The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Thursday decided to raise 32 more battalions of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) to strengthen security along the Indo-Nepal border in context of the Maoist threat.
Recruitment for half of the proposed 32 battalions (nearly 32,000 personnel) would be over in the next three years. The SSB, the primary border-guarding force, has 35 battalions.
Raising the proposed battalions would enable the government to reduce the distance between border outposts along the India-Nepal border, particularly in context of the ‘Red Corridor’ that the Maoists draw up from the north.
As a concerted exercise to ramp up security along the borders, the home ministry is expected to approach the CCS soon to deploy the Border Security Force along the India-Myanmar border.
Assam Rifles — a paramilitary force that is under the home ministry’s administrative control and the army’s operational command — is the designated border guarding force along the border. But the home ministry believes that the border-guarding role did not appear to be as much of a priority for the Assam Rifles, which focused on counter-insurgency operations.