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Ex-servicemen tag for retd paramilitary staff

The redefined defence status for personnel who have retired from forces like the CRPF, CISF, BSF, ITBP and SSB will be read as “former central police personnel”

New Delhi/Gurgaon :

Bringing cheer to over four lakh retired personnel of paramilitary and Central police forces, the government on Wednesday gave its nod for granting them the status of ex-servicemen, enabling them to avail of welfare benefits.

The new status for these retired personnel from forces like CRPF, CISF, BSF, ITBP and SSB will be read as “ex-central police personnel”, on par with the defence forces recognition of “ex-servicemen” to its retired personnel.

“The proposal (of granting ex-servicemen status to paramilitary personnel) has been approved by the Cabinet on Thursday. These personnel will be called as ex-central police personnel on the same footing as ex-servicemen in the defence forces,” Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde announced during an event of paramilitary CISF in Delhi.

Earlier, at a CRPF function in Gurgaon, the Home Minister, who has served as a police sub inspector, said, “Paramilitary personnel, like defence forces, put their life at stake in the line of duty and there is no problem in granting them this honour.”

With the status of “ex-servicemen”, the retired personnel of these forces will be able to avail of certain canteen and hospital facilities run by the government while they will be able to apply for jobs in the private sector who recognise “ex-servicemen” as a trained and suitable talent for their organisations. Centre will also approach states to give benefits to the wards of these retired personnel in educational institutes and jobs.

There are more than four lakh retired paramilitary personnel in the country at present. The total strength of these forces is about eight lakh men and women. Home ministry sources said the Defence Ministry was initially opposed to this idea of granting ex-servicemen status to paramilitary personnel apprehending reduction of these benefits for their soldiers.

Sources said the Ministry of Home Affairs, although, made a strong point that forces under its command should get equal benefits and this step would also encourage them (troopers) not to leave the forces prematurely either by resigning or taking voluntary retirement.

The new announcement, according to sources, will have no direct financial implications on the government.

A welfare and rehabilitation board, on adhoc basis, is already functioning in a centralised fashion for these forces.

Shinde who attended two back-to-back events of the paramilitary forces on Thursday, said that terrorism, insurgency and naxalism have emerged out to be a “big trouble” and these forces should train well and perform their best to meet these challenges.

He specifically asked the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troops to effectively tackle the “biggest challenge of the spread of naxalism”.

He told the jawans that he has asked the chiefs of all paramilitary forces to give their highest priority to troops welfare and their grievance reddressal.

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