Central Reserve Police Force

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Central Reserve Police Force
Central Reserve Police Force emblem.svg
Emblem of the Central Reserve Police Force
MottoService and Loyalty
Agency overview
Formed27 July, 1939
Employees313,634 Active Personnel[1]
Annual budget20,268.03 crore (US$2.8 billion) (2018-19 est.)[2]
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agencyIN
Operations jurisdictionIN
Governing bodyMinistry of Home Affairs (India)
Constituting instrument
  • Central Reserve Police Force Act, 1949
General nature
HeadquartersNew Delhi, India

Minister responsible
Agency executive
Parent agencyMHA
Child agency

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is the largest of India's Central Armed Police Forces. It functions under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) of the Government of India. The CRPF's primary role lies in assisting the State/Union Territories in police operations to maintain law and order and counter insurgency. It came into existence as the Crown Representative's Police on 27 July 1939. After Indian Independence, it became the Central Reserve Police Force on enactment of the CRPF Act on 28 December 1949.

Besides law and order and counter-insurgency duties, the CRPF has played an increasingly large role in India's general elections. This is especially true for the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar and in the North East, with the presence of unrest and often violent conflict. During the Parliamentary elections of September 1999, the CRPF played a major role in the security arrangements. Of late,[when?] CRPF contingents are also being deployed in UN missions.

With 239 battalions and various other establishments, the CRPF is considered India's largest paramilitary force and has a sanctioned strength of more than 300,000 personnel as of 2017.[3]


The mission of the Central Reserve Police Force shall be to enable the government to maintain Rule of Law, Public Order and Internal Security effectively and efficiently to preserve National Integrity & Promote Social Harmony and Development by upholding supremacy of the Constitution.

In performing these tasks with utmost regard for human dignity and freedom of the citizens of India, the force shall endeavour to achieve excellence in management of internal security and national calamities by placing Service and Loyalty above self.


  • The CRPF was derived from the CRP (Crown Representative's Police) on 27 July 1939 with 2 battalions in Nimach [Means North Indian Mounted Artillery and Cavalry Headquarter], Madhya Pradesh. Its primary duty at the time was to protect the British residents in sensitive states of India.[citation needed]
  • In 1949, the CRP was renamed under the CRPF Act. During the 1960s, many state reserve police battalions were merged with the CRPF. The CRPF has been active against foreign invasion and domestic insurgency.
  • On 21 October 1959, SI Karam Singh and 20 soldiers were attacked by the Chinese Army at Hot Springs in Ladakh resulting in 10 casualties. The survivors were imprisoned. Since then, 21 October is observed as day nationwide, across all states in India.[6]
  • On intervening night of 8 and 9 April 1965, 3500 men of 51st Infantry Brigade of Pakistan, comprising 18 Punjab Bn, 8 Frontier Rifles and 6 Baluch Bn, stealthily launched operation "Desert Hawk" against border posts in Rann of Kutch. It was to the valour of Head Constable Bhawana Ram deployed on the eastern parameter of Sardar Post whose gallant act was to a great extent instrumental in demoralising the intruders and forcing them to retreat from the post.

There are few parallels of such a battle and the then Union Home Minister very appropriately graded it as a "Military Battle" not a Police battle. The service and their sacrifice will now not need turning back to old records for appreciation with that historic moment being picked up for celebration as "Valour Day” of the Force after Year.

  • The CRPF guarded the India-Pakistan Border until 1965, at which point the Border Security Force was created for that purpose.
  • On 2001 Indian Parliament attack the CRPF troopers killed all five terrorists who had entered the premises of the Indian Parliament in New Delhi.
  • When 5 armed terrorists tried to storm the Ram Janambhoomi / Babri Masjid Complex in Ayodhya on 5 July 2005 and had penetrated the outer security rings, they were challenged by CRPF which formed the inner security ring. Shri Vijeto Tinyi, AC and Shri Dharambir Singh, Head Constable, who exhibited exemplary gallant were awarded with ‘Shaurya Chakra’.[5]
  • In recent years, the Government of India has decided to follow up on recommendations of the Indian cabinet to use each security agency for its mandated purpose. As a result, the counter-insurgency operations in India have been entrusted to the CRPF.
  • In 2008 a wing called Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) was added to the CRPF to counter the Naxalite movement.
  • On 2 September 2009, 5000 CRPF soldiers were deployed for a search and rescue mission to find the then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy whose helicopter went missing over the Nallamalla Forest Range in Andhra Pradesh. This was the largest search operation ever mounted in India.

