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The State Armed Police Forces of India are the police units established for dealing with serious law and order situations requiring a higher level of armed expertise than normal. The State Armed Police Forces exist in addition to the ordinary police services of the various states.

The various States have different titles for their armed police units. In addition to the general term "Armed Police", other titles in different states include Special Armed Police, Armed Constabulary, Provincial Armed Constabulary and State Military Police. Although the titles are different, their organisation, weapons, equipment and tasks are broadly the same. The central government of India now refers to these forces nationwide as the State Armed Police Forces and discourages use of the term "paramilitary". However, this terminology does not necessarily coincide with the existing terminology of the states of India; For example, the state of Bihar calls its state armed police force "Military Police", which clashes with central government definitions of "military" and "paramilitary". It is not yet clear whether such discrepancies will be resolved.

The State Armed Police act as a mobile armed reserve activated only on the orders from the Deputy inspector general of police or above. They are not usually in contact with the public except during public events, civil unrest, and natural disasters. They maintain key guard posts and participate in antiterrorist operations. Depending on the type of assignment, they may be or may not be carrying firearms.

Within states, each police district may maintain its own teams of policemen with higher firearms competence. Such teams, known as "District Armed Police or District Armed Reserve", are for purely local use led by commandant or deputy commandant, functions under the respective district police chiefs.

The State Armed Police Forces are headed by an Additional Director General of Police, who is the controlling authority and assisted by Inspectors General of police, Deputy Inspectors general of police, with the overall control of Director General of Police & State Police Chief. The SAPFs are typically organized into battalions or companies, each battalion is commanded by a "Commandant" of the rank of Superintendent of Police. The commandant is assisted by deputy commandants and assistant commandants. The structure of SAPFs are vary from state to state. The normal structure is given below;

Structure of State Armed Police Forces

Hierarchy of State Armed Police Forces

Bihar Military Police

The Bihar Military Police is the state armed police force for the Bihar Police with headquarters at Patna led by CAPFs officer on deputation. It is frequently involved in clashes with Maoist rebels. The force has been expanded since 2006 to deal with the Maoist insurgency. It has 16 Battalions with approximately 1,000 personnel in each, from Bihar Military Police 1 to Bihar Military Police 16.

Bihar Military Police 1 Gorkha Battalion is a Reserved Battalion mainly compromising of Indian domiciled Gorkhas. They are used for high level security duties, protecting the governor and others. Its headquarters is in Patna with nearly 1,500 serving personnel. Bihar Military Police 16 is a battalion recruiting only retired Indian Army soldiers.

Chhattisgarh Armed Police

Haryana Armed Police

Haryana Armed Police, headquartered at Madhuban, is the state armed police force of Haryana Police for Haryana state. It has five battalions, each with a sanctioned strength of 903 headcount. Three battalions are based at Madhuban, one in Ambala and one in Hisar. On 1 November 1966, six armed battalions were transferred to Haryana from Punjab, four were absorbed into Border Security Force and Central Reserve Police Force, and two remained with Haryana. The Haryana Armed Police includes the State Police Band.[9]

Jharkhand Armed Police

Jharkhand Armed Police was created to counter Naxalism in the state led by IPS officer on deputation.[10]

Karnataka State Reserve Police

In Karnataka, the state armed police of wing of Karnataka Police trace their origins to the erstwhile Mysore State Imperial Service lead by CAPF officers on deputation.

The armed police of Karnataka are led by CAPFs officer on deputation:

The Karnataka State Reserve Police is headed by an officer of the rank of additional director general of police, who is assisted by an inspector general and two deputy inspectors general of police at the police headquarters. The Karnataka State Reserve Police consists of 10 battalions. Four Battalions have their headquarters at Bengaluru and one each at Mysuru, Belagavi, Kalaburgi, Mangaluru, Shivamogga and Shiggoan.

Training Schools:

The Coastal Security Police was established in the year 1999. The wing is headed by an officer of the rank of Inspector General of Police, followed by Superintendent of Police & other staff. The CSP exercises jurisdiction over the territorial coastal waters of Karnataka from Talapady in Dakshina Kannada District to Sadashivgad in Uttara Kannada District covering about 320 km.

