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Central Reserve Police Force
Central Reserve Police Force emblem
Emblem of the Central Reserve Police Force
Flag of the Central Reserve Police Force
Motto"सेवा और निष्ठा"
Service and Loyalty
Agency overview
  • 27 July 1939; 84 years ago (1939-07-27)
    (as Crown Representative's Police)
  • 28 December 1949; 74 years ago (1949-12-28)
    (as Central Reserve Police Force)
Employees313,634 Active personnel
Annual budget32,809.65 crore (US$3.9 billion) (2024–25)[1]
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionIndia
Political map of India EN
Governing bodyMinistry of Home Affairs
Constituting instrument
  • Central Reserve Police Force Act, 1949[2]
General nature
Operational structure
HeadquartersCGO Complex, New Delhi, INDIA
Minister responsible
Agency executive
Child agencies
  • Operation All Out (J&K)
  • Anti-Naxal Operations (LWE Region)
  • Valour Day
    (9 April 1965)
  • Police Commemoration Day
    (21 October 1959)

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is a Central Armed Police Force in India under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The CRPF's primary role lies in assisting the States and Union Territories in police operations to maintain law and order and provide Internal security. It is composed of Central Reserve Police Force (Regular) and Central Reserve Police Force (Auxiliary).

It was founded as the Crown Representative's Police on 27 July 1939. After Indian independence, it became the Central Reserve Police Force on the enactment of the CRPF Act on 28 December 1949. Besides law and order and counter-insurgency duties, the CRPF has played a role in India's elections. The CRPF played a major role in the Parliamentary elections of September 1999. CRPF officers are also being deployed in UN missions.

With 247 battalions and various other establishments, the CRPF is India's largest central armed police force and has a sanctioned strength of more than 300,000 personnel as of 2019.[3]


Originally constituted as the Crown Representative Police in 1939, it is the Central Armed Police Force. CRP 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 28 December 1949. This Act constituted CRPF as an armed force of the Union. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the then Home Minister, visualized a multi-dimensional role for it in tune with the changing needs of a newly independent nation. 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 ofJunagadh and the small principality of Kathiawar in Gujarat which had declined to join the Indian Union.

During the early 1950s, the performance of the CRPF detachments in enforcing law and order in Bhuj, the then Patiala and East Punjab States Union and Chambal ravines were appreciated by all quarters.

On 21 October 1959, SI Karam Singh and 20 other CRPF personnel were attacked by the Chinese Army at Hot Springs in Ladakh resulting in 10 casualties. The survivors were imprisoned. Since then, 21 October is observed as Police Commemoration day nationwide, across all states in India.[4]

In late 50s and early 60s, contingents of the CRPF were sent to 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 21 October 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 21 October is remembered throughout the country as the Police Commemoration Day every year.

During the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the Force once again assisted the Indian Army in Arunachal Pradesh. Eight CRPF personnel were killed in action. In the 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, thirteen companies of CRPF were airlifted to join the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka to fight the militant cadres. Besides, CRPF personnel were also sent to Haiti, Namibia, Somalia, and Maldives to deal with the law and order situation there, as a part of the UN Peace Keeping Force.

In the late seventies, when extremist elements disturbed the peace in Tripura and Manipur, CRPF battalions were deployed in strength. Simultaneously, there was turmoil in the Brahmaputra 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 Northeast in dealing with the insurgency.[5]


CRPF (CoBRA) personnel during the Republic Day Parade


The CRPF is headed by a director general who is an Indian Police Service officer. It is divided into ten administrative sectors, each headed by an inspector general. Each sector consists of one or more administrative and/or Operational Ranges, headed by an officer of the rank of deputy inspector general (DIG) of Police. Now, Group Centres are also headed by DIGs. The Financial Advisor of the CRPF has been an Indian Revenue Service officer of the rank of Joint Secretary and also has Dy Advisors from the Indian Audit and Accounts Service or the Indian Telecom. Service and Indian Civil Account Service.


There are 247 battalions of approximately 1200 each. Each battalion is commanded by a commanding officer of the rank Commandant, and consists of seven CRPF companies, each containing 135 men. Each company is headed by an Assistant Commandant.

