Taskforce on Suicides in CAPFs

A taskforce of senior officers formed by the Home Ministry a few months ago to investigate cases of suicide in the central armed police forces (CAPFs) will also submit a complete report on occurrences of fratricide, in which seven BSF members were killed.

Overview:

  • The panel will submit recommendations and case study analysis not only for cases where troops take the extreme measure of taking their own life but also for cases where comrades-in-arms are also targeted.
  • The last few fratricide incidents that occurred in these forces will be considered.
  • A draft report will be created and distributed to CAPFs for final comments before being submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

About the Taskforce

IPS officer V S K Kaumudi, the special secretary (internal security) in the home ministry, is heading this taskforce, along with an additional/special director general rank officer from the ITBP, BSF, SSB, CISF, and Assam Rifles each as panel members. When the panel was formed in December 2021 it was being led by CRPF DG Kuldiep Singh.

Work of the taskforce

The group has been tasked with developing a strategy to identify important protective factors and risk factors at the individual level. It will also examine existing and future protective factors and explore prevention measures, as well as interact with domain experts and conduct research.

They have also been tasked to identify risk factors like impulsivity as a personality trait, past suicidal attempts by the trooper, drugs or alcohol abuse, mental illness, acute emotional crises, aggressive tendencies, chronic or acute physical illness, and acute stressful life events.

They will also investigate whether any modifications can be made in the deployment pattern of the troops and methods in which mobile phone access can be controlled during the deployment phase in order to look into instances where troops took the extreme step of committing suicide. The panel will also look at protective factors like conflict-resolution and problem-solving skills, the personnel’s good relationship with family members, societal, personal, and religious beliefs as well as spiritual connections.

The panel will also look into minimizing the harmful use of drugs and alcohol, raising awareness about suicide prevention, and the importance of mental health. Methods will also be devised to screen suicidal plans or ideas. It will also consider training the personnel to identify colleagues who are vulnerable and methods to address issues related to taboo subjects and stigmas.

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