The Indian Army will be raising three additional battalions — with a total of about 3,000 troops — to add to its manpower as part of its larger reorganisation plan and options to raise more are open, ThePrint has learnt.
Defence sources told ThePrint the sanction for the move was accorded around 2013, when the raising of the 17 mountain corps was granted. However, the final nod to raise the battalions was received a few weeks ago, they added.
The 17 corps was supposed to have two divisions instead of the regular three, but only the 59 Division now based in Panagarh, West Bengal, was raised, while the other was shelved due to financial constraints.
The additional three battalions will be raised as part of the Sikh, Kumaon, and Jammu and Kashmir Rifles regiments.
The Army told ThePrint the move is part of an ongoing reorganisation plan and not a fallout of the India-China face-off in Ladakh.
“It is not possible to raise all the battalions in one go, so it is phased out,” a senior Army officer told ThePrint.
The decision comes amid a protracted standoff with China at the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh and the subsequent disengagement of the troops, which is currently underway.