Kerala Armed Police

In Kerala, the Kerala Armed Police trace their origins to the early stages of the Kerala Police. Armed police battalions act as a reserve force for deployment whenever and wherever the District Police is short of manpower in maintaining law and order. There are 11 battalions spread over the state, with a combined strength of 6,755 personnel.[11]

The armed police battalions of Kerala are:

The "Additional Director General of Police, Armed Police Battalions", is the controlling authority who is assisted by the "Deputy Inspector General of Police, Armed Police Battalions". Each Battalion is under the control of a "Commandant" with the rank of Superintendent of Police.

The Special Armed Police was formed in 1955 by the then Travancore-Cochin government with its headquarters at Thiruvananthapuram. Besides law and order duties in the southern range, Special Armed Police personnel are assigned to guard duties at the Raj Bhavan (Governor's House), Police Headquarters, etc. For the welfare of their personnel, the special armed police have a canteen, a gymnasium, a hospital with lab facilities and a nursery school. At present this battalion has a strength of seven companies.

Madhya Pradesh Special Armed Police

The main objective of Madhya Pradesh Special Armed Police, the state armed wing of Madhya Pradesh Police, is to maintain Law and Order in the state of Madhya Pradesh leade by CAPFs officers on deputation. The responsibility of this Special Armed Force to look after the law and arrangement and also to control the areas affected by Naxalites, Social Courtesies, removal of bandits. They are active in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and in the States of South in an anti-terrorism role. Other than this they are deployed in the event of natural disasters.

Mizoram Armed Police

The Mizoram Armed Police, is the state armed police wing of Mizoram Police in Mizoram. It consist of three battalions with five Indian Reserve Battalion. All these components make up the Mizoram Armed Police. Each battalion is commanded by a Commandant of rank Superintendent of Police / Deputy Commissioner of Police / Commandant. Each battalion also has a special commando/SWAT unit.

Odisha Special Armed Police

Odisha's state armed police are called the Odisha Special Armed Police. They were formed in 1946 as the Odisha Military Police, and the current name was adopted in 1980. There are currently 8 regular battalions and one reserve battalion. The headquarters of the SAP is at state Police Headquarters in Cuttack. The force is under the general control and direction of the Director General and the Inspector General of Police.

The Odisha Military Police was formed on 1 March 1946 by the Odisha Military Police Act (Odisha Act VII of 1946). Soon after its creation this force had to handle serious situations in places like Bhadrak, Ib, Barang, Rampur, Cuttack etc. Due to strenuous nature of work of the military police and need for more personnel its strength was increased in 1947 and 1948. The strength was further increased with the formation of a Gurkha Military Police unit. On 1 March 1948, after a merging of 27 princely states into the Province of Odisha, there was a re-organisation of the police organisation and the 2nd Battalion of the Odisha Military police was established. This battalion had both Gurkha and Odia companies. While the battalion headquarters was at Dhenkanal, two detachments of this battalion were stationed at Nayagarh and Jharsuguda. Subsequently, other battalions were formed in different parts of the state.

SOG (Special Operations Group) is the Specialist element of the Odisha Police. The SOG was formed in August 2004 on the orders of the Government of Odisha Home office with the objective of neutralising any terrorist, insurgent, extremist or illegal armed groups operating in Odisha. The SOG originally had 462 regular active posts which by 2009 had grown to 1,370 personnel. It does not recruit personnel directly, instead personnel are drawn from various state police units and the assignments are based on tenures with a maximum period of 3 years. It also allows hiring of operatives from the armed forces, central paramilitary forces and police units of other states. Operatives receive training at a special school in Chandaka and also from the Indian army based in Jabalpur. The main role of the SOG is counter-insurgency operations but handling hostage situations and hijackings also come under its responsibility. It works closely with the Special Intelligence Wing of the Odisha Police.

Punjab Armed Police

The Punjab Armed Police is the state armed police wing of Punjab Police. PAP have their headquarters at Jalandhar in Punjab. This is where armed policemen of the Punjab are trained. Before the Border Security Force came into existence, PAP used to protect the most sensitive border of the country common with Pakistan. PAP Jawans have a number of international players in hockey, weight lifting, volleyball, kabaddi, etc. The campus is in a huge area and is complete in itself in the areas of housing, sports grounds, training equipment, halls, schools, hospital, swimming pool etc.

