Central Reserve Police Force

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Central Reserve Police Force
केंद्रीय रिजर्व पुलिस बल
Central Reserve Police Force emblem.svg
CRPF Emblem
Flag of Central Reserve Police Forces.png
CRPF emblem embroidered on sky-blue flag
Motto"सेवा और निष्ठा"
Service and Loyalty
Agency overview
Formed27 July, 1939
Preceding agency
  • Ministry of Home Affairs (INDIA)
Employees313,634 Active Troops
Annual budget237 billion (US$3.3 billion) (2019–20 est.) [1]
Jurisdictional structure
National agency
(Operations jurisdiction)
Federal agency
(Operations jurisdiction)
Operations jurisdiction IN
India (orthographic projection).svg
Map of Central Reserve Police Force's jurisdiction.
Size3.287 million km²
Legal jurisdictionAs per operations jurisdiction
Governing body MHA
Constituting instrument
  • The Central Reserve Police Force Act, 1949 [2]
General nature
HeadquartersCGO Complex , New Delhi , INDIA
Minister responsible
Agency executive
Child agencies
  • CoBRA(COmmando Battalion for Resolute Action)
  • RAF(Rapid Action Force)
  • Special Duty Group
  • Parliament Duty Group
  • Operation All Out (J&K)
  • Anti-Naxal Operations (LWE Region)
Emblem of India.svg
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The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is India's largest Central Armed Police Force. It functions under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) of the Government of India. The CRPF's primary role lies in assisting the State/Union Territories in police operations to maintain law and order and counter insurgency. It came into existence as the Crown Representative's Police on 27 July 1939. After Indian Independence, it became the Central Reserve Police Force on enactment of the CRPF Act on 28 December 1949.


Besides law and order and counter-insurgency duties, the CRPF has played an increasingly large role in India's general elections. This is especially true for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir(erstwhile State), Bihar and in the North East, with the presence of unrest and often violent conflict. During the Parliamentary elections of September 1999, the CRPF played a major role in the security arrangements. Of late, CRPF contingents are also being deployed in UN missions.

With 246 battalions and various other establishments, the CRPF is considered India's largest paramilitary force and has a sanctioned strength of more than 300,000 personnel as of 2017. [3]


The mission of the Central Reserve Police Force shall be to enable the government to maintain Rule of Law, Public Order and Internal Security effectively and efficiently to preserve National Integrity & Promote Social Harmony and Development by upholding supremacy of the Constitution.

In performing these tasks with utmost regard for human dignity and freedom of the citizens of India, the force shall endeavour to achieve excellence in management of internal security and national calamities by placing Service and Loyalty above self.


There are few parallels of such a battle and the then Union Home Minister very appropriately graded it as a "Military Battle" not a Police battle. The service and their sacrifice will now not need turning back to old records for appreciation with that historic moment being picked up for celebration as "Valour Day" of the Force after Year. [ check quotation syntax ]

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is the premier central police force of the Union of India for internal security. Originally constituted as the Crown Representative Police in 1939, it is one of the oldest Central para military forces (now termed as Central Armed Police Force). CRPF was raised as a sequel to the political unrest and the agitations in the then princely States of India following the Madras Resolution of the All-India Congress Committee in 1936 and the ever-growing desire of the Crown Representative to help the vast majority of the native States to preserve law and order as a part of the imperial policy.

After Independence, the force was renamed as Central Reserve Police Force by an Act of Parliament on 28 December 1949. This Act constituted CRPF as an armed force of the Union. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the then Home Minister, visualised a multi-dimensional role for it in tune with the changing needs of a newly independent nation.

During the early 1950s, the performance of the CRPF detachments in Bhuj, the then Patiala and East Punjab state Union (PEPSU) and Chambal ravines was appreciated by all quarters. The force played a significant role during the amalgamation of the princely States into the Indian Union. It helped the Union Government in disciplining the rebellious princely States of Junagarh and the small principality of Kathiawar in Gujarat which had declined to join the Indian Union.

