The death of a 55-year-old Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel due to COVID-19 in the national capital on Tuesday (April 28) marked the first fatality due to the disease among the country’s paramilitary forces.
The deceased, a sub-inspector (SI) rank official, was admitted to the Safdarjung hospital in Delhi a few days back after he tested positive for the virus. “The 55-year-old personnel died on Tuesday due to COVID-19 infection. He was posted with the 31st battalion of the force based in Delhi,” a senior official said.
The trooper, who hailed from Assam’s Barpeta, was suffering from co-morbid conditions like diabetes and hypertension, he said. At least 31 other personnel of this battalion have been admitted with coronavirus after they are suspected to have contracted the virus from another infected colleague in their camp.
This is the first death due to the pandemic among the about 10 lakh personnel strong Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) or the paramilitary forces that function under the Union Home Ministry for upkeep of internal security and border guarding.
There have been a few positive cases in other CAPFs like the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). Some among them have been cured too.
The CRPF is India’s largest paramilitary force with about 3.25 lakh personnel in its ranks and it is designated as the lead internal security force apart from the mainstay for anti-Naxal operations and counter-terrorist duties in the Kashmir valley.
(With inputs from agencies)