The operational PAP units are:

Rajasthan Armed Constabulary

The Rajasthan Armed Constabulary is the state armed police wing of Rajasthan Police in Rajasthan. Soon after the independence, the law and order situation along the newly formed 1070 km India-Pakistan border became a serious problem. Incursions and cattle lifting by Pakistani raiders was a regular feature and it became imperative to put an end to it. In 1949–50, the duty of guarding the border was assigned to the joint forces of the Central Reserve Police Force and the Provincial Armed Constabulary, which continued until 1952.

In 1952, the Government of Rajasthan decided to raise a temporary special force that could not only be deployed along the border but also assist the civil police in combating the armed banditry known as "dacoity". The first headquarters and training centre was established at Bharatpur in 1952 and five battalions were raised from ex-soldiers, police, and from other sources outside Rajasthan. Each battalion consisted of six mobile companies and one company remained at the battalion headquarters. These battalions were then dispatched to the border areas of Sriganganagar, Raisinghnagar, Barmer, and Jaisalmer. One unit was stationed at Ghat Gate, Jaipur to combat dacoity.

Within a year of its inception, the RAC proved its worth both on the border and within the State by successfully carrying out its various duties. The members of RAC displayed gallantry and a high sense of morale on occasions that required courage, perseverance, and devotion to duty. Its men battled against all odds, combating not only the enemy but also facing the rigours of the desert areas devoid even of the bare necessities of life.

The RAC continued as a temporary force until 1958, thereafter it was made permanent. In 1962, two companies were drawn from each unit, and the 6th Battalion was formed. From that year up to the late 1970s, more battalions of RAC were raised as demanded by the situation. India saw two wars with Pakistan and one with China and there was unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, NEFA, as well as Mizoram. RAC battalions were dispatched to these sensitive areas and earned accolades for their courage and efficiency. Later, seven of these RAC battalions were merged into the Indian Border Security Force and two into the Central Reserve Police Force.

The RAC has formed various specialist units along with its regular battalions.

In 1998, a Special Task Force, along the lines of the Rapid Action Force of C.R.P.F., was formed to maintain peace in the sensitive districts of Rajasthan. These companies are trained and fully equipped to handle mass riots.

The training imparted to the select RAC companies is decided as per requirements. There are 3 companies of RAC, which have drawn expert swimmers from various R.A.C. battalions and are being trained for flood relief work.

There are currently fifteen battalions of RAC including one special battalion formed of only female Constables called the Hadi Rani Mahila Battalion and one further battalion of MBC held as the States para-military force. Out of the 14 regular battalions of RAC, 11 battalions are deployed in Rajasthan while 3 are deployed to Delhi.

All units

Special battalions

Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary

Main article: Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary

In Uttar Pradesh, the Provincial Armed Constabulary or Pradeshik Armed Constabulary is an armed reserve force maintained at key locations across the state and active only on orders from the deputy inspector general and higher-level authorities.[12] UPPAC consists of several battalions located in different cities across the state as a wing of Uttar Pradesh Police. Each battalion has seven to eight companies consisting of 150 to 200 Jawans headed by Commandant. It is usually assigned to VIP protection duties or to maintain order and assist during fairs, festivals, athletic events, elections, and natural disasters. They are also deployed to quell outbreaks of student or labor unrest, organized crime, and communal riots; to maintain key guard posts; and to participate in anti-terrorist operations. The Provincial Armed Constabulary usually carries only lathis and Light Machine Gun. The UPPAC is headed by the Director General Provincial Armed Constabulary. UPPAC was established in 1952 before that it was known as the United Provinces Military Force or Uttar Pradesh Military Force. In the Year 1952 UPPAC came into existence with its current name. UPPAC has pretty good firepower in terms of weapons or strength. In UP there are Three zones of the UPPAC. Western Zone, Central Zone, and Eastern Zone. Each Zone Headed by ADG/IG.

there are almost 30-35 Battalion in UP. in different locations.[13][14]

Uttarakhand Provincial Armed Constabulary

The Uttarakhand Provincial Armed Constabulary, the state armed police wing of Uttarakhand Police was created in 2001, after the bifurcation of the state of Uttar Pradesh in 2000 that resulted in the formation of new state Uttarakhand.