Soon after Independence, contingents of the CRPF were sent on Kutch, Rajasthan and Sindh borders to check infiltration and trans-border crimes. They were, subsequently, deployed on the Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir following attacks launched by the Pakistani infiltrators. The CRPF bore the brunt of the first Chinese attack on India at Hot Springs (Ladakh) on 21 October 1959. A small CRPF patrol was ambushed by the Chinese in which ten of its men made their supreme sacrifice for the country. Their martyrdom on 21 October is remembered throughout the country as the Police Commemoration Day every year.

During the Chinese aggression of 1962, the Force once again assisted the Indian Army in Arunachal Pradesh. Eight CRPF personnel were killed in action. In 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars also the Force fought shoulder-to-shoulder with the Indian Army, both on the Western and Eastern borders.

For the first time in the history of para-military Forces in India, thirteen companies of CRPF including a detachment of women were airlifted to join the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka to fight the militant caders. Besides, CRPF personnel were also sent to Haiti, Namibia, Somalia and Maldives to deal with law and order situation there, as a part of the UN Peace Keeping Force.

In the late seventies, when the extremist elements disturbed peace in Tripura and Manipur, CRPF battalions were deployed in strength. Simultaneously, there was a turmoil in the Brahmaputra Valley. The CRPF had to be inducted in strength not only to maintain law and order but also to keep lines of communication free from disruption. The commitments of the Force continue to be very high in the North-East in dealing with the insurgency. [6]

Conflicts and operations

Sri Lanka Mission

The role of the CRPF and its services rendered have extended beyond the nation's borders as well. The services rendered by the CRPF in Sri Lanka as part of IPKF, as part of the UN Peace Keeping Force in Namibia, Somalia, Haiti, Maldives and also in Bosnia speaks volumes about the ability, agility, versatility and dependability of the Force to adapt to any conflict-situation round the globe. Presently a contingent of 240 personnel of RAF are deployed in KOSOVO as UN Mission in Kosovo is to provide protection and security to the UN officials/UN civil police/ Crowd control etc. RAF coys will also assist local Police to control /mob during violent demonstration, humanitarian and to assist the activities of the ICTY.

Haiti Mission


Haiti was under the commandment of National Council of Government in 1986 under Jean Claude Duvalier. The country went through a series of political instability moving from one military Government to other from 1986 to 1991. The country experienced 4 military coup. In 1991 military government was replaced by a young priest Jean Bertrand Aristide who took over as President after election in November 1990, he was overthrown after 7 months in Sept 1991 by General Cadres. The Priest Jean Bertrand Aristide took asylum in USA with U.S troops who prepared to enter Haiti under orders from President Bill Clinton of USA. The Wind was favourable for the return of Aristide to power by holding elections in Haiti in Oct 1994.

A contingent of 120 male personnel selected from CRPF and RAF Units was formed up, trained and equipped for duties at 103 RAF in Delhi and they were sent to Haiti on 31 March’94. This contingent, then called as Company, worked in Haiti for various duties during elections as a part of US Army contingent forming 504 Military Police Battalion (Dragon Fighters) under UN Mission in HAITI (UNMIH).

Duties performed

The duties performed by the contingent included mobile patrolling, saturation patrolling, manning and guarding of Police Stations and the National Prison, combined mounted/dismounted patrols, Prison monitor teams and security escorts. They also trained the prisoners. All such duties were conducted as a special arrangement for peaceful conduct of Presidential elections in Haiti.

Shri R.S.H.S Sahota then Commandant, was the Contingent Commander. In recognition of the continent's excellent performance in Haiti, the contingent was awarded on U.S. Army Commendation Medal, 5 US Army Achievement Medals, 80 appreciation coins and UN Medal to all 120 personnel. After successful completion of the assigned task, this contingent was de-inducted from Haiti during November 1995.

Liberia Mission

On a special request from United Nations and direction of Govt. of India/Ministry of Home Affairs, a fully formed Female Police Unit (FFPU) was formed up with Mahila CRPF personnel which was further deployed in Liberia during Feb 2007, as part of an UN peacekeeping force in the strife-torn African nation.