Current role and strength[]

As of 2010, the CRPF is the largest paramilitary organisation of the country and is actively looking after the internal security of every part of India and are were even operating abroad as part of IPKF and the United Nations peacekeeping missions. It is performing a variety of duties ranging from VIP security to election duties, from guarding of vital installations to the counter-naxal operations.

List of Chiefs of CRPF[]

V. G. Kanetkar was the first Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force, serving from 3 August 1968 to 15 September 1969.[7] The current Director General is Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar, in office since 27 April 2017.[8]

Sr No. Name From Till
1 V G Kanetka 3 August 1968 15 September 1969
2 Imdad Ali 16 September 1969 28 February 1973
3 B B Mishra 1 March 1973 30 September 1974
4 N S Saxena 30 September 1974 31 May 1977
5 S M Ghosh 1 June 1977 31 July 1978
6 R C Gopal 31 July 1978 10 August 1979
7 P R Rajgopal 10 August 1979 30 March 1980
8 Birbal Nath 13 May 1980 3 September 1980
9 R N Sheopory 3 September 1980 31 December 1981
10 S D Chowdhury 27 January 1982 30 April 1983
11 Shival Swarup 30 July 1983 7 May 1985
12 J F Ribeiro 4 June 1985 8 July 1985
13 T G L Iyer July 1985 Nov 1985
14 S D Pandey 1 November 1985 31 March 1988
15 P G Harlarnkar 1 April 1988 30 September 1990
16 K P S Gill 19 December 1990 8 November 1991
17 S Subramanian 9 November 1991 31 January 1992
18 D P N Singh 1 February 1992 30 November 1993
19 S V M Tripathi 1 December 1993 30 June 1996
20 M B Kaushal 1 October 1996 12 November 1997
21 M N Sabharwal 2 December 1997 31 July 2000
22 Trinath Mishra 31 July-2000 31 December 2002
23 S C Chaube 31 December 2002 31 January 2004
24 J K Sinha 31 January 2004 28 February 2007
25 S I S Ahmed 1 March 2007 31 March 2008
26 V K Joshi 31 March 2008 28 February 2009
27 A S Gill 28 February 2009 31 January 2010
28 Vikram Srivastava 31 January 2010 6 October 2010
29 K Vijay Kumar 7 October 2010 30 September 2012
30 Pranay Sahay 1 October 2012 31 July 2013
31 Dilip Trivedi 17 August 2013 30 November 2014
32 Prakash Mishra 1 December 2014 29 February 2016
33 K. Durga Prasad 1 March 2016 28 February 2017
34 Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar 27 April 2017 Incumbent

Organisational structure[]

CRPF personnel during a bandh in Assam, 2013

The CRPF is headed by a Director general who is an Indian Police Service officer and is divided into ten administrative sectors, each headed by an Inspector General. Each Sector consists of one or more administrative and/or Operational Ranges, headed by an officer of the rank of Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police. Now, Group Centres are also headed by DIGs. The Financial Advisor of the CRPF has been an Indian Revenue Service officer of the rank of Joint Secretary and also has Dy Advisors from the Indian Audit and Accounts Service or the Indian Telecom. Service and Indian Civil Account Service.

There are 243 battalions, (including 204 executive Bns, 6 Mahila Bns, 15 RAF Bns, 10 CoBRA Bns, 5 Signal Bns and 1 Special Duty Group, 1 Parliament Duty Group),[9] of approximately 1200 constables each. Each battalion is commanded by an officer designated as Commandant, and consists of seven CRPF companies, each containing 135 men. Each company is headed by an Assistant Commandant.

The Ministry of Home Affairs plans to raise 2 Group Centers, 2 Range HQ's, 1 Sector HQ and 12 new battalions including a Mahila (all female) battalion by 2019.[10]

The Assistant Commandants are Group 'A' gazetted officers, directly appointed upon clearing an exam conducted by the UPSC which is held yearly.

