No Plan to Merge Assam Rifles, ITBP: Home Ministry

The Ministry of Home Affairs denied reports of a merger of the paramilitary force Assam Rifles and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) on Wednesday, 20 November. It clarified that no such proposal is under the consideration of the government, news agency ANI reported.

The Home Ministry had earlier given seven proposals to the army to get the operational control of the Assam Rifles and merge it with the ITBP, according to The Economic Times.

Following this, the brass of Assam Rifles had raised concerns about the move saying it would prevent it from being able to use the Assam Rifles in conventional operations along the eastern frontier with China.

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“The Rashtriya Rifles (deployed in J&K) releases forces for conventional operations across the western border. Similarly, the Assam Rifles also provides the army with such options along the eastern front with China, which will not remain if it becomes part of the ITBP,” officials told ET.

The army also pointed out that the merger could affect its effective coordination in joint operations with Myanmar in flushing out insurgents from across the border, ET reported.

The nearly 55,000-strong Assam Rifles has been guarding India's 1,640-km long border with Myanmar besides providing operational and logistics support to the Army in keeping vigil in key sectors along the Sino-India boundary in Arunachal Pradesh, reports PTI.

At present, the Home Ministry has the administrative authority over the paramilitary force Assam Rifles while the Army has its operational control.

(With inputs from ANI, PTI and The Economic Times.)

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