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What is the news?
Recently, a CRPF report revealed there is a lack of leadership in the Chhattisgarh resulting to operational and intelligence failure.
The review also found a significant dip in the quality of operations in the Maoist-violence affected state over the last two years.
What is the role played by CRPF?
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) performs a host of functions, from policing and security duties, to conducting counter-insurgency operations in Chhattisgarh.
It conducts counter insurgency operations against adversaries that consist of Indian citizens, often deeply connected to local geography, ecology and with an intimate knowledge of the terrain.
In last two years, there is decrease in the quality of operations in the Maoist-violence affected state.
What are the reasons behind the dip in quality of operations in Chhattisgarh?
Firstly, decrease in involvement of senior officers at the level of commandant and second-in-command.
Secondly, not setting up tactical resting sites during operations leaving the troops open to ambush and death. Recently, ambush in Sukma-Bijapur led to death of many security personnel.
Thirdly, decline in operational leadership: Recently, the Justice V K Agarwal report concluded that the eight people, including four minors, killed by the CRPF’s elite CoBRA unit in Edesmetta in 2013 were civilians, and not Maoists as the force had claimed. In 2019, a single-judge commission concluded that the CRPF had killed 17 people, firing unilaterally in Bijapur. In both cases, the incidents were apparent “mistakes”, stemming from a failure of jawans to tell civilians and extremists apart.
What is the way forward?
Firstly, we need to involve leadership on the ground is a necessary first step.
Second, the CRPF needs a leadership that is more empathetic to its personnel and equal to the harsh circumstances they face.
Thirdly, paramilitary forces must also be sensitised to the plight of people in states like Chhattisgarh, who face the brunt of poverty, a security state and Maoist violence.
Source: This post is based on the article ” CRPF report flags leadership issues in Chhattisgarh operations. They need to be addressed for security of jawans and civilians ” published in the Indian Express on 22nd September 2021.