CRPF moots Rs 50 lakh grant for personnel who die on COVID-19 duty
New Delhi, May 08: The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has proposed to the government a special grant of Rs 50 lakh to those central paramilitary personnel who die while on COVID-19 duty, officials said on Thursday.
They said the force has sent a proposal in this context to the Union Home Ministry on the lines of a similar ex-gratia being accorded recently to municipal and health workers.
The CRPF is the country's largest paramilitary or Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) with about 3.25 lakh personnel and is deployed in huge numbers in various states for law and order upkeep duties.
"A proposal for special grant of Rs 50 lakh to CAPF personnel has been sent by force chief A P Maheshwari to the Union Home ministry. The final call will be taken by the MHA," a senior official said.
CRPF is deployed to assist several state police units in operational and law and order grid and the forces' duty is such that it is often deployed in hotspots and high-risk areas, he said.
Whether this special grant will be over and above the special amount granted to personnel who are killed in incidents of violence while being on duty, will be decided by the central government, he said.
Five personnel from various forces under the command of the Union Home Ministry have succumbed to coronavirus till now.
This includes two personnel from the Border Security Force and one each from CRPF, Central Industrial Security Force and the Delhi Police.
Meanwhile, CRPF Director General A P Maheshwari sent a message to his personnel and asked them to take all precautions to check the infection and "not hesitate" to consult the doctor in case they feel sick.
"We are fully concerned about you. Recently force witnessed a sudden spurt of coronavirus cases in one of the battalions in Delhi and some parts of the directorate."
"We have now contained it," the DG said while talking about the 31st battalion in Delhi where the maximum of about 136 infections have taken place.
I reiterate and request you, he said, to please ensure all protocols on sanitisation, use of mask, boosting immunity through nutrient diet and exercise, including yoga should be followed.
"Most important are the life style changes of social distancing and adopting options that are nature friendly."
"And finally, quarantine to break the chain as moral responsibility and for self safety if the need arises like on return from leave, on return from long hour deployment at hotspots or on experiencing any symptom," he told his troops.
"Do not hesitate to consult your doctor. Wish you ever best. You matter to the CRPF family," the DG said in the message.
A senior officer of the force said adequate protective gear is being provided to the personnel and special standard operating procedures for fighting COVID-19 are being implemented by the commanders "religiously due to which the number of positive cases has come down commendably in last three days."
The force has 159 active cases with the addition of one infected personnel over the last 24 hours. A 55-year-old Sub-Inspector had succumbed to the disease last month.