PM Modi's constituency Varanasi among the new RAF bases
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency, Varanasi, will be a new base for the Rapid Action Force (RAF), the specialized blue dungaree donning anti-riot and crowd control paramilitary unit of the country. A total of five battalions of the RAF were sanctioned by the central government in January this year and their new bases have now been sanctioned, a senior official said. Here's more.
New RAF bases other than Varanasi
The total number of RAF battalions in the country now goes up to 15. Apart from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, the four other new battalions will be based in Jaipur (Rajasthan), Mangaluru (Karnataka), Hajipur (Bihar), and Nuh (Haryana), the official said. Varanasi will be the fourth base of the RAF in Uttar Pradesh. The other three are in Meerut, Allahabad, and Aligarh.
The five battalions will soon start functioning at respective locations
The process for acquiring land for the five new bases is underway and the five battalions, which are already operational, will start functioning from their permanent locations in some time, the official said. Modi was elected as a Member of Parliament from Varanasi in 2014 general elections. Amongst the new bases is Hajipur which is the Parliamentary Constituency of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan.
RAF battalion is provided with gadgets and non-lethal weapons
A single RAF battalion has a strength of just over 1,000 personnel and it is equipped with gadgets and non-lethal weapons like pump action guns, tear smoke grenade launchers and others to enforce security and law and order in case of protests or riot-like situations. The force is part of Central Reserve Police Force, the country's largest paramilitary force with over 3 lakh personnel.
The RAF was made fully operational in October 1992
The RAF was raised and made fully operational in October 1992. The force battalions are based in various parts of the country in order to cut down response time and rush the teams in the shortest possible time to counter an incident. The 10 old RAF battalions are based in Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Aligarh, Coimbatore, Jamshedpur, Bhopal, and Meerut.Share this timeline