The Ministry of Home Affairs planned to raise 2 Group Centers, 2 Range HQs, 1 Sector HQ, and 12 new battalions including a Mahila (all-female) battalion by 2019.[6]

The CRPF force is organized into a headquarters, three attached wings, and four zones. A zone is either headed by an additional director general or a special director general. A zone is subdivided into sectors where each sector is headed by an inspector general.[7]

Zone Branch / Zone in-charge Branch / Sector
Operations & HQ Shri Zulfiquar Hasan, IPS, ADG Operations
Comms & IT
Works Shri Sanjay Chander, IPS, SDG Personnel
Training Shri Shyam Sundar Chaturvedi, IPS, ADG Training Institutions
ISA Mt.Abu

(Spl. DG-GTY)

Shri Sanjeev Ranjan Ojha , IPS, ADG Jorhat
Manipur and Nagaland
North Eastern


Smt Rashmi Shukla, IPS, ADG Western

(Spl. DG-KOL)

Shri Nitin Agarwal, IPS, ADG Bihar
Madhya Pradesh
West Bengal
Jammu & Kashmir

(Spl. DG-JMU)

Shri Sanjay Arora, IPS, ADG Jammu
North Western
Operations Kashmir
CRPF Academy Shri K S Bhandari, ADG CRPF Academy

Special units

Rapid Action Force

Main article: Rapid Action Force

The Rapid Action Force (RAF) is a specialised unit under the CRPF. It has total strength of 15 battalions and was formed in October 1992, as a riot control force to deal with communal and related civil unrest. The battalions are numbered from 99 to 108. The RAF is a zero-response force intended to quickly respond to a crisis situation.[8]

It was the recipient of the President's color presented by Shri L.K. Advani, then Deputy Prime Minister of India, on 7 October 2003 for "its selfless service to the nation in the 11th year of coming into existence".

The smallest functional unit in the force is a 'Team' commanded by an inspector, which has three components — a riot control element, a tear gas element, and a fire element. It has been organized as an independent strike unit.

One team in each company of the RAF is composed of female personnel so as to deal more effectively with situations where the force faces women demonstrators.[9]

Special Duty Group

The Special Duty Group is an battalion-sized unit of the CRPF tasked with providing security for the outer cordon of the Prime Minister's official residence on 7, Lok Kalyan Marg and his office in the North Block as well as during outdoor functions. It comprises around 1,000 personnel.[10][11]


Main article: Commando Battalion for Resolute Action

Commando Battalion for Resolute Action[12] (CoBRA) is the special operation unit of CRPF created in 2008 to deal the Naxalite movement in India. This specialised CRPF unit is one of the few units of the Central Armed Police Forces in the country that is specifically trained in guerilla warfare. This elite fighting unit has been trained to track, hunt and eliminate small Naxalite groups. There are currently 10 COBRA units.

10 CoBRA units raised between 2008 and 2011 have been trained, equipped, and deployed in all LWE/ Insurgent affected areas of the states of Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, as well as Assam & Meghalaya is one of the best Central Armed Police in the country trained to survive, fight and win in the jungle. CoBRA is unquestionably/undoubtedly the best CAP in the country.

CoBRA was awarded 04 Shaurya Chakras, 01 Kirti Chakra, 01 PPMG,[13] 117 PMG, and 1267 DG Commendations.


Rank structure

Main articles: List of police ranks in India and Indian Police Service

The organization is structured mainly on three rank categories which include Gazetted Officers (GOs), Subordinate Officers (SOs), and Non-Gazetted Officers (NGOs). The Assistant Commandants are Group 'A' Gazetted officers, directly appointed upon clearing an exam conducted by the UPSC which is held yearly.

Rank group General / flag officers Senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
Central Reserve Police Force[14][15]
Special director-general
Additional director-general
Inspector general
Deputy inspector-general
Deputy commandant
Assistant commandant
Police equivalent
Director General Director General Additional
Director General
Inspector General Deputy Inspector General Senior Superintendent Superintendent Deputy Commandant / Additional Superintendent ACP/DySP No equivalent
Army equivalent Lieutenant general Major general Brigadier Colonel Lieutenant colonel Major Captain Lieutenant
Other Ranks
Rank group Junior commissioned officers Non commissioned officers Enlisted
Central Reserve Police Force[14][15]
No insignia
Subedar major
सूबेदार मेजर
उप निरीक्षक
Assistant sub-inspector
सहायक उप निरीक्षक
Head constable

Being a central Indian police agency and having a high presence of Indian Police Service officers, CRPF follows ranks and insignia similar to other police organisations in India.

List of directors general

V. G. Kanetkar was the first director general of the Central Reserve Police Force, serving from 3 August 1968 to 15 September 1969.[16] The current director general is Anish Dayal Singh, in office since 30 November 2023.

