India is planning to raise 15 new battalions to strengthen its defence along its borders, said a senior Union home ministry official.
The battalion will be placed along its frontier with Bangladesh, Pakistan and China.
The new battalions will be under the country’s two important border guarding forces — the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
Each battalion of these forces comprises about 1,000 operational jawans and officers.
Sources in the BSF said the force has projected enhancing manpower by sanctioning of new units so that they can be deployed in the Assam and West Bengal flanks of the Indo- Bangladesh border.
And, as a similar addition, manpower is required to effectively guard the Indo-Pak International Border (IB), especially in Punjab and Jammu regions, in the near future.
“The exact locations for the new battalions could be gauged as and when they are raised but a few areas along Bangladesh and Pakistan will remain a priority owing to their vulnerability profile such as infiltration, drugs smuggling, human trafficking and illegal migration,” a senior BSF officer said.
Similarly, the ITBP has been trying to reduce the inter- BoP (border out post) distance at the 3,488-km long icy frontier that it is tasked with guarding, says PTI.
“The original projection was to have 12 fresh battalions for the ITBP but the force requires nine such units in the near future,” a senior ITBP officer said.
The mountain-trained force has recently got sanctions to set up at least 47 new BoPs along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) for effective control of the Himalayan border area.
While the BSF is the country’s largest border guarding force with strength of about 2.5 lakh, the ITBP is about 90,000-personnel strong, according to The Hindustan Times.
The home ministry has three such forces under its command, the third being the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) that is tasked with guarding Indian borders with Nepal and Bhutan.