The Home Ministry has made changes to the mandatory six-month attachment of newly commissioned paramilitary officers to Army units by introducing a stint with state police forces also.
From now, officers of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) will be attached to the Army for three months. They will spend the remaining three months with state police forces to gain a better understanding of internal security challenges, according to a recent directive of the Ministry of Home Affairs, accessed by PTI.
There are five paramilitary forces in the country: Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). This is the first time that CAPF officers will be serving with state police forces during their probation period. The officers were being attached to Army units for several decades now.
“The newly appointed Assistant Commandants (ACs) of CAPFs will first serve with the Army for “three months and the next three months with the state police”, the MHA order read.
Explaining the rationale behind the move, a senior CAPF official, said: “The idea is to give the newly commissioned paramilitary officers equal exposure with the Army and the police as they are the only ones who have diverse roles to play, from guarding Indian borders to handling law and order. The CAPFs are the backbone of the country’s internal security as they are requisitioned every time there is a massive protest, elections, riots, mega event or any other such incident,” the official said.
Hence, he said, they need to understand the functioning of police, their powers, issues and how they coordinate with other government agencies and local residents to ensure law and order. “As part of the MHA directive, the newly commissioned ACs will first train in counter-insurgency and counter-terror operations for three months and then go on to understand the nuances of regular policing, application of Indian Penal Code (IPC) provisions and related things for the remaining three months,” the official said.
The newcomers will be attached to various state police forces. They are expected to serve with sub-divisional police office and handle the work of junior ranks such as Inspector or Sub-Inspector, who are also investigating officers (IOs).
The about 10-lakh strong CAPFs, under the command of the MHA, hire entry-level officers as ACs through an all-India exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. These forces are deployed not on the borders but also in remote locations for undertaking anti-Naxal and counter-insurgency operations.