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Army chief inaugurates Assam Rifles war memorial

By The Assam Tribune

Shillong, July 21 (IANS): Chief of Army Staff General VK Singh on Tuesday inaugurated a war memorial in Meghalaya commemorating 1,088 troopers of Assam Rifles who have made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the nation.

"The memorial is an imposing structure befitting the sacrifice made by many officers and men of the force protecting the sovereignty and integrity of the country," General Singh said.

The war memorial is located at the Assam Rifles headquarters' at Laitkor, about 20 km from here.

Lt Gen KS Yadava, who heads the Assam Rifles, the oldest paramilitary force in the country, said the memorial was completed in a record time of nine months.

The memorial service that followed was a crisp and smart drill by Assam Rifles soldiers to the resounding and soulful rendition by the buglers of the "Last Post" and "Rouse".

"The memorial is a replica of the 'canopy' that stands near the North and South Block overlooking the Rajpath in New Delhi," Lt Gen. Yadava said.

The canopy is supported by seven pillars, each representing a state from the northeast where the force has been deployed for the last 175 years.

The Assam Rifles has 46 battalions deployed in nine sectors across northeastern India. One battalion comprises around 1,000 personnel.

According to an Assam Rifles spokesman, another 26 battalions would be raised soon to curb militancy and man the volatile India-Myanmar border. Of the 46 battalions, 15 are deployed along the 1,643-km border.

Assam Rifles, known as the 'Sentinels of the Northeast', functions under the administrative control of the union home ministry and the operational command of the army.

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