Out of the 23 nations deployed there, only India has the privilege of having an exclusive women's team there, and it was the first exclusive female team of police which was pressed into action in any UN peacekeeping force.

This deployment is still on as part of the UN mission however is now supplemented by a male Contingent also. Tenure of each contingent is for one year. At present, 8th Batch of Female contingents and 5th Batch of Male contingents have been deployed in Liberia.

Current role and strength

As of 2010, the CRPF is the largest paramilitary organisation of the country and is actively looking after the internal security of every part of India and were operating abroad as part of IPKF and the United Nations peacekeeping missions. It is performing a variety of duties ranging from VIP security to election duties, from guarding of vital installations to the counter-naxal operations.

List of Chiefs of CRPF

V. G. Kanetkar was the first Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force, serving from 3 August 1968 to 15 September 1969. [7] The current Director General is AP Maheshwari, in office since 13 January 2020. [8]

Sr No.NameFromTill
1V G Kanetkar3 August 196815 September 1969
2Imdad Ali16 September 196928 February 1973
3B B Mishra1 March 197330 September 1974
4N S Saxena30 September 197431 May 1977
5S M Ghosh1 June 197731 July 1978
6R C Gopal31 July 197810 August 1979
7P R Rajgopal10 August 197930 March 1980
8Birbal Nath13 May 19803 September 1980
9R N Sheopory3 September 198031 December 1981
10S D Chowdhury27 January 198230 April 1983
11Shival Swarup30 July 19837 May 1985
12J F Ribeiro4 June 19858 July 1985
13T G L IyerJuly 1985Nov 1985
14S D Pandey1 November 198531 March 1988
15P G Harlarnkar1 April 198830 September 1990
16 K P S Gill 19 December 19908 November 1991
17S Subramanian9 November 199131 January 1992
18D P N Singh1 February 199230 November 1993
19S V M Tripathi1 December 199330 June 1996
20M B Kaushal1 October 199612 November 1997
21M N Sabharwal2 December 199731 July 2000
22Trinath Mishra31 July-200031 December 2002
23S C Chaube31 December 200231 January 2004
24 J K Sinha 31 January 200428 February 2007
25S I S Ahmed1 March 200731 March 2008
26V K Joshi31 March 200828 February 2009
27A S Gill28 February 200931 January 2010
28Vikram Srivastava31 January 20106 October 2010
29 K Vijay Kumar 7 October 201030 September 2012
30Pranay Sahay1 October 201231 July 2013
31Dilip Trivedi17 August 201330 November 2014
32Prakash Mishra1 December 201429 February 2016
33K. Durga Prasad1 March 201628 February 2017
34Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar27 April 201713 January 2020
35AP Maheshwari13 January 2020Incumbent

Organisational structure

CRPF(CoBRA) personnel during the Republic Day Parade The CRPF marching contingents passes through the Rajpath during the 66th Republic Day Parade 2015, in New Delhi on January 26, 2015.jpg
CRPF(CoBRA) personnel during the Republic Day Parade

The CRPF is headed by a Director general who is an Indian Police Service officer and is divided into ten administrative sectors, each headed by an Inspector General. Each Sector consists of one or more administrative and/or Operational Ranges, headed by an officer of the rank of Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police. Now, Group Centres are also headed by DIGs. The Financial Advisor of the CRPF has been an Indian Revenue Service officer of the rank of Joint Secretary and also has Dy Advisors from the Indian Audit and Accounts Service or the Indian Telecom. Service and Indian Civil Account Service.

There are 243 battalions, (including 204 executive Bns, 6 Mahila Bns, 15 RAF Bns, 10 CoBRA Bns, 5 Signal Bns and 1 Special Duty Group, 1 Parliament Duty Group), [9] of approximately 1200 constables each. Each battalion is commanded by an officer designated as Commandant, and consists of seven CRPF companies, each containing 135 men. Each company is headed by an Assistant Commandant.

