Parliamentary panel on Home expresses concern over cases of attrition, suicide in CAPFs; calls for better stress management

By Payal Mehta
New Delhi [India], March 15 (ANI):
The report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs in its report on demand for grants (2022-2023), which was submitted to both houses of Parliament on Monday, has expressed concern over an increase in cases of suicides and attrition in Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).
The Committee had asked the Ministry of Home Affairs about the main reasons behind the “increasing attrition” in CAPFs, especially, the Border Security Force (BSF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel. The Committee said that attrition in CAPFs was 20,575 in 2017 and 16,100 in 2018. The figures dipped came down to 14,872 in 2019 and further to 9,729 in 2020.
There was rise in attrition (superannuation, dismissal, removal, voluntary retirement, resignation, death, invalidation, etc) in 2021 at 14,311 and the highest number (6,320) came from the BSF.
In its reply, the Home Ministry listed several possible reasons including continuous and prolonged deployment of troops in hard and inhospitable areas/terrain and away from family.
Lesser opportunity for static and soft posting and increased responsibility towards the family after a certain period and service was also cited as a reason.
Another likely contributor has been the introduction of voluntary retirement which allows the personnel better placement opportunities with a good salary in a private firm and near to home.
The Committee also desired to know the reasons for the increasing number of suicide cases in the paramilitary forces over the last three years.
As per the data furnished to the committee, there were 123 suicides in 2017, 96 in 2018 and 129 in 2019.
The figure stood at 137 in 2020 and at an all-time high of 153 suicide cases in 2021 with 58 cases reported by CRPF.
Replying to the reasons for the suicide, MHA has said it could be largely due to the stress of the job and its monotony, disputes within the family including property and land dispute, health and domestic and financial stress.
The Committee noted that the major reason for high attrition in CAPFs is the continuous and prolonged deployment of jawans in harsh conditions that keeps them far away from home for longer periods.
The Committee, therefore, recommended that the MHA may take up with CAPFs to devise a rotation policy of deployment so that the jawans does not stay in hard and inhospitable areas/terrain for prolonged periods.
“Efforts should also be made to fix the working hours of the jawans besides Yoga classes and counselling sessions to improve their mental and emotional well being,” it recommended.

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