Sr No. Name From Till
1 V G Kanetkar 3 August 1968 15 September 1969
2 Imdad Ali 16 September 1969 28 February 1973
3 B B Mishra 1 March 1973 30 September 1974
4 N S Saxena 30 September 1974 31 May 1977
5 S M Ghosh 1 June 1977 31 July 1978
6 R C Gopal 31 July 1978 10 August 1979
7 P R Rajgopal 10 August 1979 30 March 1980
8 Birbal Nath 13 May 1980 3 September 1980
9 R N Sheopory 3 September 1980 31 December 1981
10 S D Chowdhury 27 January 1982 30 April 1983
11 Shival Swarup 30 July 1983 7 May 1985
12 J F Ribeiro 4 June 1985 8 July 1985
13 T G L Iyer July 1985 Nov 1985
14 S D Pandey 1 November 1985 31 March 1988
15 P.G.Harlankar 1 April 1988 30 September 1990
16 K P S Gill 19 December 1990 8 November 1991
17 S Subramanian 9 November 1991 31 January 1992
18 D P N Singh 1 February 1992 30 November 1993
19 S V M Tripathi 1 December 1993 30 June 1996
20 M B Kaushal 1 October 1996 12 November 1997
21 M N Sabharwal 2 December 1997 31 July 2000
22 Trinath Mishra 31 July-2000 31 December 2002
23 S C Chaube 31 December 2002 31 January 2004
24 J K Sinha 31 January 2004 28 February 2007
25 S I S Ahmed 1 March 2007 31 March 2008
26 V K Joshi 31 March 2008 28 February 2009
27 A S Gill 28 February 2009 31 January 2010
28 Vikram Srivastava 31 January 2010 6 October 2010
29 K Vijay Kumar 7 October 2010 30 September 2012
30 Pranay Sahay 1 October 2012 31 July 2013
31 Dilip Trivedi 17 August 2013 30 November 2014
32 Prakash Mishra 1 December 2014 29 February 2016
33 K. Durga Prasad 1 March 2016 28 February 2017
34 Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar 27 April 2017 13 January 2020
35 Dr. A. P. Maheshwari 13 January 2020 28 February 2021
36 Kuldiep Singh 16 March 2021 30 September 2022
37 Dr.Sujoy Lal Thaosen 1 October 2022 30 November 2023
38 Anish Dayal Singh 30 November 2023


List of Gallantry-Medals/Awards as on 14 September 2018

Members of the CRPF have been awarded 1586 medals.[4]

Sl No Medal Name Numbers
01 George Cross 01
02 King's Police Medal for Gallantry 03
03 Ashok Chakra 01
04 Kirti Chakra 01
05 Padma Shri 01
06 Vir Chakra 01
07 Shaurya Chakra 14
08 President's Police and Fire Services Medal for Gallantry 49
09 President's Police Medal for Gallantry 192
10 Yudh Seva Medal 01
11 Sena Medal 05
11 Vishisht Seva Medal 04
12 Police Medal for Gallantry 1205
13 IPMG 05
14 Jeevan Raksha Padak 03
15 Prime Minister's Police Medal for Life Saving 100
TOTAL 1586

CRPF bagged highest humber of gallantary medals amongst all paramilitary forces. The force was awarded 30 gallantary medals on Republic Day 2022.

In popular culture

The acronym CRPF has been expanded as "Chalte Raho Pyare Force" (lit.'Keep moving my friend force' or 'Keep Moving, Beloved Force') since they are constantly on the move from one troubled place in India to another.[17][18][19]

See also


  1. ^ "Rs 1.85 lakh crore allocation to MHA in budget". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2 February 2024.
  2. ^ "The Central Reserve Police Force Act, 1949" (PDF).
  3. ^ "MHA Annual Report 2016-2017" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 August 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Milestones of Bravery". Archived from the original on 5 July 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  5. ^ "History of CRPF | About Us | Central Reserve Police Force, Government of India". Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  6. ^ "MHA Annual Report 2015-16" (PDF). National Informatics Centre. Ministry of Home Affairs. p. 172. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 June 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Organization Chart". Archived from the original on 12 June 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  8. ^ "RAF Sector". Archived from the original on 6 October 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  9. ^ "About Sector". Archived from the original on 2 July 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  10. ^ "CRPF orders enquiry after expired polio vaccines given to some infants at medical camp". 20 May 2020. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  11. ^ "CRPF orders inquiry in 'botched up' vaccination drive among personnel's children". 20 May 2020. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  12. ^ "CoBRA Sector". Archived from the original on 5 July 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  13. ^ "About Sector | CoBRA Sector | Central Reserve Police Force, Government of India". Archived from the original on 19 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  14. ^ a b "The Central Reserve Police Force Rules/Regulations/Scheme,1955" (PDF). 24 February 1955.
  15. ^ a b "Career Prospects". Central Reserve Police Force. Archived from the original on 23 March 2022.
  16. ^ "Former DG". Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  17. ^ Halarnkar, Samar (7 April 2010). "No time for war". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  18. ^ Raza, M. Maroof (2009). Confronting Terrorism. Penguin Books India. ISBN 978-0-670-08369-5.
  19. ^ Joshi, Manoj (10 January 2017). "BSF Jawan's Video Has a Simple Message: India Should be Ready to Pay for Security". The Wire. Retrieved 9 July 2020.