The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is the largest of India's Central Armed Police Forces. It functions under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) of the Government of India. The CRPF's primary role lies in assisting the State or Union Territories in police operations to maintain law and order and counter insurgency. It came into existence as the Crown Representative's Police on 27 July 1939. After Indian Independence, it became the Central Reserve Police Force on enactment of the CRPF Act on 28 December 1949.
Besides law and order and counter-insurgency duties, the CRPF has played an increasingly large role in India's general elections. During all the Parliamentary elections the CRPF has played a major role in the security arrangements. Of late, CRPF contingents are also being deployed in UN missions.
Today, CRPF is actively looking after the internal security of every part of India and has even operated abroad as part of IPKF and the United Nations peacekeeping missions. It is performing a variety of duties ranging from VIP security to election duties, from guarding of vital installations to the counter-Naxal operations.
The Rapid Action Force (RAF)
The RAF is a specialised 10 battalion wing of the Indian Central Reserve Police Force. It was formed in October 1992, to deal with communal riots and related civil unrest. The battalions are numbered from 99 to 108. RAF is a zero repose force which gets to the crisis situation within a minimal time, thus infuses an immediate sense of security and confidence amongst the general public.
Parliament Duty Group (PDG)
The PDG is an elite CRPF unit tasked to provide armed protection to Parliament House. It comprises 1,540 personnel drawn from various units of CRPF. PDG members are trained in combating nuclear and bio-chemical attacks, rescue operations and behavioural management.
Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA)
In 2008 a wing called Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) was added to the CRPF to counter the Naxalite movement in India. This specialised CRPF unit is one of the few units of the Central Armed Police Forces in the country who are specifically trained in counter insurgency warfare. This elite fighting unit has been trained to track, hunt and eliminate small Naxalite groups.
There are currently 10 COBRA units. 10 CoBRA units that were raised between 2008-2011 have been trained, equipped and deployed in all LWE/ Insurgent affected areas of the states of Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, as well as Assam & Meghalaya. It is one of the best Central Armed Police in the country trained to survive, fight and win in the jungle.