Srinagar: The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is likely to become a key player in counterinsurgency (CI) operations, a leap from the secondary role of securing law and order during such operations, a senior CRPF official told Kashmir Reader.
Currently, only the personnel from police’s counterinsurgency force, the Special Operations Group and Rashtriya Rifles of army, are at the forefront of the operations. Police and CRPF only secure an area to provide a cover to the main fighting force and maintain law and order during operations.
Sources in CRPF’s Srinagar Sector said the paramilitary force has developed its own intelligence network in the valley and therefore was better prepared to directly taken on militants like SOG and RR.
Another security official, however, pointed out that the CRPF also carries out anti-militancy ops whenever an opportunity comes its way. At least 12 CRPF personnel-have been injured in militancy-related incidents or during counter-insurgency ops so far this year.
The CRPF’s Commando Battalions for Resolute Action (CoBRA), set up for guerrilla and forest warfare, have been actively taking part in operations against Maoist insurgents in several states of India.
The official added CRPF was deployed in J&K during the early 90s for CI ops only but was later assigned the task of law and order maintenance.
“There are deliberations taking place regarding the further active and more aggressive participation in the counter-insurgency operations which is in a way moving back to our original mandate,” the official said.