The process for acquiring land for the five new bases is underway and the five battalions, which are already operational, will start functioning from their permanent locations in sometime. Apart from the temple town of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, the four other new battalions will be based in Jaipur (Rajasthan), Mangalore (Karnataka), Hajipur (Bihar) and Nuh (Haryana). Varanasi will be the fourth base of the RAF in Uttar Pradesh — the three others being in Meerut, Allahabad and Aligarh.
A single RAF battalion has a strength of just over 1,000 personnel and it is equipped with gadgets and non-lethal weapons like pump action guns, tear smoke grenade launchers and others to enforce security and law and order in case of protests or riot-like situations.
The force is part of the Central Reserve Police Force, the country’s largest paramilitary force or the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) with over 3 lakh personnel. It was raised and made fully operational in October 1992. The RAF battalions are based in various parts of the country in order to cut down response time and rush the teams in the shortest possible time to counter an incident.
The 10 old RAF battalions are based in Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Aligarh, Coimbatore, Jamshedpur, Bhopal and Meerut.