Darjeeling row: Central forces can’t substitute state police, says Home Ministry

The Home Ministry asked state governments to set up a panel for examining requirements of central forces keeping in view the internal security situation

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 18, 2017 6:14 pm
Central forces, CAPF, Home Ministry, Rajnath Singh, Home minister, Mamata Banerjee, Darjeeling row, Darjeeling agitation, Gorkhaland, West Bengal government, India Reserve Battalions, West Bengal news, The Home Ministry, under Rajnath Singh, came out with the missive came after the Bengal government got a HC stay against the Centre’s move to withdraw 700 central armed police forces from Darjeeling. File Photo

The Home Ministry told state governments on Wednesday that paramilitary forces could not substitute state police and should be deployed only in emergencies. The Home Ministry’s missive came after the West Bengal government moved the Calcutta High Court and got a stay against the Centre’s move to withdraw 700 central armed police forces (CAPF) from Darjeeling, where an agitation demanding a separate state, Gorkhaland, is on.

The ministry, helmed by Rajnath Singh, said CAPFs had more pressing commitments like guarding borders, fighting insurgency and anti-national operations and asked state governments to set up a committee for examining requirements of central forces. It also asked them to keep in view the internal security, intelligence inputs and availability of central forces in nearby locations while requesting more personnel.

The Home Ministry said standard operating procedures (SOPs) had been formulated for deployment of CAPFs. “CAPFs can’t substitute the state police force as their deployment is related to emergency crisis in states for maintaining law and order,” the letter said.

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The ministry, in the communication, said governments often made requests to the Centre for deployment of CAPFs even for occasions where they were self-sufficient to take security measures from their own resources. “State governments are reluctant to de-induct CAPFs and keep requesting for extension which should not ordinarily be made unless there are adequate security reasons for their extension,” the letter said.

The Home Ministry said there were significant dues against the states and Union territories. “Deployment of CAPF companies has a cost associated with it and the state governments are required to pay the charges as laid down in the government policy,” it said.

The ministry said each state should constitute a panel under the chairmanship of Additional Director General of Police (law and order), where representatives of Intelligence Bureau and CAPFs at the level of DIG might be co-opted. “These committees may examine and scrutinise the requirements of CAPFs,”  it said. The recommendation of the committee must be specific and indicate the quantum of CAPFs required and duration along with the jurisdictions. Requests for extension of deployment and increase in the quantum must also be examined by the committee.

“Government has sanctioned many India Reserve Battalions in the states and these are not being used optimally by the governments. The purpose of the IRBs scheme is to make the state self sufficient in dealing with the law and order and internal security situation by avoiding being dependent on CAPFs,” the home ministry communication said.

(With PTI inputs)

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