The Ministry of Home Affairs plans to raise 2 Group Centers, 2 Range HQ's, 1 Sector HQ and 12 new battalions including a Mahila (all female) battalion by 2019. [10]

The Assistant Commandants are Group 'A' gazetted officers, directly appointed upon clearing an exam conducted by the UPSC which is held yearly.

The CRPF force is organized into a Headquarters three attached wings and fours zones. A zone is either headed by an additional director general or a special director general. A zone is sub-divided into sectors where each sector is headed by an inspector general. [11]

Directorate GeneralDG AP Maheshwari, IPS [12] Rapid Action Force

(Spl. DG-GTY)

SDG Shri Arun Kumar Sharma, IPS [13] Jorhat
Manipur and Nagaland
North Eastern


ADG Shri Sanjay Arora, IPS [14] Western

(Spl. DG-KOL)

SDG Shri Kuldiep Singh, IPS [15] Bihar
Madhya Pradesh
West Bengal
Jammu & Kashmir

(Spl. DG-JMU)

SDG Shri V.S.K. Kaumudi, IPS [16] Jammu
North Western
Operations Kashmir
CRPF AcademyADG Shri P. K. Chaudhary [17] CRPF Academy
Operations & HQADG Sanjay Arora, IPS [17] Operations




Comms & IT



WorksSDG Jawed AkhtarPersonnel





TrainingSDG Shri Sachchidanand Shrivastava, IPS [19] Training

ISA Mt.Abu

Designation Structure Gazetted, Group A Officer

Director General (Apex Scale of the Indian Police Service)Director General of a State Police Force
Special Director General (HAG+ Scale of the Indian Police Service)Special Director General
Additional Director General (HAG Scale of the Indian Police Service)C.P, ADG
Inspector General (IG)IG / Joint CP
Deputy Inspector General (DIG)DIG / Additional CP
Commandant (CO)SSP / DCP
Second in Command (2IC)SP / DCP
Deputy Commandant (DC)SP / Addl. DCP (Delhi) or DCP (Maharashtra)
Assistant Commandant (AC): Group A Gazetted OfficerDSP / ACP

Being a central Indian police agency and having high presence of Indian Police Service officers, CRPF follows ranks and insignia similar to other police organisations in India. *There is no equivalence between the ranks of the defense forces and the police forces since there is no government established relativity in terms of rank.

Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh meeting Rapid Action Force (RAF) officers. The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh meeting the Rapid Action Force (RAF) Officers, during the Silver Jubilee Parade of the Rapid Action Force (RAF), in Meerut on October 07, 2017.jpg
Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh meeting Rapid Action Force (RAF) officers.

The Rapid Action Force

The Rapid Action Force (RAF) is a specialised 10 battalion wing of the Indian Central Reserve Police Force. It was formed in October 1992, to deal with communal riots and related civil unrest. The battalions are numbered from 99 to 108. The RAF is a zero-response force intended to quickly respond to a crisis situation. [20]

This force also has the distinction of having a unique flag signifying peace. The force was the recipient of the President's colour presented by SH L.K. Advani, then Deputy Prime Minister of India, on 7 October 2003 for "its selfless service to the nation in the 11th year of coming into existence".

The smallest functional unit in the force is a 'Team' commanded by an inspector, has three components namely a riot control element, a tear smoke element and a fire element. It has been organised as an independent strike unit.

One team in each company of the RAF is composed of female personnel so as to deal more effectively with situation where the force faces women demonstrators. [21]

Parliament Duty Group

The Parliament Duty Group is an elite CRPF unit tasked with providing armed protection to Parliament House. [22] It comprises 1,540 personnel drawn from various units of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). PDG members are trained in combating nuclear and bio-chemical attacks, rescue operations and behavioural management.

The Parliament House complex is protected by teams from the Delhi police, CRPF, ITBP and personnel of the Parliament Security Service. The Parliament Security Service acts as the overall coordinating agency in close cooperation with various security agencies such as the Delhi Police, CRPF, IB, SPG and NSG.

