Rapid Action Force
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|Rapid Action Force
रैपिड एक्शन फोर्स
Emblem of Rapid Action Force
|Motto||"Serving Humanity with Sensitive Policing"|
|Formed||11 December, 1991|
|Volunteers||8,000 Active Personnel|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Governing body||Ministry of Home Affairs (India)|
|Specialist jurisdiction||Paramilitary law enforcement, counter insurgency, armed response to civil unrest, counter terrorism, special weapons operations.|
|Headquarters||New Delhi, India|
|Minister responsible||Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister|
|Agency executive||K.S Bhandari, Inspector General of RAF|
|Parent agency||Central Armed Police Forces|
The Rapid Action Force (RAF) is a specialised wing of the Indian CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force). It was established on 11 December 1991 with headquarters in New Delhi, and became fully operational in October 1992, to deal with riots, riot like situations, crowd control, rescue and relief operations, and related unrest. It currently has 10 specialised trained and equipped battalions, which are numbered 99 to 108 in the CRPF, located at New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Aligarh, Meerut, Hyderabad, Jamshedpur, Coimbatore and Allahabad. It has two ranges: New Delhi and Mumbai. This force, with just 11 years of service to the nation was given special honour giving separate colour (Flag) by the President of India. RAF celebrates its anniversary on 7 October each year by rotation at different unit locations. RAF is having a distinct dress of blue disruptive pattern that symbolises peace. Its motto is "Serving Humanity with Sensitive Policing." The force is equipped with non-lethal weapons for dispersing the crowd with minimum harm and losses. The companies of RAF are kept always in readiness for rapid deployment when situation so demands. The companies of RAF are deployed only by the orders of Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, on specific demands from state governments, and are normally not deployed for long duration.
RAF is commanded by an Inspector-General of Police (IGP), functioning at New Delhi. The RAF is divided into two ranges headed by a DIGP at New Delhi and Mumbai. Since 2015, Mr K S Bhandari has led the RAF as an IGP.
United Nations Peace Keeping Operations
The CRPF female and male contingents under the arrangements of RAF are deployed in United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Monrovia and Zwedru in UN Peacekeeping mission since 2007-08. CRPF Female Formed Police Unit was the first of its kind in the world, which was deployed under the aegis of UN Peace Keeping Mission.
RAF has also succeeded in projecting the human face of the Government and built bridges with the public by carrying out prompt rescue and relief operations during floods, earthquakes, cyclones and outbreak of epidemics in various parts of the country.
During the November 2008 Mumbai Terror Attacks, RAF was involved in cordoning the areas around the Oberoi Trident and the Taj Mahal hotels.
Women in the RAF
CRPF has 3 Mahila (Women's) General Duty Battalions. Each RAF battalion consists of hundreds of female police personnel to deal with riots where women protesters are in the forefront, or are agitating. Kamlesh Kumari of the 88 Mahila Battalion was posthumously awarded the Ashoka Chakra for her bravery during the 2001 Indian Parliament attack.
Planning, Training and Improvement
The personnel for the RAF are selected from the CRPF duty battalions on tough yard stick and are given conversion training of 6 weeks before they are deployed for duties. When they are not deployed, they undergo regular training and familiarisation exercise in sensitive and hyper-sensitive districts in their AOR[clarification needed]. They also undertake lot of humanitarian activities to spread message of peace and harmony amongst various communities.
RAF Academy (RAPO - Rapid Action Force Academy for Public Order), Meerut, UP, has recently been inaugurated by the then Home Minister of India, Sushilkumar Shinde, during October 2013.
RAF trains police personnel of various states in riot control techniques as well.
RAF is also planning to introduce a horse mounted force to handle situations in the lanes and by-lanes during riots and religious festival bandobasts. The force is also planning to use dogs to scare away the crowd and uses unarmed surveillance flying devices to monitor situations for quick responses.
- "Rapid Action Force (RAF)". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 2008-11-26.