A PERENNIAL dilemma of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) is dealing with the rising number of medically unfit personnel in combat ranks. It is not just an impediment in border security, anti-Naxal, counter-terror operations but the problem also is of administrative hassles for unwanted medical expenses. At present, over 55,000 troops in combat ranks are in the “low medical category” which is a significant number given the continuous operations the central paramilitary forces are pressed into even during peace time. This number gives credence to the CAPFs’ demand of weeding out unfit personnel by bringing in a new assessment system. Operational capabilities of the forces require a fit, young and agile workforce. It is absolutely unviable to have accumulation of older personnel in the forces that hardly have peace time duties. The Pulwama terror attack has provided a chance to enhance paramilitary forces’ operational effectiveness. It would be wise if the Home Ministry considers the demand of a system to get rid of unfit personnel.
THE Malian massacre, which claimed over 130 lives, is a clear failure of the Government and the complacence of the military bosses . The Dan Na Ambassagou militia has gone berserk and is known to have carried out several attacks on civilian ethnic groups for the last one year but the Government just allowed the militia a free run. Now, after the militia has taken a heavy toll of elderly men, pregnant women and children the Mali Government has disbanded the militia and has sacked the top military brass for their failure to control the attackers. Although the Government of Mali now says that the protection of ethnic groups is its responsibility, in this case they have utterly failed the people despite knowing the Ambassagou group’s criminal antecedents of the past year. The village where the attack was carried out is inhabited by ethnic Muslim community. Mali has the history of such deadly ethnic attacks and once France had to intervene to quell jehadi violence. But the Government appears to show helplessness.