New ITBP battalions for border with China soon, says minister

Government is determined to provide transport and logistical support to all security forces Nityanand Rai says

The process of authorising new battalions for the Indo-Tiberan Border Police (ITBP), guarding the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China, is in the last stages and the government is determined to provide transport and logistical support to all security forces, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said on Sunday.

Addressing the 60th Raising Day event of ITBP, Rai said the government had last year sanctioned 47 new border posts and a dozen staging camps to the force.

“Deliberations for providing new manpower and battalions for the ITBP are in the last stages,” Rai said.

Officials said the force is expected to get seven new battalions comprising about 8,000 personnel for its new border posts, which will mainly be in the Arunachal Pradesh sector of the LAC.

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The proposal for sanctioning new ITBP battalions and a sector headquarter in the Northeast has been under the consideration of the home ministry for more than two years. But with last year’s sanction of the new border outposts and staging camps, the proposal is expected to get approval soon, the officials said.

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An ITBP battalion has a strength of just over 1,000 personnel.

At the rising day event, Rai lauded the ITBP for their bravery and for giving a “befitting reply” to their opponents during the clashes between Indian and Chinese forces in Ladakh in May-June last year.

He also decorated 20 ITBP officers and personnel as he pinned police medals for gallantry on their uniform for displaying bravery and courage during the clashes. These medals were announced by the Centre on Independence Day eve.

The minister said ‘Operation Snow Leopard’, conducted by the ITBP in Himalayan ranges, gave a “big message that India will never compromise on its sovereignty and security”. 

The force proved it was “second to none” when it came to guarding the country, Rai said. “It is a matter of pride that the ITBP won these many bravery medals in one instance for the first time in its history.”

The about 90,000-personnel strong ITBP was raised in 1962 in the aftermath of the Chinese aggression.

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