The CRPF in the thick of the action in Naxal hotbeds of the country is facing a new threat to the lives of its troops alarming number of deaths in road accidents.
More than 100 CRPF troops have lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents during the last year while they were on leave,prompting the force headquarters and CRPF chief K Vijay Kumar to issue an advisory in this regard.
The alarming number of deaths of the personnel in road accidents can be gauged from the fact that only 29 Central Reserve Police Force personnel 26 in anti-naxal operations and three in counter-insurgency operations were killed while on duty during 2011.
“More than 100 of my boys have lost their lives in road accidents during the last year. The life of every trooper is very precious and I am concerned over this,” the CRPF Director General said.
Kumar has also asked senior officials and field commanders of the force to make aware their formations about the need to strictly adhere to traffic rules and ensure zero causalities on this front.
“One important point of concern that I would like to share with you is the large number of deaths of force personnel due to motor vehicle accidents during leave period. I notice an alarming trend in this.
“Your life is precious not only to the nation but also for your family members and hence you must understand your responsibility towards both and abide by traffic discipline and rules for your own safety,” the DG wrote to his 2.5-lakh personnel strong force.
A senior official commanding battalions in the anti-Naxal domain said the deaths due to motor vehicle accidents were very unfortunate as a lot of effort goes into keeping a check on such incidents while the troops are on duty.
“A number of places where our boys are deployed for anti-Naxal operations duties are in the remotest of locations. Due to the threat of land mines and absence of approach roads we airlift them when they opt for leave. While this is being done quite successfully,losing a jawan in a freak road accident is completely unacceptable,” the official said.
Right from company commanders (who command about 100 personnel) to formation commanders like the Inspectors General (IsG),all have been asked to create awareness about traffic rules and observing safe practises amongst the troops when they travel on roads while off-duty,the official added.