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Call to replace Assam Rifles with ITBP

By R Dutta Choudhury
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GUWAHATI, Aug 12 - The Task Force constituted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to study the problems in guarding the international border with Myanmar and to suggest measures to improve it has recommended replacement of the Assam Rifles with Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). The Task Force has also recommended a series of other measures to improve border management and regulating movement of people of both the countries.

The Task Force, headed by the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, RN Ravi, submitted its report with recommendations to the Prime Minister last week. Members of the Task Force visited the international border areas and held discussions with all the stakeholders, including the governments of the States sharing international border with Myanmar before finalising the report.

At present, the Assam Rifles has been entrusted with the responsibility of guarding the border with Myanmar, but the Task Force was of the view that the force is not suitable for the job. The training and orientation of the Force is not suitable for the job of border management. That is why, the Assam Rifles should be replaced by the ITBP, the Task Force suggested. The ITBP has the experience of guarding international border as the force has been guarding the border with China for years.

On cross-border movement of people from both the countries, the Task Force pointed out that there is a wrong perception about free movement up to 18 kilometres and that should be changed. The report pointed out that people from both the countries can cross the international border only with valid permits, but there is a perception that one can cross without any permit. The report recommended that at present, people from both the countries cross the international border through 149 points, but the system should be regulated.

One of the major recommendations is that sufficient number of crossing points should be set up so that the people of both the countries do not face any problem and all such points should be properly notified. The crossing points should be manned by ITBP personnel and they should maintain proper records of those who cross from Myanmar to India and vice versa. Whenever someone enters India from Myanmar, the ITBP personnel manning the check posts should issue a document with photo of the person, destination of the person, etc.

The Task Force recommended that all such crossing points should be connected with each other and Internet facilities should be provided so that a person who crosses over through one point can return through another point without any difficulty.

It may be mentioned here that because of the fact that almost all the active militant groups of the Northeast have strong bases in Myanmar, improvement of border management has become vital for the security of the nation. Moreover, very often, the militants and other anti-national elements manage to bring in arms and ammunition through the international border. Proper management of the border has also become important for the success of the much-talked-about Act East Policy of the Government of India.

Though the Assam Rifles was entrusted with the responsibility of guarding the border, it was found that the force failed to live up to the expectations to check cross border movement of anti-national elements and that is why, the Prime Minister formed the Task Force to study the problem and to suggest measures. India has 1643 kilometres of international border with Myanmar covering four States � Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram.

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Call to replace Assam Rifles with ITBP

GUWAHATI, Aug 12 - The Task Force constituted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to study the problems in guarding the international border with Myanmar and to suggest measures to improve it has recommended replacement of the Assam Rifles with Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). The Task Force has also recommended a series of other measures to improve border management and regulating movement of people of both the countries.

The Task Force, headed by the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, RN Ravi, submitted its report with recommendations to the Prime Minister last week. Members of the Task Force visited the international border areas and held discussions with all the stakeholders, including the governments of the States sharing international border with Myanmar before finalising the report.

At present, the Assam Rifles has been entrusted with the responsibility of guarding the border with Myanmar, but the Task Force was of the view that the force is not suitable for the job. The training and orientation of the Force is not suitable for the job of border management. That is why, the Assam Rifles should be replaced by the ITBP, the Task Force suggested. The ITBP has the experience of guarding international border as the force has been guarding the border with China for years.

On cross-border movement of people from both the countries, the Task Force pointed out that there is a wrong perception about free movement up to 18 kilometres and that should be changed. The report pointed out that people from both the countries can cross the international border only with valid permits, but there is a perception that one can cross without any permit. The report recommended that at present, people from both the countries cross the international border through 149 points, but the system should be regulated.

One of the major recommendations is that sufficient number of crossing points should be set up so that the people of both the countries do not face any problem and all such points should be properly notified. The crossing points should be manned by ITBP personnel and they should maintain proper records of those who cross from Myanmar to India and vice versa. Whenever someone enters India from Myanmar, the ITBP personnel manning the check posts should issue a document with photo of the person, destination of the person, etc.

The Task Force recommended that all such crossing points should be connected with each other and Internet facilities should be provided so that a person who crosses over through one point can return through another point without any difficulty.

It may be mentioned here that because of the fact that almost all the active militant groups of the Northeast have strong bases in Myanmar, improvement of border management has become vital for the security of the nation. Moreover, very often, the militants and other anti-national elements manage to bring in arms and ammunition through the international border. Proper management of the border has also become important for the success of the much-talked-about Act East Policy of the Government of India.

Though the Assam Rifles was entrusted with the responsibility of guarding the border, it was found that the force failed to live up to the expectations to check cross border movement of anti-national elements and that is why, the Prime Minister formed the Task Force to study the problem and to suggest measures. India has 1643 kilometres of international border with Myanmar covering four States � Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram.

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