Defence

With China challenge hanging, India bolstering defences in North East with troop reorientation

By ET News

India is bolstering defences in the North East with reorientation of existing troops, raising of new armoured units to take on the Chinese challenge and a fresh focus on increasing connectivity to Asean neighbours.

As part of a multi-pronged plan to improve border security along the contentious China border, revised scales have been planned for existing Assam Rifles battalions being de-inducted from counter insurgency roles that will equip them with heavy weapons and artillery.

With internal security situation improving in the North East, Assam Rifles battalions that earlier had a secondary role on the border are likely to be moved to forward locations, away from the hinterland in the next three months.

Induction of these units near the border would increase troop density at vulnerable points along the border. The deployment plan is aimed at covering all major ingress points with a two-tier system, involving the army in front and the Assam Rifles in a support role to cover gaps.

These battalions will be given a revised scale of weapons in the border guarding role, including mortars, grenade launchers and anti-tank guided missiles. Besides, they are also likely to be equipped with 105 mm field artillery guns.

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