GUWAHATI, Sept 25 - The personnel of the Arunachal Scouts, raised in line of the Ladakh Scouts, are doing a commendable job in guarding the international border with China in the tough terrain in Arunachal Pradesh. They are now treated like regular personnel of infantry battalions of the Indian Army.
Army sources told The Assam Tribune that the Ladakh Scouts have been doing a commendable job over the years and because of the rough terrain with high mountains along the international border in Arunachal Pradesh, the decision to raise the Arunachal Scouts with local youths was taken. Sources pointed out that as the personnel of the Scouts are local youths, they know the topography of the area and they do not need acclimatisation like the Army personnel brought from the plains of the country.
�In a rough terrain along the McMahon Line in Arunachal Pradesh, the local knowledge of the terrain is vital for keeping close surveillance along the border and the personnel of the Arunachal Scouts are doing an outstanding job, having added more teeth to the Indian Army,� sources pointed out.
Giving details of the history of the Scouts, sources said the first battalion was raised in 2010, which was followed by the second battalion in 2012-13. Like personnel of the other infantry units of the Army, the Scouts also underwent a yearlong training in the Assam Regimental Centre, Shillong, and regular on the job training like the Army personnel is also on. They are trained to handle weapons like any other infantry unit of the Army, sources added.
Each battalion is headed by an Army Colonel and the entry level of the Scouts is between 18 to 21 years. Their salary and other benefits are just similar to those of the Army personnel and the only difference is that they are the sons of the soil.
Under normal circumstances, a member of the Arunachal Scouts can rise up to the level of Subedar Major but if any person is educated and qualified, he can appear in the examinations and become a full-fledged commissioned officer of the Army.
The members of the Arunachal Scouts are mostly used for patrolling along the international border and keeping surveillance over the area and so far they have not been used in other duties like law and order maintenance.
Army sources admitted that no decision has yet been taken on increasing the strength of the Arunachal Scouts as of now. �However, if the situation demands, the possibility of increasing the strength of the force can be decided,� sources added.