Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Border Security Force likely to replace Assam Rifles on Indo-Burma border

Tuesday, 01 November 2011 21:39 Ko Pauk

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Outgoing Border Security Force (BSF) Director General Raman Srivastava said the BSF has submitted a proposal to takeover guard duty along the 1,640-km Indo-Burma border presently being guarded by the Assam Rifles.

The proposal calls for the BSF to take over border guard duty by creating 45 new battalions; one headquarters with an additional director general; four frontier headquarters; and 12 sector headquarters. Presently, India’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) is considering the proposal.

A map showing the Indo-Burma border area.

Arakan, Chin, and Sagaing states in Burma are adjacent to Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh states in northeast India.

A Manipur-based observer said the changeover might indicate that the Indian government is more concerned about the northern border area.

The observer said: “They’ve talked about it a long time. The situation in Manipur is not too bad. One battalion can be enough for Manipur, I think. It seems that the conditions in Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh are more critical. And China and India have disputed that area. I think that there is no Khasi rebel in this area of Manipur. The rebels are in the area of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.”

He said the shift of border guard duty would involve the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the BSF and the Assam Riffles in the border areas in Manipur.

“All troops were involved in corruption within about six months after they took over the duty. Any security force should not be appointed permanently. Members of the Assam Rifles came from outside Manipur. Members of the BSF also came from outside Manipur.”

Indian newspapers have reported that at least eight Indian rebel groups were taking shelter in Burmese territory.

Each time Indian and Burmese leaders meet, the insurgent situation in India’s northeast is discussed. Presently, Indian border post commanders meet their Burmese counterparts monthly; sector or division commanders meet once every three months; and Home Affairs Ministry officials meet once every six months.

A source close to Indian national security officials has said that the Burmese army might have prearranged agreements with anti-India insurgents, which prevents Burmese offensives against the insurgents from having much affect on their presence in Burma.

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