Assam Rifles, not BSF, to guard Myanmar border
SHILLONG: Despite speculations that the BSF might be asked to guard the country’s border with Myanmar, the Assam Rifles on Friday made it clear that it would continue with the task.
“We will continue to guard the Myanmar border. It is because the force has domain knowledge about the people, terrain and complete operational situation along the Myanmar frontier,” Assam Rifles Dir-Gen Lt-Gen. Rameshwar Roy said.
The Centre was earlier considering replacing the Assam Rifles with BSF along the Myanmar border.
Roy said, “While there are about 15 battalions manning the Myanmar border at present, more units will be raised and the Meghalaya government has been requested to provide land for setting up the necessary infrastructure. The need for improving the border guarding arises out of the continuing smuggling activities and cross-border movement of insurgents to and fro Myanmar.”
He added that the northeast insurgents have shifted their base to Myanmar after the crackdown in Bangladesh. India shares 1634 km of border with Myanmar which is manned by Assam Rifles personnel. The dense forests in most parts make the border very vulnerable.
The Assam Rifles, which now has 46 battalions, some deployed in counter-insurgency operations in the northeast, was entrusted with the task of guarding the border with Myanmar in 2002. The Centre has also sought proposals from the country’s oldest paramilitary force, which is present in the restive northeast for 176 years, for adequate deployment and setting up of fresh infrastructure along the 1,634 international frontier.