New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) Over 400 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), India's premier paramilitary force, have been found to be addicted to drugs and alcohol, according to an internal survey.
"We had conducted the survey to find out the number of men who have become drug dependent and found 426 alcohol and drug addicts," said a senior CRPF official.
He said the survey was started in February and conducted across the 250,000-strong force through questionnaires.
"These forms were distributed among the personnel for feedback," said the official. He said the survey had not yet been completed and many personnel were yet to return the forms.
"We are planning to send them reminders so that we can know the exact number of personnel who have become drug dependents," the official said.
"We suspect that many would be reluctant to reveal details about themselves," said the official. According to him, the form is designed in a manner that even if a man tries to mislead the analysts, he would not be able to do so.
He further added that the problem of alcoholism and drug abuse could be due to work pressures and the tensions of staying away from families.
Officials said that a separate programme to identify HIV/AIDS patients amongst the ranks had also been started. Help had been sought from the family members of the personnel affected with HIV/AIDS.
According to recent data, in the past 13 years, 400 CRPF personnel have died of HIV/AIDS while 300 were under treatment.
An official said the first case of HIV/AIDS death in CRPF was recorded in 1992. He added that most cases of AIDS/HIV were detected in the northeast.