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Govt to raise 15 new battalions for Pakistan, China, Bangladesh borders

BSF is 'actively considering' raising six battalions and ITBP nine

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Rajnath Singh with ITBP jawans on New Year's eve. Photo: ANI
Rajnath Singh with ITBP jawans on New Year's eve. Photo: ANI

The is planning to raise 15 new battalions in the country's two important border guarding forces -- the BSF and the -- to fortify defence along the strategic frontiers with Pakistan, and

A in the told PTI that it is "actively considering" raising six fresh battalions in the Force (BSF) and nine in the Indo- Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force.

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

Sources in the BSF said the force has projected enhancing manpower by sanctioning of new units so that they can be deployed in the and flanks of the Indo- border even as a similar addition in numbers is required to effectively the Indo-Pak International Border (IB), especially in 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 and will remain a priority owing to their vulnerability profile such as infiltration, drugs smuggling, human trafficking and illegal migration," a senior BSF said.

Similarly, the has been trying to reduce the inter- (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 but the force requires nine such units in the near future," a said.

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

The mountain-trained force has recently got sanctions to set up at least 47 new BoPs along the border for effective control of the border area.

The said the new battalions would also help the two border guarding forces better rotate troops from forward locations to units in the mainland.

While most of the BoPs of the ITBP are in highly arduous terrain and it is difficult and time-taking to reach them, many of the BSF locations at the two borders are also in high-altitude and harsh climate regions.

While the BSF is the country's largest border guarding force with a strength of about 2.5 lakh, the ITBP is about 90,000-personnel strong.

The home ministry has three such forces under its command, the third being the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) that is tasked with guarding Indian borders with and

First Published: Sun, January 14 2018. 16:47 IST