156 CAPF personnel killed themselves in 2021: MHA

Over 1,200 Central Armed Police Forces’ personnel committed suicide in nine years, Minister tells Lok Sabha

March 29, 2022 06:30 pm | Updated 08:52 pm IST - New Delhi

Photo used for representation purpose only.

Photo used for representation purpose only. | Photo Credit: A.M. Faruqui

As many as 156 personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) committed suicide in 2021, the highest in almost a decade, according to information provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

The CAPFs that comprise various security forces such as the CRPF, CISF, ITBP, SSB, BSF, NSG and Assam Rifles are deployed in various internal security and border guarding duties.

From 2012, the total number of CAPF personnel who killed themselves stood at 1205. The incidents saw a sharp increase in the COVID-19 pandemic induced lockdown years, with 143 and 156 committing suicide in 2020 and 2021 respectively. From 2012 to 2019, the numbers stood at 118, 113, 125, 108, 92,125, 96 and 129 respectively.

Remedial measures

In a written reply, Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said a task force was set up in October 2021, to identify relevant risk factors as well as risk groups and suggest remedial measures for prevention of suicides in CAPFs. The composition of the task force was modified in December 2021.

“Domestic problems, illness and financial problems are some of the contributory factors among others behind the incidents of suicide,” the reply said. The measures undertaken to promote mental health and well-being of jawans of CAPFs include “Art of Living” courses “which have positive impact on the Jawans.”

The Minister said other steps include improving living conditions for troops, providing adequate recreational and entertainment, sports, communication facilities and “crèche facility at various establishments (where feasible) to facilitate the female employees.”

Transparent transfer and leave policies, treating hospitalisation period due to injuries incurred on duty as working days are some of the other measures to reduce stress among the CAPF personnel.

2022 incidents

In another reply, the Minister said two incidents of fratricide have taken place-in Amritsar and Murshidabad on March 6 and 7 this year.

“In the Amritsar incident, a Constable opened indiscriminate fire from his official weapon on his colleagues in General Diary office and Other Ranks Barrack at Battalion Head Quarter. Five BSF personnel received bullet injuries out of which four succumbed during their treatment in hospital. The accused Constable also succumbed during treatment probably due to ricochet of bullet fired from the weapon,” the reply said.

“In the second incident at Border Outpost (BOP) Kakmarichar of 177 Battalion in Murshidabad, a Head Constable shot dead another Head Constable and subsequently, he shot himself to death,” it said.

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