The CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) is the premier central police force of the Union of India for internal security. Originally constituted as the Crown Representative Police in 1939, it is one of the oldest Central para military forces (now termed as Central Armed Police Force). CRPF was raised as a sequel to the political unrest and the agitations in the then princely States of India following the Madras Resolution of the All-India Congress Committee in 1936 and the ever-growing desire of the Crown Representative to help the vast majority of the native States to preserve law and order as a part of the imperial policy.
After Independence, the force was renamed as Central Reserve Police Force by an Act of Parliament on December 28, 1949. This Act constituted CRPF as an armed force of the Union. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the then Home Minister, visualised a multi-dimensional role for it in tune with the changing needs of a newly independent nation.
During the early 1950s, the performance of the CRPF detachments in Bhuj, the then Patiala and East Punjab Union (PEPSU) and Chambal ravines was appreciated by all quarters. The force played a significant role during the amalgamation of the princely States into the Indian Union. It helped the Union Government in disciplining the rebellious princely States of Junagarh and the small principality of Kathiawar in Gujarat which had declined to join the Indian Union.
Soon after Independence, contingents of the CRPF were sent on Kutch, Rajasthan and Sindh borders to check infiltration and trans-border crimes. They were, subsequently, deployed on the Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir following attacks launched by the Pakistani infiltrators. The CRPF bore the brunt of the first Chinese attack on India at Hot Springs (Ladakh) on October 21, 1959. A small CRPF patrol was ambushed by the Chinese in which ten of its men made their supreme sacrifice for the country. Their martyrdom on October 21 is remembered throughout the country as the Police Commemoration Day every year.
During the Chinese aggression of 1962, the Force once again assisted the Indian Army in Arunachal Pradesh. Eight CRPF personnel were killed in action. In 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars also the Force fought shoulder-to-shoulder with the Indian Army, both on the Western and Eastern borders.
For the first time in the history of para-military Forces in India, thirteen companies of CRPF including a detachment of women were airlifted to join the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka to fight the militant caders. Besides, CRPF personnel were also sent to Haiti, Namibia, Somalia and Maldives to deal with law and order situation there, as a part of the UN Peace Keeping Force.
In the late seventies, when the extremist elements disturbed peace in Tripura and Manipur, CRPF battalions were deployed in strength. Simultaneously, there was a turmoil in the Brahamaputra Valley. The CRPF had to be inducted in strength not only to maintain law and order but also to keep lines of communication free from disruption. The commitments of the Force continue to be very high in the North-East in dealing with the insurgency.
When the spectre of terrorism manifested in Punjab in the early 80s, the State government asked for a large scale deployment of the CRPF. The Force had to bear the brunt of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir from 1990 to 1992 as well.
The traditions of sacrifices have continued till date. Whenever any violent turbulence erupts, the CRPF is always the first responder. Whether it was Kashmir, Punjab or North-East or any communal riot, CRPF is being inducted impromptu - prepared, equipped, trained or not-it does not matter. No doubt, it results in initial reverses and causality but the force personnel had always tackled the situations gallantly and restored peace even at the cost of their lives.
Today this magnanimous force is shouldering the responsibility of containing insurgency in North Eastern States of India, J&K and tackling naxalism in the Central part of India in addition to various other tasks related to law and order Duties such as Spl Guard for Vital Installations, Riot-Control drills etc. The force has an all-India character both in organisation and in deployment. Various attributes of the CRPF are its mobility, adaptability, wide spectrum of duties and graded response. The force keeps on moving from one corner of the country to the other to deal with internal security challenges. CRPF is highly professional and can work in perfect harmony with the State police.