Arunachal seeks more security personnel to strengthen international borders

Utpal Parashar, Guwahati: Arunachal Pradesh has sought to raise three more units of Indian Reserve Battalion

(IRB) to protect the state’s international borders with China, Myanmar and Bhutan and allay fears of investors in the northeastern state.
Chief minister Pema Khandu made this request during a meeting with Union home minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi last week.
“Considering the state’s strategic geographic location and under-developed status, it is important that we are geared fully on the law and order front,” he told Singh.
Khandu said that the existing police force in the state is insufficient to deal with security along the international border Arunachal Pradesh shares with the three countries. The chief minister also told Singh that more forces were needed in view of “concerns raised by investors on security” in the state.
Deployment of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones for vital intelligence inputs along the borders was another proposal made by the chief minister during the meeting. He also requested for a world class training institute on the lines of North Eastern Police Academy in Shillong, to train the state’s police personnel.
“After giving a patient hearing, the home minister assured support to Arunachal Pradesh in every possible way,” a state government release said.
Arunachal Pradesh already has five IRB battalions with the Centre providing 75% funds for maintaining the infrastructure and 50% for personnel. Each battalion has nearly 1,000 personnel.
The northeastern state has a 160 km-long border with Bhutan in the west, a 1,030 km border on the north and northeast with China and 440 km border with Myanmar in the east.
Border dispute exists between India and China as Beijing claims a large portion of Arunachal Pradesh as theirs. Instances of Chinese troops crossing the border and entering India keep happening.Active insurgent groups in the region like United Liberation Front of Assam-Independent (ULFA-I) and National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak Muivah (NSCN-IM) use Arunachal Pradesh’s eastern region as an area to hide, sneak into Myanmar and also bring in arms.
The state has a huge potential for electricity generated from hydropower projects and deals to develop nearly 150 such projects by constructing dams have been inked in the past 10 years.