raised in October 1992 AF stands for ‘Rapid Action Force’ is a specialized force. It was with 5 more units added w.e.f January 2018. These units were instituted to handle riots and similar situations and be responsible for internal security. India is now celebrating the 28th anniversary of Rapid Action Force.
Features of Rapid Action Force
- RAF is a zero response force which reaches to the crisis in no time, thus inducing an immediate sense of security and confidence amongst the general public.
- RAF trained male and female contingents are deployed for UN peacekeeping missions to different countries (i.e., Haiti, Kosovo, Liberia, etc) every year.
- RAF battalions are led by an officer of the rank of Inspector General. The smallest functional unit in the force is called a ‘Team’ which is commanded by an inspector.
- It has three components known as a riot control element, tear smoke element, and fire element. It has been organised as an independent striking unit.
- One team in a company of RAF is constituted of women personnel to deal with situations involving women demonstrators.
- This force also has a unique flag that signifies peace. It is also a proud receiver of the president’s colour, which is the highest honour bestowed upon any Indian military unit.
- Its headquarters is in New Delhi. The RAF has a distinctive uniform with a blue-coloured camouflage pattern which symbolizes peace. Its motto is “Serving Humanity with Sensitive Policing”.
- RAF has also succeeded in projecting the human face of the Government and built bridges with the public by carrying out prompt rescue and relief operations during floods, earthquakes, cyclones and outbreak of epidemics in various parts of the country.
- During the November 2008 Mumbai Terror Attacks, RAF was involved in cordoning the areas around the Oberoi Trident and the Taj Mahal hotels. Kamlesh Kumari of the 88 Mahila Battalion was posthumously awarded the Ashoka Chakra for her bravery during the 2001 Indian Parliament attack.