Round Table Discussion on the ‘Role of CRPF in Counter-Insurgency Operations’
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Aiming for a thorough review of India’s internal security apparatus, as also in partial fulfilment of the requirements of a Task Force set up recently by the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) on the subject, the Foundation invited Mr. RR Bhatnagar, Director General, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) - the lead force deployed in counter-insurgency (CI) operations across India, - for a round table discussion (RTD) with a select group of policy analysts and security experts including members of the Task Force, among others, on Feb 12, 2018.

The interactive session was planned with an eye on broadening the understanding of the VIF’s faculty in so far as nuances of counter-insurgency operations in India are concerned, especially with a view to help the Task Force prepare a blueprint for potential reform in critical areas, viz, organizational structures, weaponry upgrade, acquisition processes, training and morale, improved living conditions for personnel, etc.

The DG CRPF and his core team of officers, leading the CI operations across the length and breadth of India - especially in Jammu and Kashmir, Left Wing affected areas and the North East - highlighted the nuances of fighting a protracted conflict against committed anti-nationals. He underlined that despite episodic setbacks, the force has done commendably well to contain insurgency in many parts of the country, especially in the North-East and Left-Wing affected areas, while J&K still sticks out like a sore thumb. With the number of districts affected by Left Wing Extremism reduced to 52, the DG also exuded optimism over containment in insurgency related incidents in J&K.

Highlighting the operational strategy of the CRPF, the DG stated that it is based on a two-fold strategy – operational success and safety of our own people. Mr. Bhatnagar further underlined that each operation is meticulously planned, while reversals are thoroughly analyzed. Highlighting difficulties faced by the CRPF, the DG stressed that with up to 90 percent of the force deployed on CI at any given time, there is little time left for rotating the battalions from operational to peace-time locations, as also for training and other essential duties.

Jointmanship, streamlining processes for acquisitions with devolution of financial powers, improvement in living conditions for forces deployed for longer durations, among other issues, came up for closer scrutiny during the interactive session. Mr. Sadanand Date, IG (Ops), Mr. NK Bhardwaj, IG (N-E), Mr. Dhiraj Kumar, DIG (LWE), and Ms. Anupam Kulshrestha, IG (Prov) were among others who accompanied the DG and made detailed and incisive presentations during the session. The VIF’s panel was led by Dr. Arvind Gupta, Director VIF, and included Lt Gen Gautam Banerjee, Mr CD Sahay, Lt Gen Ravi Sawhney and Mr. PK Mishra, among others.

Event Date: 
February 12, 2018