Assam Rifles to continue to guard Myanmar border

August 4th, 2011 - 10:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Nongkrem (Meghalaya), Aug 4 (IANS) Troopers of the Border Security Force (BSF) will not replace the Assam Rifles to guard the unfenced India-Myanmar border, Assam Rifles chief Lt. Gen. Rameshwar Roy said Thursday.

The central government earlier had plans to relieve the Assam Rifles to guard the 1,643-km long border with Myanmar due to shortage of officers for further raising of more Assam Rifles battalions.

“Initially, there was a proposal to move us out from the (India-Myanmar) border due to certain difficulties (shortage of officers), but those difficulties have been resolved now, and therefore, we will remain there,” Roy told journalists.

“It will be difficult to replace us because Assam Rifles have the domain knowledge about the people, terrain of the border areas and a complete knowledge on the operational areas,” he said.

Assam Rifles, the oldest paramilitary force in the country, has the twin responsibility of guarding the treacherous India-Myanmar border and also conducting counter-insurgency operations in Manipur and Nagaland.

Asked on the non-deployment of troops along the India-Myanmar border, the Assam Rifles chief said: “The troops will move in closer to the border once infrastructures are being developed. Our troops cannot simple sleep in the jungle and you need infrastructure.”

The Assam Rifles has 46 battalions, 15 of which are deployed along the 1,643-km long unfenced India-Myanmar border. The porous border with its rugged terrain is used by Indian insurgent groups to slip in and out of the country. Forest and animal products are also smuggled through this route in and out of India.

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