A week after the Pulwama terror attacks, the government on Thursday allowed paramilitary forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir to take commercial flights to join duty or while going on leave.
“In a significant decision, the Ministry of Home Affairs has approved the entitlement of air travel on Delhi-Srinagar, Srinagar-Delhi, Jammu-Srinagar and Srinagar-Jammu sectors to all the personnel of Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPF). The decision will immediately benefit approximately 7,80,000 personnel of the CAPFs in the ranks of Constable, Head Constable and ASI who were otherwise not eligible earlier,” a ministry release states.
This will include the journey on duty and the journey on leave, that is, while going on leave from Jammu and Kashmir to their home and their returns.
This facility is in addition to the existing air courier services for CAPFs that have been steadily extended in all sectors by the MHA to help the jawans cut down on travel time during their journey to and fro from home on leave.
In Jammu and Kashmir Sector, Air Courier Service for CAPF jawans was approved for the Jammu-Srinagar-Jammu sector. Subsequently, the Service was extended to cover Delhi-Jammu, Jammu-Srinagar, Srinagar-Jammu and Jammu-Delhi sector in Dec 2017. The number of flights was then further extended in December 2018.
In addition to this, air support is provided from IAF as and when required.
The decision was conveyed to the chiefs of the Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Assam Rifles (AR), National Security Guards (NSG) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and has come into effect immediately, said the order.
The order comes a week after 49 soldiers were killed in a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama. A 'Fidayeen' bomber, Adil Ahmad Dar, belonging to the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) terror outfit rammed an explosive-laden SUV into a bus carrying CRPF troopers in Lethpora area of Pulwama district on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway.