Our fight against Naxalism has entered its last stages and our officers have reached the last bastion, CRPF Director-General Kuldiep Singh told News18 in an exclusive interview ahead of the end of his tenure on September 30.
“We are more equipped and more prepared to take on challenges. Women personnel of CRPF have also done exceedingly well in these areas. As the force deals with all kinds of internal security issues, it has gained enough experience which is reflected in its professionalism while tackling any issue. The words ‘impossible’ or ‘no’ are not found in our dictionary,” said Singh.
Singh, a West Bengal cadre officer of the 1986 batch, has also been the D-G of the National Investigation Agency for 13 months.
Speaking to News18 about the pressures of handling two high-profile organisations, Singh said: “I agree that both were demanding jobs that required a different kind of temperament and expertise. However, both are closely related to a subject I am passionate about -national security. My time management skills helped and I ensured that all tours to the operational areas of the country were undertaken on weekends while weekdays were spent at headquarters. I also put technology to use by having very frequent video conferences with my field commanders. There, never was a gap between HQ & field units.”
Asked about the tense situation following civilian killings in Jammu and Kashmir, especially when the erstwhile state is bracing for elections, Singh said the CRPF will “rise to the challenge” to ensure free and fair election in the Union Territory.
“In a democratic setup, elections are the norm. The CRPF has always been at the forefront in ensuring free and fair elections in the country. Kashmir shall be no exception. As and when the government decides, I am sure the officers of the CRPF shall rise to the challenge and will ensure free and fair elections. The Election Commission depends a lot on CRPF for elections.”
Singh also touched upon the force’s involvement in conducting the Amarnath Yatra. “The CRPF has been closely associated with the yatra for many years now. This year, we rose to the occasion and were there when natural calamities struck. The pilot project of RFID and YMS has been received well by the SASB and helped achieve a record turnout of pilgrims,” he said.
On the role of the CRPF in protecting the country’s VIPs, Singh said the officers deputed in this roles are put through rigorous and targeted training. “The CRPF has established a dedicated VIP security wing. The personnel are selected and put through intensive training at a centre especially established for the purpose. Officers have seen action at close quarters and at these centres they are provided with fresh inputs and training which sharpens their reflexes and mentally tones the person for taking on adversity.”