Sinlung /
11 November 2010

Indian Army Raises Arunachal Scouts Unit

indian-armyShillong, Nov 11 : The Indian Army today formally raised the first battalion of the Arunachal Pradesh scouts— a well-trained army unit that will be operative only in Arunachal Pradesh.

The functions and operations of Arunachal Pradesh scouts will be similar to that of the Ladakh scouts — the frontier unit of the Indian Army that had played a major role during the Kargil war.

The raising day of the Arunachal Pradesh scouts was formally inaugurated by Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu at the sprawling parade ground of the Assam Regimental Centre (ARC), Shillong today.

In his address to the jawans, Khandu said: “We should take pride that for the first time in the history of Indian Army, a battalion has been named after the State of Arunachal Pradesh”.
Disclosing that the concept of Arunachal Pradesh scouts has been his dream and a long-felt demand of the State as well, Khandu extended his gratitude to Prime Minister  Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Defence Minister AK Antony, Chief of Army Staff General VK Singh, top brass of the Army and bureaucrats for honouring the genuine demand for raising the Arunachal Scouts.  He further acknowledged the relentless efforts made by the Arunachal Pradesh Governor Gen J J Singh, his Cabinet colleagues, Members of Parliament, MLAs and officers from the State for making the dream of Arunachal Scout come true.

“Since this new battalion is born out of the Assam Regiment, you continue to be a part of the living symbol of martial strength and traditions of the Northeast. The glorious tradition of the people of the Land of the Rising Sun and the dawn-lit mountains of India and their inborn ability of surviving in all kinds of adverse conditions and treacherous terrain would be the core strength of your battalion” Khandu asserted.

“You will have the difficult task of making your own history and creating unparalleled traditions. I have no doubt that you will embark upon the arduous task of creating one of the strongest, cohesive, disciplined and operationally proficient battalions of the Indian Army,” Khandu said emphatically.

Khandu requested the recruits to give their best as the country and the State of Arunachal Pradesh would  look up to them with full confidence as the sentinels of the country.

In addition to the raising ceremony of first battalion of Arunachal Scouts, Khandu attended the Passing out ceremony of 294 batch of the Assam Regiment as the reviewing officer on the day.
Impressed by the excellent performance of the passing out contingents through march past and drills, Khandu congratulated them for being a full-fledged soldier of the motherland and successfully completing the training course.

Khandu believed that training should be made mandatory for all personnel time and again so that it could make them fit and healthy. He hinted similar type of training programmes for the State police. Khandu encouraged the personnel to show bravery and courage in safeguarding the territorial boundary and maintain the discipline and devotion which are mandatory in arm forces.

Although Arunachal Pradesh scouts will be under the aegis of the Assam Regiment, the men will be from the qualified inhabitants of Arunachal Pradesh.

Khandu also said, “By their inborn virtues, Arunachal Pradesh scouts will take the mantle of the other jawans to maintain vigilance in places that have varying altitudes from 1,500 feet to 2,400 feet of altitude from the sea level”.   

Khandu also said that taking into consideration the unmanned 1,200 km border with China, 520 km with Myanmar and 219 km with Bhutan, the local recruits of the new force will go a long way in ensuring the national integrity.

When asked on whether the Chinese factor is the reason for raising the army battalion, the senior most serving officer of the Assam Regiment Major General SN Singh told a group of newsmen on the sidelines of the ceremonial programme that the raising of the new unit was not a target to anybody. “It’s a battalion with men from the place”, he said, and added: “They are the ones who are acclimatized with the topography, the weather and the other conditions of the area.”

Adding further to what the Arunachal Chief Minister said General Singh also added that the raising of the new battalion would  give an opportunity to the people of Arunachal Pradesh to take an active part in the defense of the country. Meanwhile, the Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister announced a financial package of Rs 50 lakh for the new Arunachal scouts and Rs 5 lakh for the instructors.

Among others from Arunachal Pradesh, PWD & UD  Minister Nabam Tuki, Parliamentary Secretary Labour and Employment Padi Richo, GOC 56 Division Maj General R N Singh and Commandant, Assam Regimental Centre were present on the occasion.


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