With several incidents of paramilitary personnel complaining of ill-treatment coming to light, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has introduced a new system that allows officials at the lower constabulary level to decide on leaves for staffers.
This step gains significance in the light of a CISF jawan shooting four colleagues with his service rifle at a power plant in Bihar’s Aurangabad district on Thursday. BSF and CRPF personnel also posted videos voicing their dissatisfaction with higher-ups on the social media in recent months, indicating a growing resentment in the country’s top security forces.
An internal study conducted by the CISF found that many of its personnel were depressed because they couldn’t avail of leave to spend time with their families. The force then formed a leave committee, where four constable-level staffers decide on leaves for the entire unit.
“There would be a leave committee for every 200 personnel. The person who wants leave will place his request before the committee, who then takes it to the unit head for approval. If the leaves of two personnel clash, the panel will take a call on who has a better cause for taking time off work. This will increase satisfaction levels among staffers, and they will be able to perform their duties better,” said CISF director general OP Singh.
The new system, which is already being implemented among CISF personnel guarding the Delhi Metro, will eventually be introduced in other units.
With 1.44 lakh personnel, CISF provides security to 322 units – including nuclear installations, space research centres, metro stations, airports, seaports, power plants, oil refineries and several heritage monuments.
“The quality of food is not an issue here because CISF personnel are mostly posted in civilian areas. For us, the challenge lies in ensuring that they are not stressed due to long working hours or lack of leave. For this, we often counsel them, and senior officers are asked to hold regular meetings to check if staffers are being inconvenienced in any way,” said an official on the condition of anonymity.
The CISF has also asked all unit heads to identify staffers prone to depression, and send them for counselling. “We use buddy peers for the purpose. Staffers likely to suffer from depression are asked to interact regularly with a colleague, who is his buddy peer. We also take care of their families through our NGO, Sarankshika,” the official said.