Shillong: The BSF is unlikely to replace
Assam Rifles to guard the Myanmar border, Assam Rifles
Director General Lt Gen Rameshwar Roy said on Thursday.
Even as the Centre is yet to take a final call on the
issue, Roy said, "There was less possibility" of the BSF
replacing the Assam Rifles as his force "is identified with
the ground, the people and the terrain".
"Discussions are going on. But I am sure ultimately it
will be in our favour. Indications are such. It is because of
the fact that Assam Rifles has domain knowledge about the
people, terrain and complete operational situation in the
Myanmar border," he said.
Roy said as Assam Rifles has been manning the 1640-km
border for many years now, it would be difficult to replace
Asked how close to the border the Assam Rifles posts can
be set up, Roy said, "It will depend on the infrastructure
development. As the roads keep on developing towards the
border, we will keep on going closer. We cannot sit in the
jungle. It does not solve the problem."
"But with development of infrastructure, the troops will
keep moving closer. The post at Moreh (Manipur) for example is
bang on the border," he said.
Earlier, the Centre was considering deployment of the
BSF along the Myanmar border.
India has 1,640 kilometres of border with Myanmar,
manned by the Assam Rifles, and the dense forests in most
parts make the border very vulnerable.
At present, most of the posts of the Assam Rifles are
located well inside Indian territory and only a handful of
posts are located near the zero line, which makes it easier
for the militants to sneak into India easily.
Militant groups of the Northeast have hideouts in
Myanmar and use the porous border for entering and moving out
of the country.
The Assam Rifles was entrusted with the responsibility
of guarding the border with Myanmar in 2002 and at that time,
the strength of the force was 30 battalions.
Gradually, the strength of the force has been increased
to 46 battalions. Twenty more battalions are being raised by
the force, the country`s oldest paramilitary force.
Assam Rifles, Roy said, has started raising an Inspector
General headquarter at Silchar in Assam. Three sector
headquarters would be set up at Dimapur (Nagaland), Haflong
(Assam) and Senapati (Manipur).
"These were sanctioned because the force did not have
enough headquarters for command control of the forces," the DG