THE INDO-TIBETAN Border Police (ITBP) is soon going to get four more battalions with the strength of around 1,000 personnel each to guard the Sino-Indian border in the country’s north-eastern region to check repeated Chinese transgressions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Talking to The Indian Express at Panchkula’s Bhanu Camp on the occasion of the passing out parade of 500 women constables of general duty cadre, ITBP Director General Krishna Chaudhary Friday said if the pending proposal for 40 more Border Out Posts (BoPs) in Arunachal Pradesh gets sanctioned, the average distance between BoP to BoP will be reduced from the existing 25 km to 20 km. He said the standard BoP to BoP distance is 2.5 km.
“Our plans are with the MHA and they have been examined. I am told that four battalions are expected very soon. That would be for the eastern theatre,” the DG confirmed, adding, “Overall, there is a proposal for eight battalions in the eastern theatre and eight in the western theatre.” He said as of now the ITBP has 56 service battalions and four support battalions to guard the 3,488 km Sino-Indian border having 169 BoPs.
When asked about any apprehensions about posting women constables at the BoPs, the DG replied, “We had little apprehension about the confidence of women constables earlier. Many senior officers have been interacting with them from time-to-time. Half of them are college graduates and you can see their confidence yourself. They will do well.”
This is the largest batch of women constables to pass out of ITBP’s Bhanu Camp and most would be posted in border areas. Among the 500 constables, the largest representation of 97 constables is from Uttarakhand followed by 63 from Uttar Pradesh and 37 from West Bengal.
Informing about the force’s plans for new surveillance equipment, weaponry and transport, the DG said, “We are proposing new composite BoPs which are centrally heated and have running water facility even in -40 degree temperature — our main problem during winters.”
About the status of the proposal, he said, “We have finalised the design and sent to IIT Roorkee for vetting. Once they clear it, we will start construction. Fortunately, the government has given us a lot of money.”
On the repeated transgressions by Chinese troops, the DG said, “Transgressions have taken place. But not much should be read into it because there is a difference of perception between us and the Chinese about the LAC. It is a technical issue. If they come forward from our point of perception of our area, it is a transgression and we stop them there.”
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