CRPF loses 15 times more personnel for non-combat reasons

Even as the CRPF has suffered several casualties in its fight against Maoists, factors such as heart attack, depression and mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue are much bigger cause of deaths in the paramilitary force, according to official data.

The deaths of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel due to these reasons are 15 times larger than those killed in Maoist attacks.

As per the data, a total of 1,294 CRPF troopers died due to depression, heart attack, suicides, malaria or dengue and other reasons between January 1, 2016 to July 30, 2018, however, only 85 personnel of the paramilitary force were killed in the Maoist attacks during the corresponding period.

Of the 1,294 CRPF personnel, 476 died in 2016, 635 in 2017 and 183 in 2018 till July 30.

In 2016, 92 personnel died due to heart attack, five because of malaria and dengue, 26 committed suicide because of depression, and 353 died of other reasons.

In 2017, the number of heart attacks, the mosquito-borne diseases (malaria and dengue), suicides due to depression and others reasons hiked to 156, six, 38 and 435 respectively.

In 2018 (upto July 30), the number of deaths due to heart attack was 39, malaria or dengue (1), suicide due to depression (19) and other reasons (124).

However, the number of CRPF personnel killed in Maoist attacks was registered 31 in 2016, 40 in 2017 and 14 in 2018 (between January 1, 2018 to July 30, 2018).

In 2016, 11 CRPF personnel were killed in Maoist attacks in Bihar, 18 in Chhattisgarh and two in Jharkhand. The number of deaths among the personnel of the paramilitary force increased in 2017 to 40 in which 39 were killed in Chhattisgarh and one in Maharashtra.

In 2018, one CRPF trooper was killed in Bihar, two in Jharkhand and 11 in Chhattisgarh.

The CRPF, a 3.5 lakh strong force, is mandated to provide internal security especially in Maoist affected states and Jammu and Kashmir.

The government data also mentioned that the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) or Maoist situation in the country has been improving consistently and is now well under control.

Currently, a total of 11 states – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal – that comprises 90 LWE affected districts.

The data said currently only 30 districts in seven states are most affected by LWE violence and these districts contributed 88 per cent of violent incidents and 94 per cent of deaths in 2017. The seven most affected states include Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha and Telangana.

Jharkhand tops the list of the seven most LWE affected states followed by Chhattisgarh and Bihar.

Jharkhand’s 13 districts (Bokaro, Chatra, Garhwa, Giridih, Gumla, Hazaribagh, Khunti, Latehar, Lohardaga, Palamu, Ranchi, Simdega, West Singhbhum) and Chhattisgarh’s eight districts (Bastar, Bijapur, Dantewada, Kanker, Kondagaon, Narayanpur, Rajnandgaon and Sukma) are enlisted among highly LWE affected areas.

Bihar’s four districts (Aurangabad, Gaya, Jamui, and Lakhisarai) and Odisha’s two districts (Koraput and Malkangiri) are among most Maoist-affected districts however Andhra Pradesh’s Vishakhapatnam, Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli and Telangan’s Bhadradri-Kothagudem are among the list.

The government has released a total of Rs 775 crore funds under the Special Central Assistance (SCA) for the most LWE affected districts of the seven states between 2017 and 2019.

A maximum of Rs 340 crore has been sanctioned to Jharkhand, Rs 200 crore to Chhattisgarh, Rs 110 crore to Bihar, Rs 50 crore to Odisha and Rs 25 crore each to Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana.