troop, they are trained to carry out covert operations.
The two primary issues that have the CRPF involved over the years include the Maoists attack and the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir due to militants.
The CRPF Jawans have been part of various heroic stories that have been engraved on the historical forefront of India.
Bravery over the years
The CRPF guarded the India-Pakistan Border until 1965, at which point the Border Security Force was created for that purpose. Be it the 2001 Indian Parliament attack when the CRPF troopers killed all five terrorists who had entered the premises of the Indian Parliament in New Delhi; or the 2009 search and rescue mission of the then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy whose helicopter went missing over the Nallamalla Forest Range in Andhra Pradesh. Back then, 5000 CRPF soldiers were deployed for what was termed as the largest search operation ever mounted in India. That being said, the horrifying incident of Pulwama has shocked the entire nation and have called in for rapid action on the same.
Previous attacks on CRPF Jawans
In the past as well, the CRPF personnel have been under deadly attacks. These are in reference to the 2010 Dantewada Maoist attack when an ambush led to the killing of 76 CRPF policemen. Furthermore, in 2017, at least 25 CRPF personnel were killed by Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district.