Miniorities in paramilitary

Indian paramilitary forces have 86,000 personnel from the minorities but except for BSF and Assam Rifles, none of the forces has more than 10 per cent representation of minorities.

Of the total 8.62 lakh personnel in six paramilitary forces — BSF, CRPF, CISF, ITBP, SSB and Assam Rifles — only 85,918 are from the minorities, which around 9.95 per cent. The number of women from minority community is a dismal 2,240 and there are no women officers from these communities at the level of Inspector General or above.

Providing figures through a written reply in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said that there is no reservation fixed on the basis of religion in paramilitary forces. The question was raised by former Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran, now an MP from Kerala’s Vadakara.

BSF has the highest number of personnel from minority communities at 27,916 (11.69 per cent) out of 2.38 lakh. Of this, 730 are women from minorities, the highest in any paramilitary forces.

CRPF also has 26,269 personnel, including 637 women, from minorities out of 2.84 lakh.

While Assam Rifles has the highest percentage of minorities at 16.16 per cent (10,533 out of 65,179), the lowest is in ITBP that has 6.18 per cent or 4,865 personnel out of 78,721 personnel.

To another question, Rijiju said the number of militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir has considerably decreased since 1995.

There were approximately 6,800 militants of different organisations active during 1996, which however, were reduced to 240 in 2013. As on January this year, Rijiju said there were 199 militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir.

To the question raised by PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti, Rijiju said that there was no proposal before the government to withdraw security forces from the state.

“The deployment of security forces at any point of time is decided based on the review of the threat perception at the highest operational levels in the central and state governments,” he said.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald in August 2014)

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