Deserteringar hårt slag mot indiska militärens krig i centralindien


Government’s war against Maoists faces a blow as CRPF suffers high attrition

Morale of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), tasked with carrying out anti-Maoist operations, seems to have hit an all-time low. The paramilitary force has witnessed shockingly high levels of attrition in last few years in a major blow to the government’s war against the rebels.Extended working hours, scant vacation days and long periods spent in the jungles hunting down the ultras have taken their toll on the force. Alarm bells have started ringing in North Block with as many as 13,658 CRPF personnel leaving the job between 2009 and 2012.

While the number of personnel seeking alternative avenues has come down in other central paramilitary forces (CPMF) like the Border Security Force and the Indo Tibetan Border Police, the upward trend of premature retirement in the CRPF has left the home ministry worried.

In 2012 alone, 4,876 CRPF personnel gave up their jobs – a huge increase from the previous two years, when the numbers remained below 3,000. The ‘exodus’ has become a major source of concern as it can have a direct bearing on anti- Maoist operations.

Sources said a major reason for the high attrition rate in the CRPF is the ongoing fight against Maoists. ” In the last four years, we have been more aggressive against the Naxals. Continuous operations have been launched. We have got success but also suffered losses in the process. Perhaps this could be one reason for people opting out,” a CRPF officer said. Over the last few years, there have been major encounters with Maoists where the CRPF lost its men in big numbers. The attacks in Dantewada (Chhattisgarh), Gadchiroli (Maharashtra) and, more recently, Latehar ( Jharkhand) where the force suffered heavy losses have left deep scars on the psyche of its personnel.

Former officers who have been part of the paramilitary forces feel CRPF’s expansion over the years has not kept pace with infrastructural demands. ” No proper accommodation, no mobile connectivity… even access to basic supplies can be tough. There are no peace postings, all this can take a toll on the rank and file,” said former BSF director general Prakash Singh.

Singh said the lack of good leadership and ability to inspire jawans had also been a dampener for the force.

“Whether North- East, Jammu and Kashmir or Naxal-hit states, the jawans are moved around frequently to hazardous surroundings,” a CRPF officer said.

Dr Sameer Malhotra, head of psychiatry at Max Healtcare, said: ” In any organisation, attrition rate depends on the quality of life. Whether the actual conditions one is facing are able to match the aspirations. If one does not get rewards for the effort and risk, the attrition rate is likely to be high.” In an attempt to ensure that CRPF jawans don’t leave the force, the home ministry has decided a strategy of recruiting men mainly from Naxal affected states.

The home ministry had commissioned a study last year to look into the reasons for premature retirements in paramilitary forces. The findings of the study revealed that lack of sleep, manpower crunch, no leaves and lack of motivation were among some of the reasons responsible for personnel quitting their jobs.

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