- December 6, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject – Defence and Security
Context – Killing of over a dozen civilians in Mon district of Nagaland on Saturday saw angry crowds vandalise camps of Assam Rifles in the district.
- Assam Rifles is one of the six central armed police forces (CAPFs) under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
- The other forces being the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the Border Security Force (BSF), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).
- It is tasked with the maintenance of law and order in the North East along with the Indian Army and also guards the Indo-Myanmar border in the region.
- It has a sanctioned strength of over 63,000 personnel and has 46 battalions apart from administrative and training staff.
How is it unique?
- It is the only paramilitary force with a dual control structure.
- While the administrative control of the force is with the MHA, its operational control is with the Indian Army, which is under the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
- This means that salaries and infrastructure for the force is provided by the MHA, but the deployment, posting, transfer and deputation of the personnel is decided by the Army.
- All its senior ranks, from DG to IG and sector headquarters are manned by officers from the Army.
- The force is commanded by Lieutenant General from the Indian Army.
- The force is the only central paramilitary force (CPMF) in real sense as its operational duties and regimentation are on the lines of the Indian Army.
- However, being a Central Armed Police force under MHA, its recruitment, perks, promotion of its personnel and retirement policies are governed according to the rules framed by the MHA for CAPFs.
Difference in Army personnel and CAPF
- Army personnel retire early, at 35, while the retirement age in CAPF is 60 years.
- CAPF officers have recently been granted non-functional financial upgradation (NFFU) to at least financially address the issue of stagnation in their careers due to lack of avenues for promotion.
- But Army personnel also get one rank one pension which is not available to CAPFs.
Contribution of Assam Rifles
- Assam Rifles is the oldest paramilitary force raised way back in 1835 in British India with just 750 men.
- Since then, it has gone on to fight in two World Wars, the Sino-Indian war of 1962 and used as an anti-insurgency force against militant groups in the North East.
- Raised as a militia to protect British tea estates and its settlements from the raids of the NE tribes, the force was first known as Cachar Levy.
- It was reorganised later as Assam Frontier Force as its role was expanded to conduct punitive operations beyond Assam borders.
- Given its contribution in opening the region to administration and commerce, it came to be known as the “right arm of the civil and left arm of the military”.
- The Post-Independence role of the Assam Rifles continued to evolve ranging from conventional combat role during Sino-India War 1962, operating in foreign land as part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to Sri Lanka in 1987 (Op Pawan) to peacekeeping role in the North-Eastern areas of India.
- It remains the most awarded paramilitary force in both pre- and post-independent India.
Correction from DPN of 8th September 2021 – Assam Rifles is one of the six central armed police forces (CAPFs).