To ease pressure on central paramilitary forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir, North East and left wing extremism (LWE)-affected states, the Centre will provide funds for raising 31 India Reserve Battalions (IRBs) there, sources said.
“It will be a huge boost for the states battling terrorism and insurgency. The central paramilitary forces are already stretched to their limit for being involved in static as well as temporary deployment in these states.
Once the states raise their own battalions, we will be able to move the central forces from there and deploy them more in line with their original mandate,” said a government official requesting anonymity.
The IRBs are raised by the states with initial fund fund coming from the Centre. At present, there are 145 IRB battalions with states across the country.
“We got demands from the states for raising more than 50 fresh IRB battalions.
But we have agreed for only 31 battalions (around 31,000 personnel) with priority being given to Jammu and Kashmir, northeastern states battling insurgency and LWE-affected states.
The decision has huge financial implications for the Centre as the cost of raising one IRB battalion comes to around `50 crore. We have asked for views from all stake-holders including the finance ministry that has to approve the spending,” said the official.
Sources said five IRB battalions have been approved for Jammu and Kashmir and 26 others for northeastern and LWE states.
At the moment there are 37 IRB battalions with the 10 LWE-affected states. A cabinet note has been prepared in this regard and circulated to all stake holders. It will soon be put before the cabinet for final approval.