Armed forces

Govt to Move Indo-Tibetan Border Police Northeast Headquaters from Shillong to Itanagar

The huge logistical exercise entails shifting of over 2,000 troops and support staff, setting up of communications and border signals, residential logistics and transportation of heavy vehicles, weapons and artillery from Meghalaya to Arunachal Pradesh.

Representational Picture. Credit: PTI

Representational image. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: India has started the process of shifting the North East headquarters of border guarding force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), 500-km from Shillong to state capital Itanagar.

The huge logistical exercise entails shifting of over 2,000 troops and support staff, setting up of communications and border signals, residential logistics and transportation of heavy vehicles, weapons and artillery from Meghalaya to Arunachal Pradesh, both states on the eastern border flank of the country.

Officials said the central government had approved a 175 crore rupees infrastructure package for Arunachal in 2014 which includes deployment of eight fresh ITBP battalions with about 8,000 troops in it, opening of 35 new border roads, 54 border outposts and 72 staging camps along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Director general of the ITBP force Krishna Chaudhary confirmed the news to PTI stating the exercise of shifting the North East frontier headquarters from Meghalaya’s capital Shillong to Arunachal’s capital Itanagar is expected to be accomplished by next month.

“The process in on. The ITBP North East frontier will soon be operating from Itanagar,” the DG said.

Officials said a huge infrastructure creation exercise is currently on in Itanagar where the force’s sector headquarter has been operating since 2004.

A senior official in the security establishment said keeping in mind the military capabilities being created in Arunachal, it was essential to base the ITBP command in Itanagar rather than in far-off Shillong where there are no such huge developments taking place to bolster the strength and number of Indian troops and other logistical activities.

“The ITBP frontier at Shillong was set up long back but it’s geographical location has now lost relevance vis-a-vis the security of the Sino-India border. Arunachal is the right place for basing such strategic activities now,” the official said.

While a frontier is headed by an Inspector General (IG) rank officer of the force, a sector is commanded by a Deputy IG (DIG) level officer.