A Rajya Sabha committee has objected to the overuse of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) for rigorous internal security and election-related duties to the extent that even the reserved battalions are deployed not giving them enough time for rest and recuperation.
To boost the morale of the CAPFs, the committee insisted on limiting deputation of officers from the IPS and the armed forces to CAPFs at 25% and the CAPFs cadres should be given an opportunity to become the Director General of respective forces. The committee insisted on paying paramilitary service pay to the CAPF on par with the defence forces personnel.
The Department Related Standing Committee on Home Affairs has strongly reiterated its recommendations rejecting the government’s explanation. The report of the 15-member committee, chaired by Congress leader Anand Sharma, on the action taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in respect of the functioning of the Border Guarding Forces was submitted in the Rajya Sabha last week.
“The committee noted that the defence forces personnel are being paid Military Service Pay in view of the risk to life and social and family isolation and argued that the CAPF also deserves similar incentive in the form of Paramilitary Service Pay as they also face similar risks and isolation. Noting the response of the MHA that the 7th Pay Commission and the Committee on Allowance did not agree to such special pay, the committee insisted on doing the needful,” the report said.
The report said the committee was pained to note that the reserved battalions, which are to be used judiciously and provided rest for being in a state of preparedness, are engaged in duties such as internal security and counter-insurgency, which are quite rigorous.
It urged the MHA to draw a line to allow much required rest and recuperation to the personnel and adhere to the laid down policy on “rest and recuperation”.
Referring to suicides in the CAPFs, the committee urged the Ministry to put in place an institutional mechanism with representatives of the MHA, the Bureau of Police Research and Development, heads of various forces and experts in public health, mental health, psychology and psychiatry to address the issue.
Of the 119 recommendations of the Committee made in its 214th Report, the MHA accepted and acted upon 29. The Committee decided not to pursue further action taken in respect of 50 while rejecting the Ministry’s replies in respect of 17. Final replies are still to be received from the Ministry on 12 recommendations.