Assam Rifles to raise 26 new battalions for border duty


New Delhi : Assam Rifles will raise 26 battalions more to check the movement of militants and criminals through the porous Indo-Myanmar border as its present strength of 46 battalions is “inadequate”, its chief Lt. Gen. R.S. Yadava said Friday.

Support TwoCircles

“Seeing the vast terrain of the border, we feel that the present strength is inadequate. We have proposed for raising 26 new battalions. We have been assured that a decision will be taken by the year end. We will raise three to four battalions every year and all these battalions will be deployed along the Indo-Myanmar border,” Yadava said here.

“In the next ten years, we will have all these battalions. And besides these, we will also be creating infrastructure like roads and helipads,” he said at the force’s 175th Raising Day.

One battalion comprises around 1,000 personnel.

Yadava said the decision on additional battalions was taken keeping in view that “the northern part of Myanmar is not administered properly the way it should have been”.

“Bad elements and militants keep moving from the other side in search of a safe haven. We enjoy good relationship with our counterparts in Myanmar and they are chasing back these people. We meet our counterparts on monthly basis and exchange useful information with them,” he added.

The Assam Rifles has 46 battalions, of which 15 are deployed along the 1,600-km Indo-Myanmar border.

The newly raised battalions would also be deployed for border duties while the rest would be reserved for counter-insurgency operations in the northeastern states.

According to treaties between India and Myanmar, people from Myanmar can come up to 40 km inside the Indian border for trade, while people from India can go up to 16 km iside Myanmar. It is often alleged that drugs and weapons flow to India through the porous border.

Asked about reports of Chinese weapons being smuggled into the northeast, Yadava said his force has found small weapons with Chinese markings.

“But it does not have anything to do with insurgency. Some unauthorised dealers are selling them in the states. The Chinese have denied their role and even I do not think we can link this to them,” he added.