The CRPF force is organized into a Headquarters and fours zones. A zone is either headed by an Additional Director General(ADG) or a Special Director General. A zone is sub-divided into sectors where each sector is headed by an Inspector General(IG).[11]

Zone Commander Sector
Directorate General DG K Durga Prasad[12] Rapid Action Force
North-East SDG Shri Prabhat Singh, IPS[13] Jorhat
Manipur and Nagaland
North Eastern
Southern SDG Sh Rajesh Pratap Singh, IPS[14] Western
Central SDG Shri Kuldiep Singh, IPS[15] Bihar
Madhya Pradesh
West Bengal
Jammu & Kashmir ADG Shri V.S.K. Kaumudi, IPS[16] Jammu
North Western
Operations Kashmir

Rank Structure Gazetted, Group A Officer[]

Director General (Apex Scale of the Indian Police Service) Director General of a State Police Force
Special Director General (HAG+ Scale of the Indian Police Service) Special Director General
Additional Director General (HAG Scale of the Indian Police Service, also available to BSF cadre) C.P, ADG
Inspector General (IG) IG / Joint CP
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) DIG / Additional CP
Senior Commandant / Commandant (CO) SSP / DCP
Second In Command (2IC) SP / DCP
Deputy Commandant (DC) Addl. SP / Addl. DCP
Assistant Commandant (AC): Group A Gazetted Officer DSP / ACP

Being a central Indian police agency and having high presence of Indian Police Service officers, CRPF follows ranks and insignia similar to other police organisations in India. *There is no equivalence between the ranks of the defense forces and the police forces since there is no government established relativity in terms of rank.

RAF contingent

Rapid Action Force|The Rapid Action Force[17][]

The Rapid Action Force (RAF) is a specialised 10 battalion wing of the Indian Central Reserve Police Force. It was formed in October 1992, to deal with communal riots and related civil unrest. The battalions are numbered from 99 to 108.

The RAF is a zero-response force which gets to the crisis situation within a minimal time, thereby providing a sense of security and confidence amongst the general public.

This force also has the distinction of having a its unique flag signifying peace. The force was the recipient of the President's colour presented by SH L.K. Advani, then Deputy Prime Minister Of India, on 7th October 2003 for "its selfless service to the nation in the 11th year of coming into existence".

The smallest functional unit in the force is a 'Team' commanded by an inspector, has three components namely riot control element, element and fire element. It has been organised as an independent striking unit.

One team in each company of the RAF is composed of female personnel so as to deal more effectively with situation where the force faces women demonstrators.[18]

Parliament Duty Group[]

Parliament Duty Group is an elite CRPF unit tasked to provide armed protection to Parliament House.,[19] it comprises 1,540 personnel drawn from various units of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). PDG members are trained in combating nuclear and bio-chemical attacks, rescue operations and behavioural management.

The Parliament House complex is shielded by four layers of security, each under teams from Delhi police, CRPF, ITBP and personnel of Parliament Security Service. The present unit of Parliament Security Service was trained, keeping December 2001 attack into his serious consideration.The Parliament Security Service acts as the overall coordinating agency in close coordination with various security agencies such as the Delhi Police, CRPF, IB, SPG and NSG.

PDG personnel are armed with Glock Pistols, MP5 Submachine Gun, INSAS as sniper rifles with telescope and hand-held thermal imagers.[19]


CRPF uses basic Infantry weapons which are manufactured indigenously at the Indian Ordnance Factories under control of the Ordnance Factories Board:

  1. Pistol Auto 9mm 1A and Glock 17 9 mm pistols
  2. Heckler & Koch MP5 replacing the Carbine 1A 9 mm sub-machine guns
  3. INSAS 5.56 mm assault rifles
  4. INSAS 5.56 mm light machine guns replacing the Bren L4 machine guns
CRPF CoBRA personnel
  1. AGS-30 Plamya 30 mm automatic grenade launcher
  2. AKM for counter-insurgency
  3. Tavor TAR-21
  4. Micro Tavor (X95) Bullpup.
  5. FN MAG
  6. OFB 51mm Mortar
  7. OFB 81mm Mortar
  8. Carl Gustav 84 mm recoilless rifles

In addition to these, CRPF also uses land mine detectors.

Women in the CRPF[20][]

CRPF is the only Para Military Force in the Country which has three Mahila (Ladies) Battalions. After its training in March 1987, 88(M) Bn won laurels for its work assisting the Meerut riots and later with the IPKF in Sri Lanka. Personnel of second Mahila battalion (135 Bn) performed creditably during the Lok Sabha elections 1996 in many states.

At present mahila personnel are deployed in active duty in Jammu & Kashmir, Ayodhya, Manipur, Assam and other parts of the country where they are doing commendable job. In addition each RAF battalion has a Mahila (Ladies) component consisting of 96 personnel.