PDG personnel are armed with Glock Pistols, MP5 Submachine Gun, INSAS sniper rifles with telescope and hand-held thermal imagers. [22]


CRPF uses basic Infantry weapons which are manufactured indigenously at the Indian Ordnance Factories under control of the Ordnance Factories Board:

  1. Pistol Auto 9mm 1A and Glock 17 9 mm pistols
  2. Heckler & Koch MP5 replacing the Carbine 1A 9 mm sub-machine guns
  3. INSAS 5.56 mm assault rifles
  4. INSAS 5.56 mm light machine guns replacing the Bren L4 machine guns
CRPF CoBRA trooper
  1. AGS-30 Plamya 30 mm automatic grenade launcher
  2. AKM for counter-insurgency
  3. Tavor TAR-21
  4. Micro Tavor (X95) Bullpup.
  5. FN MAG
  6. OFB 51mm Mortar
  7. OFB 81mm Mortar
  8. Carl Gustav 84 mm recoilless rifles

In addition to these, CRPF also uses land mine detectors.

Women in the CRPF

CRPF is the only Para Military Force in the Country which has three Mahila (Ladies) Battalions. After its training in March 1987, 88(M) Bn won laurels for its work assisting the Meerut riots and later with the IPKF in Sri Lanka. Personnel of second Mahila battalion (135 Bn) performed creditably during the Lok Sabha elections 1996 in many states. [23]

At present mahila personnel are deployed in active duty in Jammu & Kashmir, Ayodhya, Manipur, Assam and other parts of the country where they are doing commendable job. In addition each RAF battalion has a Mahila (Ladies) component consisting of 96 personnel.

With increasing participation of women in politics, agitation and crime, policemen have been feeling handicapped in handling women agitations especially because even a small, real or alleged misdemeanour on their part in dealing with any matter related to women has the potential of turning into a serious law & order problem. To cope with such eventualities the first Mahila Bn in CRPF, the 88(M) Bn was created in 1986 with HQR in Delhi.

The successful experiment of the 88 (Mahila) Bn and the ever-increasing requirement of a Mahila component in dealing with emerging law and order situation as well as the Government emphasis to empower the women Department had taken of raising the second and third Mahila Bn i.e. the 135 (M) Bn with HQR at Gandhinagar (Gujarat) in 1995 and the 213 Bn with HQR at Nagpur (Maharastra) in 2011. [23]


In 2008 a wing called Commando Battalion for Resolute Action [18] (CoBRA) was added to the CRPF to counter the Naxalite movement in India. This specialised CRPF unit is one of the few units of the Central Armed Police Forces in the country who are specifically trained in guerilla warfare. This elite fighting unit has been trained to track, hunt and eliminate small Naxalite groups. There are currently 10 COBRA units.

10 CoBRA units raised between 2008 and 2011 have been trained, equipped and deployed in all LWE/ Insurgent affected areas of the states of Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, as well as Assam & Meghalaya is one of the best Central Armed Police in the country trained to survive, fight and win in the jungle. CoBRA is unquestionably/undoubtedly the best CAP in the country.

CoBRA was awarded 04 Shaurya Chakras, 01 Kirti Chakra, 01 PPMG, [24] 117 PMG, and 1267 DG Commendation disc and 31 personnel's were Killed in action during operations.


List of Gallantry-Medals/Awards as on 14 September 2018 Medallist2018.jpg
List of Gallantry-Medals/Awards as on 14 September 2018

Members of the CRPF has been awarded 1586 medals. [5]

Sl NoMedal NameNumbers
01 George Cross 01
02 King's Police Medal for Gallantry 03
03 Ashok Chakra 01
04 Kirti Chakra 01
05 Padma Shri 01
06 Vir Chakra 01
07 Shaurya Chakra 14
08 President's Police and Fire Services Medal for Gallantry 49
09 President's Police Medal for Gallantry192
10 Yudh Seva Medal 01
11 Sena Medal 05
11 Vishisht Seva Medal 04
12 Police Medal for Gallantry 1205
14 Jeevan Raksha Padak 03
15Prime Minister's Police Medal for Life Saving100

See also

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