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Paramilitary forces of India: Wikis


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A soldier of India's Assam Rifles stands guard at the India Gate, Delhi.
A personnel of India's elite Border Security Force.

The Paramilitary Forces of India (PMF) are those agencies of the Government of India which aid the operations of the law enforcement agencies of India and the Indian Armed Forces. With over a million personnel in active service, the PMF is one of the world's largest paramilitary organizations.[1]

The Central Police Organizations (CPO) forms the first tier of the PMF while the Central Paramilitary Forces (CPF) forms the second tier. The primary difference between the two is that the CPO works independently or in coordination with the Indian Federal Agencies, State Police Forces and other Indian Law Enforcement Agencies, whereas the CPF works in close cooperation with the Indian Armed Forces (which includes the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force). During a war, the CPF would work directly under the control of the Armed Forces unlike the CPO. All branches of the PMF, excluding the Indian Coast Guard, are agencies of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Coast Guard, a component of the CPF, is an agency of the Indian Defense Ministry and works in close coordination with the Indian Navy. Some of the administrative ranks of the paramilitary forces are shared with the Indian Police Service (IPS).

The PMF consists of several different components with a wide range of roles. Most of these forces, however, tend to share a broadly gendarmerie role and generally perform counter-insurgency or anti-terrorist missions. The Central Reserve Police Force, which primarily assists the Indian Police in maintaining law and order, is the largest of the paramilitary forces in India.[2] Others, such as the Border Security Force (BSF) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), aid the Indian Army in guarding the international borders of India.


List of Central Police Organisations (CPO)

  • The State Armed Police (Pradeshik) - 450,000 persons who act as a mobile armed reserve maintained at key locations in some states and activated only on the orders from the Additional Commissioner of Police or higher-level. Armed constabulary are usually not in contact with the public until they are assigned to VIP duty or assigned to maintain order during fairs, festivals, athletic events, elections, and natural disasters. They may also be sent to quell outbreaks of student or labor unrest, organized crime, and communal riots; to maintain key guard posts; and to participate in antiterrorist operations. Depending on the type of assignment, the Provincial Armed Constabulary may carry only lathis or they may be equipped with infantry weapons. (Headed by Indian Police Service Officer)
  • Rapid Action Force - a 10 battalion semi-independent part of the CRPF trained to respond to sectarian violence. The Anti-Riot Police of the Indian Union. (Headed by Indian Police Service Officer)

List of Central Paramilitary Forces (CPF)

See also


Further reading

External links



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