Central Reserve Police Force

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Central Reserve Police Force
केंद्रीय रिजर्व पुलिस बल
Abbreviation C.R.P.F
Emblem of the Central Reserve Police Force
Motto Service and Loyalty
Agency overview
Formed 27 July, 1939
Legal personality Non government: Central Armed Police Forces
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency IN
Governing body Ministry of Home Affairs (India)
Constituting instrument Central Reserve Police Force Act, 1949
General nature
Specialist jurisdictions
  • Paramilitary law enforcement, counter insurgency, armed response to civil unrest, counter terrorism, special weapons operations.
  • Counter terrorism, special weapons and tactics, protection of VIPs.
  • Protection of international or domestic VIPs, protection of significant state asseets.
Operational structure
Headquarters New Delhi, India
Minister responsible Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister
Agency executive K Durga Prasad, IPS, Director General, CRPF
Parent agency Central Armed Police Forces
Child agency CoBRA
Sectors 10

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 J&K, 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 230 battalions[1] and various other establishments, the CRPF is considered India's largest paramilitary force .[2]


  • 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 Cavelary 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 Police Commemoration day nationwide, across all states in India.
  • 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.
  • 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 even operating abroad as part of 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.

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 232 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 Home Ministry is planning to increase the strength of the force by adding 35 more battalions(30,000 personnel approx.) in the coming years.Staff are recruited by the UPSC and also through deputation from IPS officers.

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

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
Commandant (CO) SSP/DCP
Second In Command (2 I/C) 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 insgnia 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.

Parliament Duty Group

Parliament Duty Group is an elite CRPF unit tasked to provide armed protection to Parliament House.,[3] 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.[3]


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

The CRPF has three battalions staffed entirely by women. The first battalion No 88 was raised in 1986 with its headquarters at New Delhi. The second battalion 135 came into existence in 1996 at Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The third battalion, Number 213 is located at Ajmer, Rajasthan.[citation needed]

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.

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.

See also


To career as Constable at CRPF, Educational Qualification is needed 12th Class from recognized university. Age Limitation of CRPF, candidates must be 18-25. To be Directly Appointed Gazetted Officer one needs to be Graduate from any recognized university so as to appear for annual exam conducted by UPSC.


  1. http://crpf.nic.in/crp_b.htm
  2. India's CRPF urges new intelligence wing United Press International, 19 May 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "CRPF for Parliament security". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links