India to raise 15 new battalions for Pakistan, China borders

 
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New Delhi, Jan. 14 (TNS): Indian government is planning to raise 15 new battalions in the country’s two important border guarding forces — the BSF and the ITBP — to fortify defence along the strategic frontiers with Pakistan, Bangladesh and China, Indian media quoting officials reported on Sunday.

A senior official in Indian Union Home Ministry said that it is “actively considering” raising six fresh battalions in the Border Security Force (BSF) and nine in the Indo- Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force, state run Press Trust of India reported.

Each battalion of these forces comprises about 1,000 operational jawans and officers.

Reports quoting sources in the BSF said the force has projected enhancing manpower by sanctioning of new units so that they can be deployed in the Assam and West Bengal flanks of the Indo- Bangladesh border even as a similar addition in numbers is required to effectively guard the Indo-Pak International Border (IB), especially in Punjab and Jammu regions, in the near future.

“The exact locations for the new battalions could be gauged as and when they are raised but a few areas along Bangladesh and Pakistan will remain a priority owing to their vulnerability profile such as infiltration, drugs smuggling, human trafficking and illegal migration,” a senior BSF officer said.

Similarly, the ITBP has been trying to reduce the inter- BoP (border out post) distance at the 3,488-km long icy frontier that it is tasked with guarding.

“The original projection was to have 12 fresh battalions for the ITBP but the force requires nine such units in the near future,” a senior ITBP officer said.

The frequent instances of transgressions and confrontations with the Chinese army at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is being seen as the major reason for the ITBP to enhance its numbers.