A total of 2,600 cooks and water carriers, the lowest rung of constabulary that constitutes an essential backbone of the CRPF, have been promoted for the first time in the 85-year history of the country's largest paramilitary force.

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has a total authorisation of 12,250 personnel for the two specialised cadres that handle the extensive network of kitchens, canteens and similar administrative works for the about 3.25 lakh men and women strength force raised in 1939.

On Wednesday through an order, 1,700 cooks and 900 water carrier personnel have been promoted from their constable designation to the next rank of head constable. This has happened for the first time in the 85-year history of the CRPF, a senior officer told PTI.

These personnel have been part of the force since its raising in 1939 in the British era. They were given specific cadre name of cook and water carrier in 2016 when the 7th pay commission recommendations were implemented by the Union government, the officer said.

A Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) officer said that these personnel, who were recruited in the lowest rung of hierarchy, could never be promoted and were made to retire in the same rank in which they were recruited even after serving for about 30-35 years on average.

The cooks and water carrier personnel form an essential part of the running of any force as they keep the troops in combat fed and nourished, the CAPF officer said.

Each CRPF battalion has about 45 such personnel.

The move came as a result of a proposal, prepared by the CRPF and later approved by the Union home ministry, to ensure that the aspirations of these personnel are taken care of and they are promoted like other cadre personnel, the first officer said.

The 2,600 personnel promoted as part of the latest order were recruited between 1983 and 2004, he said. The rest of these personnel will be promoted in due course, the officer said.

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The CRPF, designated as the lead internal security force of the country, is primarily deployed in three combat theatres of left wing extremism (LWE) combat, counter-terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, and anti-insurgency operations in the northeast.

Last year, a similar promotion was undertaken for personnel working as cook, water carrier, barber, washerman and sweeper in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), another CAPF.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by staff)

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