Rashtriya Rifles turns 25 today

New Delhi: The Rashtriya Rifles, Army’s elite counter-insurgency unit which has neutralised over 16,300 terrorists, will celebrate its silver jubilee on Thursday.

The unit, which operates in militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir, was raised on October 1, 1990 by the then Army chief Gen VN Sharma with Lt Gen PC Monkotia as its first Director General.

Three of the six Rashtriya Rifles battalions initially raised, were deployed in Punjab and three in Jammu and Kashmir.

Impetus was given by Gen BC Joshi under whom major expansion took place, including a Rashtriya Rifles sector being raised in the North East.

Later, all Rashtriya Rifles battalions moved to Jammu and Kashmir and since then, Rashtriya Rifles has been engaged in low-intensity conflict in that state only.

“The continuous employment of Army in counter-insurgency duties along with existing conventional threat warranted a specially structured and organised force to deal with India’s internal security situation.”

“A credible force was required to be raised to deal with frequent deployment of Army’s formations and units in internal security, which could also provide support to the Indian Army during conventional conflicts.”

“Rashtriya Rifles was raised with 100 percent personnel on deputation from the Indian Army, from all Arms and services, on an all-India/all-class basis,” a statement by the Army said.

It added that Rashtriya Rifles has neutralised a total of 16,368 terrorists, which includes 8,522 killed, 6,737 apprehended and 1,109 surrendered.

Honours and awards won by Rashtriya Rifles Force include six Ashoka Chakras, 34 Kirti Chakras, 221 Shaurya Chakras and 1508 Sena Medals.