SSB completes border deployment along Nepal, Bhutan with over 54000 troops

NEW DELHI, APR 22: In order to strengthen security along India’s eastern frontier, the SSB has finally completed the deployment of over 54,000 personnel along the open and crime-prone borders with Nepal and Bhutan.
The border guarding force has been sanctioned a total of 55 battalions for border operations by the government a few years ago as part of its primary task to secure the 1,751-km Indo-Nepal and 699-km Indo-Bhutan borders.
Officials said a total of 34 battalions of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), at 511 operational border posts, have now been deployed along the Nepal border front that runs across the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim.
Similarly, 20 full battalions of the paramilitary, at 158 operational border posts, have now been deployed along the Bhutan border that runs along the states of West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, they said.
These figures have been accomplished in the recent past, officials said.
One remaining battalion, that comprises over 1,000 personnel, is kept as a reserve, they said.
SSB Director General Rajnikant Mishra confirmed the development to PTI, saying this was a task that had to be completed on priority.
Officials said the enhanced manpower would be deployed for patrolling, surveillance and operationalizing the full-fledged intelligence wing of the SSB that was sanctioned to it by the Union Home Ministry last year.
While the Nepal border is prone to cross-border crimes of human trafficking, smuggling of narcotics, arms and wildlife products apart from illegal crossovers of criminal and terrorist elements, the Bhutan border is also vulnerable to similar illegal activities.
The fresh boots on the ground, they said, would help in better dominating the vast border areas that comprise all kinds of natural features such as forests, high-altitude locations, rivers and plains and would also help in keeping a better vigil on border activities and enhanced interaction with the local population.
The SSB, they said, has been sanctioned a total of 734 border posts on these two open borders and it has operationalized 669 till now.
The remaining border posts are being established on mission mode, they said.
The SSB has been sanctioned a total of 73 battalions and apart from the border duties, its other units are deployed for anti-Naxal operations in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh and a few others for counter-insurgency duties in Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern states. (AGENCIES)