With increasing participation of women in politics, agitation and crime, policemen have been feeling handicapped in handling women agitations especially because even a small, real or alleged misdemeanour on their part in dealing with any matter related to women has the potential of turning into a serious law & order problem. To cope with such eventualities the first Mahila Bn in CRPF, the 88(M) Bn was created in 1986 with HQR in Delhi.

The successful experiment of the 88 (Mahila) Bn and the ever-increasing requirement of a Mahila component in dealing with emerging law and order situation as well as the Government emphasis to empower the women Department had taken of raising the second and third Mahila Bn i.e. the 13 (M) Bn with HQR at Gandhinagar (Gujarat) in 1995 and the 213 Bn with HQR at Nagpur(Maharastra) in 2011.[20]

CoBRA - Commando Battalion for Resolute Action[21][]

In 2008 a wing called Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) was added to the CRPF to counter the Naxalite movement in India. This specialised CRPF unit is one of the few units of the Central Armed Police Forces in the country who are specifically trained in guerilla warfare. This elite fighting unit has been trained to track, hunt and eliminate small Naxalite groups. There are currently 10 COBRA units.

10 CoBRA units raised between 2008-2011 have been trained, equipped and deployed in all LWE/ Insurgent affected areas of the states of Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, as well as Assam & Meghalaya is one of the best Central Armed Police in the country trained to survive, fight and win in the jungle. CoBRA is unquestionably/undoubtedly the best CAP in the country.

CoBRA was awarded 04 Shaurya Chakra, 01 Kirti Chakra, 01 PPMG,[22] 117 PMG, and 1267 DG Commendation disc and 31 personnel’s was martyred during operations.

Commando 469[]

CRPF Commandos are specialized in counter-terrorism, reconnaissance, and sabotage and have the honor of being the most elite among the forces. They undergo extremely rigorous training for years sometimes, before they are ready and when they are done with the training, they can be easily classified as among the toughest and most competent men and women in the forces. They are specialized to carry out covert operations.


Till date, the CRPF has been awarded 1586 medals.[23]

Sl No Medal Name Numbers
01 George Cross 01
02 King's Police Medal for Gallantry 03
03 Ashok Chakra 01
04 Kirti Chakra 01
05 Padma Shri 01
06 Vir Chakra 01
07 Shaurya Chakra 14
08 President's Police and Fire Services Medal for Gallantry 49
09 President's Police Medal for Gallantry 192
10 Yudh Seva Medal 01
11 Sena Medal 05
11 Vishisht Seva Medal 04
12 Police Medal for Gallantry 1205
13 IPMG 05
14 Jeevan Raksha Padak 03
15 Prime Minister's Police Medal for Life Saving 100
TOTAL 1586

See also[]


  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 August 2017. Retrieved 12 August 2017.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS DEMAND NO. 48 Police" (PDF). indiabudget.gov.in.
  3. ^ "MHA Annual Report 2016-2017" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Act and Rule". crpf.nic.in. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
  5. ^ a b "Milestones of Bravery". crpf.nic.in. Retrieved 2016-12-12.
  6. ^ "Milestones of Bravery". crpf.nic.in. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
  7. ^ "Former DG". crpf.nic.in. Retrieved 2016-12-12.
  8. ^ "Former DG". crpf.nic.in. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
  9. ^ "Central Reserve Police Force, government of india". crpf.gov.in.
  10. ^ "MHA Annual Report 2015-16" (PDF). National Informatics Centre. Ministry of Home Affairs. p. 172. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  11. ^ "Organization Chart". crpf.nic.in. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  12. ^ "Home | Central Reserve Police Force, government of india". crpf.nic.in. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  13. ^ "North-East Zone | CRPF". crpf.gov.in. Retrieved 2019-01-07.
  14. ^ "Southern Zone | CRPF". crpf.gov.in. Retrieved 2019-01-07.
  15. ^ "Central Zone | CRPF". crpf.gov.in. Retrieved 2019-01-07.
  16. ^ "J & K Zone | CRPF". crpf.gov.in. Retrieved 2019-01-07.
  17. ^ "RAF Sector". crpf.nic.in. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
  18. ^ "About Sector". crpf.nic.in. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
  19. ^ a b "CRPF for Parliament security". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  20. ^ a b "Mahila Battalions". crpf.nic.in. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
  21. ^ "CoBRA Sector". crpf.nic.in. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
  22. ^ "About Sector | CoBRA Sector | Central Reserve Police Force, Government of India". crpf.nic.in. Retrieved 2016-12-12.
  23. ^ "Milestones of Bravery". crpf.nic.in. Retrieved 2017-07-05.

External links[]