Coronavirus: CAPFs cancel official Holi celebrations

New Delhi : Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) such as the CRPF and the BSF have decided to call off official events to celebrate Holi in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, officials said on Friday. These forces deployed for rendering a variety of internal security tasks and border guarding duties have issued directives to cancel events to collectively celebrate the festival of colours at all their locations across the country.

The CAPFs comprise the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the Border Security Force (BSF), the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). They function under the command of the Union home ministry. “It is desirable to avoid mass public gatherings and congregations and no Holi ‘milan’ event will be held in view of the threat posed by coronavirus,” read an official communication sent by CRPF headquarters to its field offices on Thursday.

Holi will be celebrated on March 10. This is the third straight year that these forces will not be celebrating Holi on an official level.

In 2018, the celebrations were called off after 25 CRPF personnel were killed in a Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district and last year, the festivities were shelved in order to express solidarity with the 40 CRPF personnel who were killed in the Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir.

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