Central Armed Police Forces

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A member of India's
Border Security Force.
"DAGO" redirects here. For other uses, see Dago.

The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) are the following eight police forces under the authority of the central government of India.


These Central Armed Police Forces were frequently referred to as paramilitary forces until 2011 when the government gave new official definitions which restricted the use of that term.

The term "paramilitary forces" was previously used to refer to a variety of armed services that aided the operations of the law enforcement agencies of India and the Indian Armed Forces. No single official definition existed, so the term normally included central armed police and often included state armed police.

In March 2011, at the request of the Indian Army, the Indian government authorized the Indian Army to provide definitive terminology. An extremely narrow definition of "paramilitary" was adopted which excluded services now known as the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) such as the Central Reserve Police Force, and services now known as the State Armed Police Forces. The Indian government's new 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. It is not yet clear how (or whether) such discrepancies will be resolved. They are also compared to India's various State Armed Police Forces.[citation needed]


According to the official definition adopted in 2011, the term "Paramilitary Forces" refers to the three organizations assisting the Indian Armed Forces particularly closely, and are led by officers of the Indian Army or Indian Navy. These are:

Assam Rifles (AR) 50,000 personnel Ministry of Home Affairs
Special Frontier Force (SFF) 10,000 personnel, Indian Intelligence
Indian Coast Guard 5,400 personnel (29 stations) Ministry of Defense

Police forces[edit]

The following are the eight police forces according to the naming convention adopted in 2011:[1]

  • Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP): The ITBP is deployed for guarding duties on the border with China from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Diphu La in Arunachal Pradesh covering a total distance of 2488 km.[9] It has 77,000 personnel in 55 battalions.[10][11]
  • Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB): The objective of the SSB is to guard the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan Borders. It has 82,000 personnel and 48 battalions, as well as some reserved battalions.[12]
  • Central Industrial Security Force (CISF): One of the largest industrial security forces in the world, CISF provides security to various PSUs and other critical infrastructure installations across the country. It has a total strength of about 112,000 personnel in 132 battalions.[13][14]
  • National Security Guards (NSG): The NSG is an elite counter terrorist and rapid response force. Its roles include conducting anti-sabotage checks, rescuing hostages, neutralizing terrorist threats to vital installations, engaging terrorists, responding to hijacking and piracy and protecting VIPs. It has 8636 personnel (including 1086 personnel for regional hubs.[16]). The NSG also includes the Special Ranger Group (SRG), whose 3,000 personnel provide protection to India's political leadership.
  • Special Protection Group (SPG):Formed in 1988 by an act of the Parliament of India for "providing proximate security to the Prime Minister of India and former Prime Minister of India and members of their immediate families (wife, husband, children and parents)". Family members of a serving Prime Minister (PM) may decline security. Former PMs and their immediate family members may also, if they choose, decline SPG security


CRPF Ranks Police Ranks
Director General (Apex Scale of the Indian Police Service) Director General of a State Police Force
Special Director General (HAG+ Scale of the Indian Police Service) Special Director General
Additional Director General (Higher Administrative Grade of the IPS cadre, also available to BSF cadre likely to Available to all CAPFs) C.P, ADG
Inspector General Joint C.P
Deputy Inspector General Additional C.P, DIG
Commandant DCP/SSP
Second-in-Command DCP/SP
Deputy Commandant Addl.SP/Addl.DCP
Assistant Commandant: Group A Gazetted Officer ACP/DSP

*There is no equivalence in the army rank within the defense forces and the police forces since there is no government established relatively in terms of rank.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi. ""Restructuring the Central Police Forces and the State Armed Police to Combat Internal Insurgencies"". South Asia Defense and Strategic Year Book 2011. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  2. ^ GreaterKashmir.com (Greater Service) (2011-04-18). "CRPF ALL SET FOR IMAGE MAKEOVER". Greaterkashmir.com. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  3. ^ "CRPF to induct 38 new battalions in the coming years". Zeenews.com. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  4. ^ "‘CRPF to raise 37 new battalions by 2018’". Indian Express. 2010-03-13. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  5. ^ "COBRA to sting Naxal virus: new force gets Centre nod". Financial Express. 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  6. ^ IBTL (2012-12-01). "Border Security Force ( BSF ) - Duty unto Death | Dec 1, 1965 Foundation Day - IBTL". Ibtl.in. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  7. ^ "First ever women BSF to guard the Indian borders". Ibnlive.in.com. 2009-07-18. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  8. ^ "::Welcome to". Newsbharati.com. 2013-02-23. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  9. ^ "Indo-Tibetan Border Police". Archive.india.gov.in. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  10. ^ "ITBP to have 90,000-strong force by 2015". Hindustan Times. 2012-10-26. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  11. ^ "ITBP to get 15 new battalions". Indian Express. 2009-10-24. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  12. ^ "Guarding the Nation’s Frontiers | eGov Magazine". Egov.eletsonline.com. 2013-03-06. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  13. ^ "About CISF". Cisf.nic.in. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  14. ^ "Govt to recruit 20,000 women in paramilitary forces in 3 years". NDTV.com. 2011-05-12. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  15. ^ Railway Protection Force, Indianrailways.gov.in, retrieved 2014-02-09 
  16. ^ Praveen Swami (2011-07-21). "The Indian fine art of faking security". The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Central Armed Police Forces at Wikimedia Commons