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Central Reserve Police Force

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27 July, 1939

Service and Loyalty

Central Reserve Police Force

308,862 Active Personnel

Annual budget
₹17,868.53 crore (US$2.7 billion) (2016-17)

Legal personality
Non government: Central Armed Police Forces

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF; Hindi: केंद्रीय रिजर्व पुलिस बल) 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 role of CRPF in the General Elections, held repeatedly during the past few years, has been very significant and vital. This is especially true for the trouble-ridden states of Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar and in the North East. During the Parliamentary elections of September 1999, the CRPF played a major role in the security arrangements. Of late, CRPF contingents are also being deployed in UN missions.

With 235 battalions and various other establishments, the CRPF is considered India's largest paramilitary force and has a sanctioned strength of 308,862 personnel.


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 Military and Cavalry Headquarter], Madhya Pradesh. Its primary duty at the time was to protect the British residents in sensitive states of India.
  • 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 Police Commemoration day nationwide, across all states in India.
  • 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. The Jawans fought bravely and thwarted the evil designs of the terrorists and successfully eliminated all of them on the spot. Shri Vijeto Tinyi, AC and Shri Dharambir Singh, Head Constable, who exhibited exemplary gallant were awarded with ‘Shaurya Chakra’.
  • 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

    Shri V G Kanetkar was the first Director General of Central Reserve Police Force from 3 August 1968 to 15 September 1969 & current Director General is Shri Prakash Mishra, IPS since 1 December 2014.

    Organisational structure

    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 235 CRPF battalions 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 is 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.

    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).

    Rank Structure Gazetted,Group A Officer

    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.

    The Rapid Action Force

    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.

    RAF is a zero repose force which gets to the crisis situation within a minimal time, thus enthuses and immediate sense of security and confidence amongst the general public.

    This force also has the credit for having a separate flag signifying peace and was proud recipient of president's color presented to it by SH L.K. Advani, then Deputy Prime Minister Of India on 7th Oct. 2003 for its selfless service to the nation in the 11th year of coming into existence.

    Parliament Duty Group

    Parliament Duty Group is an elite CRPF unit tasked to provide armed protection to Parliament House., 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 assault rifles, INSAS telescopic sniper rifles and hand-held thermal imagers.


    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
    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

    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.

    CoBRA - Commando Battalion for Resolute Action

    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, 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.


    Central Reserve Police Force Wikipedia

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