CRPF man dies due to COVID-19 in Delhi; 1st CAPF case

CRPF man dies due to COVID-19 in Delhi in first such case among CAPFs

A 55-year-old Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel died on Tuesday due to coronavirus infection, officials said.

This is the first death due to the pandemic among the about 10 lakh personnel strong Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) or the paramilitary forces that function under the Union Home Ministry for upkeep of internal security and border guarding.

The sub-inspector (SI) rank official was admitted to the Safdarjung hospital a few days back after being detected positive for the virus.

"The 55-year-old personnel breathed his last on Tuesday at about 4 pm due to COVID-19 infection. He was posted with the 31st battalion of the force based in Delhi," a senior official said.

Home Minister Amit Shah condoled the death of the trooper.

"I am deeply saddened to learn about the death of brave Sub-Inspector Mohammed Ikram Hussain who was fighting the coronavirus infection."

"He fought the disease bravely till the end. His contribution to service and internal security of the country will continue to inspire citizens," Shah tweeted.

The minister said he talked to the family of the official day before yesterday over phone to know about his well being.

"Losing a brave soldier is an irreparable loss for us.The entire country and the central government are with his family in this moment of grief," he wrote.

The trooper, who hailed from Barpeta district in Assam, was suffering from co-morbid conditions like diabetes and hypertension, he said.

At least 45 other personnel from this battalion have been admitted with coronavirus infection and they are suspected to have contracted the virus from another colleague who was found positive in their camp.

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About 400 CRPF personnel and their families have been tested for COVID-19 in connection with this chain in Delhi, officials said.

CRPF chief A P Maheshwari and few other senior officials had also gone into quarantine early this month after a doctor of the force was detected positive for the viral disease. They later joined work.

There have been a few positive cases in other CAPFs like the Border Security Force and the Central Industrial Security Force. Some among them have been cured.

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The CRPF is country's largest paramilitary force with about 3.25 lakh personnel in its ranks and it is designated as the lead internal security force apart from the mainstay for anti-Naxal operations and counter-terrorism duties in the Kashmir valley.

CRPF Director General (DG) A P Maheshwari said in a tweet that the official "contracted the viral infection in the line of duty".

"He faced it valiantly but succumbed. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the family in hour of grief and reiterate our commitment to the people," he said.

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