Union Minister Nityanand Rai said on Sunday that the procedure to authorize new battalions for the ITBP, which guards the LAC between India and China, is nearing completion, and that the government is committed to providing transportation and logistical assistance to the security forces.
Rai said the government has sanctioned 47 new border stations and a dozen staging camps (operational locations for troops conducting border patrol) to the force last year while speaking at the 60th Raising Day celebration of the mountain-warfare-trained Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
Rai, the minister of state for home affairs, said, “Deliberations about supplying more manpower and battalions for the ITBP are in the last stages.”
Officials claimed the army is anticipated to receive approval for seven new battalions, totalling approximately 8,000 soldiers, for its new border posts, which would mostly be built in the Arunachal Pradesh sector of India’s eastern flank’s Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The Home Ministry has been considering a request to sanction new ITBP battalions and a sector headquarters in the northeast for more than two years. The request is anticipated to be approved shortly, they claimed, because the additional border outposts and staging camps were approved last year.
A battalion of the ITBP has a strength of little over 1,000 soldiers.
Rai praised the ITBP for their courage and for delivering their opponents a “befitting reaction” amid confrontations between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Ladakh in May and June of last year.
He also pinned police medals for valour on the uniforms of 20 ITBP officers and men who had shown bravery and fortitude during the confrontations. The Centre unveiled these honors on the eve of Independence Day.
According to the minister, the ITBP’s ‘Operation Snow Leopard’ in the Himalayan mountains sent a “strong message” that India will never compromise on its sovereignty and security.
“It is a source of pride that the ITBP got these many bravery awards in one instance for the first time in its history,” Rai said, adding that the force was “second to none” when it comes to protecting the country.
Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, the country’s security services now have “freedom to operate and decide,” according to Rai.
The minister stated that the Modi government is aiming to close any gaps along India’s foreign borders and is attempting to improve security forces’ capabilities by providing them with better weaponry and technology.
Sanjay Arora, Director General of the ITBP, complimented his personnel for their bravery during the skirmishes with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army last year in the Ladakh area.
He detailed the force’s efforts to tackle the country’s coronavirus epidemic by running health facilities in the national capital region.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is now in Jammu and Kashmir, sent a Twitter greeting to the troops and their families.
“The ITBP is well-known for defending the homeland in the most difficult terrains and assisting the country amid natural disasters. India is proud of the ITBP’s bravery and perseverance “he stated
In the aftermath of the Chinese incursion, the ITBP of around 90,000 soldiers was raised on this day in 1962.