Paramilitary forces seek allowances for more hostile areas

The Central Paramilitary forces (CPMFs) have approached the Government for covering some more areas under the hardship and risk allowances category so that its personnel fighting insurgency, militancy and in hostile conditions get more monetary benefits.

The need for defining such areas arose after the Home Ministry ordered in April that central security forces would get hardship and risk allowances at par with the defence personnel while countering militancy, insurgency and Left wing extremism in areas defined "only" by the Army.

Forces like the CRPF, BSF, ITBP, SSB and CISF have taken their plea to the Home Ministry in order to ensure that benefits reach all their fighting men, official sources said.

While CRPF wants certain insurgency hit areas of northeast to be identified, BSF has favoured areas of Rajasthan, Gujarat and West Bengal to be classified as areas with risks or hardships.

The BSF has taken a plea that certain desert areas of Rajasthan and few left out areas of Sunderbans in West Bengal be included.

Similarly, "the CISF is pitted against naxalites who are ensconced in dense jungles while the SSB troops are protecting Salwa Judum workers in Chhattisgarh," the sources said.

The April order of Ministry of Home Affairs had mentioned scope of a new categorisation of areas for Central paramilitary forces as it said, "other uncongenial areas not covered under Army specified locations" would be considered by a special committee of the Home Ministry on a case-to-case basis, criteria of merits and furnishing of deployment details with adequate justification by the CPMFs".

"The need to have separate paramilitary co-ordinates or operations area was felt as the central forces are operating in areas which the Army does not recognise. Due to different internal security duties of various forces, jawans serving in such unrecognised areas will not be able to avail benefits of special allowances," a senior paramilitary official said.

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