In 1962–73, four new battalions of UPPAC were raised from the Garhwali and Kumaoni community. Apart from that, The 46th Battalion called the Task Force existed till 1998, with the special task to fight Dacoits and Insurgents. On achieving its goal, it was again converted to normal PAC Battalion, presently located at Rudrapur.

West Bengal Armed Police Forces

The state of West Bengal has the most extensive armed police organisation and structure in the country. Unlike other states of India, the state of West Bengal has two separate police jurisdictions, that of the West Bengal Police, and that of the Kolkata Police Force. It therefore has two separate state armed police structures, one for each jurisdiction.

Special forces of West Bengal are:

Eastern Frontier Rifles

Main article: Eastern Frontier Rifles

The Eastern Frontier Rifles is one of the state armed police force for the West Bengal Police, the other being the West Bengal Armed Police. (i.e. as opposed to the police in Kolkata).


The Eastern Frontier Rifles were founded as the Frontier Protection Force by the East India Company at some point in the second half of the 18th century, and have had their current title since 1920. The Eastern Frontier Rifles fought in the Second World War, and, as the Bengal Military Police, in the First World War.

Recent events

Many contingents of the Eastern Frontier Rifles are kept deployed in various disturbed areas of the state. However, in recent years the force has used for day-to-day law and order duties. Their headquarters is at Salua, near Kharagpur.

Like the armed police forces of many states, the Eastern Frontier Rifles are currently challenged with the Naxalite insurgency. In February 2010 an Eastern Frontier Rifles camp called Silda was attacked and burnt down by Maoist rebels, resulting in 24 riflemen killed out of a detachment of about fifty. This resulted in condemnation of the state government by the unit's Special Inspector General, Benoy Chakraborty, who claimed his force was "mis-used" and "ill-treated". Morale in the force is believed to be low.[15]

Kolkata Armed Police

The Kolkata Armed Police are West Bengal's state armed police force for operations in Kolkata. It is part of the Kolkata Police Force and consists of eight battalions, and three special units. The special units are the Rapid Action Force, the Special Action Force (approx. 160 members) and the Commando Force (approximately 200 members) and also have Combat Force.


The Indian Ordnance Factories controlled by the Ordnance Factories Board, Ministry of Defence, Government of India are the sole suppliers of firearms to all the State Armed Police Forces.

See also


  1. ^ "| Official Website of Uttar Pradesh Police | About us Pradeshik Armed Constabulary (PAC)". Retrieved 29 April 2023.
  2. ^ "Efforts in Action". Archived from the original on 28 December 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Notes from the Bastar battlefield". The Indian Express. 6 June 2013.
  4. ^ "Two DRG personnel injured in IED blast by Naxals in Chhattisgarh". The Hindu. 21 May 2019.
  5. ^ "District Reserve Group adds impetus to anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh". The Economic Times. 13 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Danteshwari Ladake: How the DRG women commandos paid Maoists back in their own coin in Dantewada encounter". NewsX. 13 May 2019.
  7. ^ "GI Janes get first taste of war in Red zone". The Times of India. TNN. 9 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Bastar Fighter Force Bharti: नक्सलियों के गढ़ बस्तर में फाइटर फोर्स की भर्ती शुरू, नक्सलवाद से लड़ने के लिए बेखौफ होकर आगे आ रहे हैं लड़के-लड़कियां". 10 May 2022.
  9. ^ a b c d e Haryana Armed Police
  10. ^ "Low-key start to police sports meet in Ranchi". Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Official Website of Kerala Police - Armed Police Head Quarter". Retrieved 29 April 2023.
  12. ^ "Pradeshik Armed Constabulary". Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Gazette of India, part I, section 1". Government of India. 19 January 1957. p. 16. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |url= (help)
  14. ^ Official website Uttar Pradesh Police
  15. ^