In a bid to enhance operational efficiency, the Home Ministry has given approval for a full-fledged Intelligence Wing in the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), mandated to guard the India-Nepal and India-Bhutan borders.
Approval to create 650 combatised posts for the intelligence set-up was received by the 96,500-strong SSB on Tuesday, a Ministry official said.
The 650 posts in various ranks range from battalion to headquarters levels.
SSB Director General Archana Ramasundaram directed for the early creation of the approved intelligence set-up.
She expressed confidence that it will markedly improve the SSB's performance in the times to come.
The Intelligence Wing personnel would be deployed on the 1,751-km India-Nepal and 699-km India-Bhutan borders where there are no restrictions on the movement of people on either side. The areas comprise densely populated foothills and plains, thick jungles, under developed regions, and inhospitable terrains.
The official said the Intelligence Wing was required due to cross-border movement of criminals and anti-national elements in the context of visa-free regime on these borders.
As most of the stretches of the border are infested with ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) activities, Indian insurgent groups, Left Wing Extremism, fundamentalists, smugglers of arms and ammunition, narcotics, Indian Fake Currency and human traffickers, the wing will really help in keeping a proper tab on these activities, he said.
"The SSB has been declared as the Lead Intelligence Agency for both these borders. Thus, a well-knit intelligence network of the highest capabilities was needed. This is quite essential, as SSB operations have to be intelligence-based to prevent criminals and smugglers from taking advantage of friendly borders with Nepal and Bhutan," an SSB official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.
Accordingly, a proposal was sent to the Home Ministry for setting up the Intelligence Wing to strengthen efficiency and operational mandate of the force on borders and for internal security duties in Jammu and Kashmir and anti-Maoist duties in Maoist-affected areas, he said.
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