Centre Preparing Plan To Take Assam Rifles Out Of Army’s Operational Control; Mulls Merging It With ITBP

Assam Rifles soldiers marching in New Delhi during Republic Day celebrations in 2014. (Photo by Mohd Zakir/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

In a major reform for the country’s oldest paramilitary force, the Assam Rifles, the government is drafting a plan to take it out of operational control of the Army and merge it with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), reports The Tribune.

The proposal for the same could soon make its way before the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), but before that, will also require a green light from the ministry of home affairs.

According to former home secretary Rajiv Gauba, the proposal under consideration aimed to solve the issue of “dual control’ between the ministry of defence and the MHA. Assam Rifles had first been put under the Army’s operational control following the 1962 war with China.

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After the issue of control is taken care of, a merger with the ITBP will be on the cards in order to give the latter better operational mobility as its personnel could then be rotated away from difficult postings in the Himalayan border as well.

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