CISF jawan succumbs to COVID-19; 18th death among paramilitary forces

New Delhi, Jun 21 (PTI) A 41-year-old Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel died of COVID-19 on Sunday, taking the total number of fatalities in the force from the pandemic to six, officials said.

This is the 18th death from the pandemic among the five central paramilitary forces of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).

Officials said constable Jitender Kumar died at the RML Hospital here after he was admitted with fever and difficulty in breathing on June 10.

The jawan had contracted the coronavirus infection and was deployed for law and order duties in Delhi, a senior CISF officer said.

He hailed from Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh and was posted with the 8th reserve battalion of the force in Jaipur, he said.

'The Director General CISF and all ranks are deeply saddened on the tragic loss of our corona warrior constable Jitender Kumar of CISF who laid his life at the altar of duty battling COVID-19 infection.

'We express heartfelt condolences to the grief stricken family members,' the force said in a message.

This is the sixth death from coronavirus in the about 1.62 lakh personnel strong force, the national civil aviation security force guarding over 60 airports apart from other vital infrastructure.

Twenty-four fresh cases were reported in the CISF since Saturday, which has a total 255 active COVID-19 cases while 347 personnel have recovered till now.

The maximum cases in the force have been reported from a unit that guard the Madras High Court (39), Delhi airport (28), Ghaziabad-based reserve battalion (25),  Mumbai airport and Delhi Metro (17 each), Kolkata Port Trust (16) and Reliance Corporate Park, Navi Mumbai (7) among others.

The CRPF has suffered six casualties, BSF three, SSB two and one death has taken place in the ITBP till now.

These central forces, with a combined strength of about 10 lakh personnel, render a variety of security duties, law and order management, border guarding, counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations and disaster rescue and relief under the command of the Union home ministry. PTI NES KJ KJ