Sinlung /
05 February 2010

MHA Plans to Increase Assam Rifles Strength

By Namrata Biji Ahuja

assam rifles New Delhi, Feb 5
: To counter threats from insurgent outfits like the ULFA and NSCN who are using the porous Indo-Myanmar border as a transit point, the Union home ministry has sought to increase the strength of the Assam Rifles.

The Army will set aside the fresh battalions for border guarding duties and not put them on other areas of their deployment. The ministry’s move has come after it noted that the Assam Rifles, which is under the operational command of the Army, has been moving out its personnel deployed on the border to other areas which the Army deems fit at that point in time.

"We are increasing the strength of the Assam Rifles, but on the condition that the Army puts the fresh recruits on border guarding duties," a home ministry official said. The home ministry, which holds administrative charge of the force, has made the demand amidst concerns that the frequent change in deployment of the force personnel at the border outposts was, at times, resulting in gaps at sensitive border locations.

"There are many stretches along the Indo-Myanmar border, especially on the Nagaland border, where deployment is difficult due to logistical concerns. However, at the places where he have border outposts, we need to have adequate deployment of the force," the ministry official said.

Major insurgent groups in the Northeast like NSCN and ULFA have over two dozen camps and training centers along both sides of 1,650-km-long India-Myanmar border, which touches Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. Elusive ULFA ‘commander-in-chief’ Paresh Baruah is also believed to have been hiding in the Kachin area of Myanmar.

The Assam Rifles will be raising three to four battalions every year.


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