Heart attacks, depression and other medical reasons killed sixteen times more CRPF personnel than action in anti-Naxal operations in the last three years, the government said today. In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Union minister of state for home Hansarj G Ahir said that while a total of 74 personnel of the country’s largest paramilitary–the Central Reserve Police Force–were killed in action against Maoists between 2015 and 2017, 1,196 lost their lives owing to multiple medical issues. Breaking down the figures, he said, 219 jawans and officers of the force died due to heart attacks, 77 personnel lost their lives owing to depression or by committing suicide and 20 lost their lives due to malaria and dengue, during the same period.
A total of 880 personnel lost their lives due to “other” medical reasons, the minister said, without elaborating them. The maximum number of 59 deaths of CRPF personnel in anti-Naxal operations, out of the total 74, were reported from Chhattisgarh. In the other Left Wing Extremism-hit states of Bihar, 14 personnel lost their lives in operations against the ultras while two were killed in Jharkhand during the same period.
The minister said the government has taken several measures to ensure good morale of all the personnel working in various Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) like the CRPF. “Basic amenities like proper accommodation, medical facilities, timely evacuation of injured, better promotional avenues, gallantry awards, rewards and appreciations and grievance redressal are being addressed,” Ahir said.