Troops of the Central Reserve Police Force, deployed extensively for anti-Naxal and counter-insurgency operations, are suffering from a "lot of stress" because of long periods of deployment, the chief of the paramilitary said in New Delhi on Monday.
"That is true. There is a lot of stress amongst the troops because of continuous deployment. We will have to give them rest and recuperation," CRPF Director General (DG) K Vijay Kumar said
He was asked to comment on a study conducted by Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, which found that personnel of the country's largest paramilitary are suffering from acute shortage of sleep and are highly dissatisfied as they are deprived of leave and medical-care benefits.
The DG said the force has discussed the matter amongst the top brass and they will soon give a report to the Union home ministry suggesting solutions.
The study conducted by IIM-A Professor Dheeraj Sharma was tasked to undertake the on-field survey of personnel of the CRPF and BSF after the force headquarters and Home Ministry observed that a number of personnel were either leaving the service or opting for Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) owing to various issues and stress.
The personnel from CRPF and BSF, in the study, had "complained they were not granted leave on time. The procedure of granting leave took a long time and at times, leaves were granted after the desired period was over."
The official summary of the report said that "the working duties need them (troops) to work over long, stretched hours. The deprivation of sleep reduces the energy levels and causes discontentment among the workforce."
The about 3-lakh personnel strong Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is not only the mainstay for anti-Maoist operations but its personnel also render a host of internal security duties.
Kumar, who was officiating at an event to flag off 130 force personnel for rendering UN duties in Liberia, asked his commanders to not act as mere "postmen" but orient themselves as "buddies" while dealing with their troops and their grievances.