New Delhi: Central paramilitary forces may soon be granted the status of 'martyrs' as Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday discussed the issue threadbare during his visit to the headquarters of border-guarding ITBP here.
Official sources said Singh, while reviewing the operational prepardness of the frontline force along the border with China, was briefed about last year's relief and rescue operations in Uttarakhand where the force lost 15 personnel (both ITBP and NDRF) and since then, these slain men have not been awarded with any medals or recognition.
Sources said the Home Minister assured the force that their grievances would be looked into and asked accompanying Home Ministry officers to prepare a proposal in this regard.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), sources said, also requested the Home Minister to help the force get two dedicated helicopters urgently required to serve its border posts in high altitudes and far-flung areas.
The Home Minister, during the two-hour meeting, also praised ITBP men for rendering duties in extremely "inhospitable" and "rugged" conditions along the 3,488km long frontier.
The Home Minister was also briefed about the problems faced by the troops along this frontier where temperature usually drops to sub-zero levels at most border posts.
Singh, who was given a presentation by the force, is understood to have told the ITBP top brass that the government is working to help them in their personal and professional welfare.
He was also given a briefing on the cases of high-altitude diseases and sickness being fought by the force and the measures initiated by it to curb cardiac and other life-threatening ailments.
"The Home Minister also praised the ITBP for successfully defending India's Consulate at Herat in Afghanistan from a massive terrorist attack in May 2014. The minister assured the officers that major issues and problems facing the ITBP would be addressed on a priority basis," a Home Ministry official said.