'Heart attacks, suicides kill more CRPF jawans than Naxal ops'
Heart attacks, depression and suicides have killed more CRPF troops, over 24 times higher, than operations and ambushes in Naxal violence-hit areas in the last two years.
Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj G Ahir on Wednesday provided data in this regard in Rajya Sabha, stating 5 CRPF men were killed in 2015, 31 in 2016 and 13 till April 4 this year in the three Left Wing Extremism affected states of Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand. As compared to these operational or on-duty deaths, 476 personnel of the country's largest paramilitary force died last year while 407 died in 2015 owing to non-operational reasons.
The data for last year shows 92 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel died due to heart attacks, five due to malaria and dengue, 26 owing to depression and suicide and 353 due to other non-operational reasons.
Similarly, the data for 2015 reveals that 82 troops of the force died due to heart attacks, 13 due to dengue or malaria, 35 owing to depression and suicides while 277 lost their lives due to other reasons.
The about three-lakh personnel-strong CRPF is country's largest Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) and is also the lead force to conduct anti-Naxal operations, and also render a variety of duties in the internal security domain of the country.
The combined data show that heart attacks, depression, suicides, malaria, dengue and other such reasons constitute 24 times more, over operational duties, as the major reasons for the death of CRPF jawans and officers in the last two years. The minister added that in order to boost the morale of the troops deployed in anti-Maoist operations measures like grant of risk allowance, house rent allowance and extension of facility for retention of government accommodation at the last place of posting is "already in place".
"In addition, insurance and various advances and loans are given to ensure financial well-being. Basic amenities like proper accommodation, medical facilities, timely evacuation of injured, better promotional avenues, gallantry awards, rewards/appreciations, grievance redress among others are being addressed," Ahir said.