As many as 2,200 Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) personnel died in accidents and suicides in a span of five years from 2014 to 2018, with the annual figures of such casualties coming down in recent years, according to an official data.
In 2018, 104 CAPF personnel died in accidents while 28 committed suicide, totalling 132 deaths during the year, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data showed. In 2014, when the NCRB had first collected data of such cases linked to CAPF, 1,232 accident-related deaths were reported and suicide figures stood at 175. The number of accident-related deaths stood at 113 in 2017, 260 in 2016 and 193 in 2015, while suicide cases stood at 60 in 2017, 74 in 2016 and 60 in 2015, the NCRB data from the corresponding years showed.
According to the data, 1,902 CAPF personnel died in accidents, while 397 committed suicide, totalling 2,199 such casualties from 2014 to 2018. The NCRB has included data from five forces — Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) besides Assam Rifles (AR) and National Security Guard (NSG). Working under the Union Home Ministry, CAPF’s play a vital role in guarding borders and assisting Centre and state governments in maintenance of internal security and in curbing other illegal or unlawful activities.
As on January 1, 2018, the CAPF’s had the actual strength of 9,29,289 personnel, according to the latest report of the NRCB, which works under the MHA and is responsible for collection and analysis of crime-related data. A cause-wise analysis of accidental deaths of CAPF personnel revealed that maximum causalities of forces have been reported under Killed in Action or Operation or Encounters — 31.7 per cent (33 out of 104 deaths) in 2018, the NCRB said. It was followed by deaths due to other causes accounting for 21.2 per cent (22 deaths), while road or railway accidents (21 out of 104 deaths) accounted for 20.2 per cent of total fatalities during the year, it stated.
There were also four deaths each because of forces of nature and fratricide during 2018, according to the NRCB data. A cause-wise analysis of suicidal deaths revealed that 35.7 per cent, which is 10 out of 28 suicides, were due to family problems, the data showed, adding, another 17.9 per cent (five out of 28 suicides each) were due to marriage-related issues and service-related issues. Overall, 1,34,516 suicides were reported in the country during 2018, showing an increase of 3.6 per cent in comparison to 2017. The rate of suicides, which means deaths per one lakh population, also increased by 0.3 per cent during 2018 over 2017, the NCRB stated. Medical experts, however, say that suicide is a serious public health problem but are preventable with timely, evidence-based and often low-cost interventions.