September 22, 2020

RAF for law & order upkeep

Patna: The wait is over. Bihar police will get two companies of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) by October to deal with rising incidents of communal flare-up and law order situations.

RAF is a specialised force of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to handle communal flare-ups and law and order problems. “The state has been waiting for the deployment of RAF companies for the past year. But now the wait is over as the Centre has cleared the proposal to provide two companies of the elite force to Bihar on a permanent basis,” said a senior IPS officer posted at the police headquarters.

The officer, who is assigned to monitor the law and order situation at the headquarters, said that at present the RPF companies are stationed at Jamshedpur in Jharkhand and Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. “It takes more than six to eight hours for the elite force to reach Bihar by road from the battalion headquarters,” the officer said, adding that the two companies will remain stationed in Bihar on a permanent basis.

The decision comes in the wake of communal flare up on the occasion of Ram Navami early this year and Dussehra last year. At least eight districts, including Bhagalpur, Aurangabad, Nawada, Nalanda, Bhojpur, Samastipur, Gopalganj and Sheikhpura districts witnessed violent clashes during the Ram Navami processions in March this year.

Aurangabad, Samastipur, Bhagalpur and Nawada were the worst hit. “It was a daunting task for the police to bring the situation under control in some of those districts in the grip of communal tension. The state police made optimal use of its resources to maintain the law and order situation,” additional director general (headquarters) S K Singhal said.

Sources in the CRPF said that two companies of the RAF’s 114th battalion were stationed at Jalandhar in Punjab. They will remain stationed at the headquarters of the 153rd battalion of the CRPF at Pipra Kothi near Motihari in East Champaran district. The CRPF’s battalion has been shifted from Piprakothi to Aurangabad in central Bihar. Each company comprises around 100 personnel .

RAF companies are called either from Jamshedpur or Allahabad depending on the availability of the force whenever law and order situation arises in Bihar. Most of the time, RAF personnel are necessarily deployed during festival in Bihar, he saod.

The state government has already sanctioned 29 acres of land near Rajapakar in Vaishali district, around 30 km north of Patna, to set up the battalion headquarters of RAF in the state. “We require at least 50 acres of land for the purpose. The government has assured us to make arrangement for the required land,” a source said.

The RAF battalion would be shifted to Rajapakar when the battalion building will be ready for its use. “Till then the force’s base will be Motihari close to India-Nepal border,” he said.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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