Leh, (Ladakh), June 14, (Scoop News)-Union Interior Ministry is contemplating to raise about ten battalions (nearly 8000 personnel) of Indo Tibetian Border Police (ITBP) to reinforce its presence along the Line of Actual Control (LoAC)in a bid to plug unwarranted ingresses of hostile troops, a senior official, seeking not be named ,said on Sunday.
“The proposal is in final stage of approval and the announcement could be made anytime in the near future.s.n This includes bolstering of pickets with additional men, new infrastructure, weapons and improved connectivity”, he said.
ITBP is a paramilitary force guarding India’s eastern borders facing China.
“Being a rugged region with a series of mountainous ranges, huge landmass remains unattended due to dearth of sne men and material to guard its borders”, the official pointed out and said, “also there are frequent reports of transgressions from our eastern neighbor in these areas”.
Out of total 3500 kilometer long border from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, the state of Jammu and Kashmir shares sne nearly 1600 kilometer border with China particularly in Ladakh region where pickets had been set up between 14,000 and 18000 feet above the sea level.
At present, the official said, over 5600 ITBP men (seven battalions) were manning the entire length of the border, meaning less than two people per kilometer up in sn the Himalayas and exposed to all types of vagaries of weather, severe winters, sizzling summers with strong UV rays s.n, rarified air and snow avalanches.
The additional strength of men in the force, he said, would, however, offer a little pause and recuperation period from the existing tight schedule of duty roaster for its troops.
“At present these soldiers are weather-beaten”s.n, the official lamented.
In Ladakh, strategic analysts believe, for China the boundary issue with India is not just a territorial dispute but more essentially, a process to keep its arch rival under duress and on the defensive all the time.