Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force should be relieved from duties of internal security and deployed only for border-related tasks, a parliamentary panel has said while stressing that internal security and anti-Naxal operations are draining soldiers from the border.
The report on the working conditions of Border Guarding Forces was recently submitted to the Rajya Sabha.
The ITBP, deployed at the rugged China border, has been raising the issue of being overburdened with non-border duties with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for quite some time.
The panel headed by former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said, “The committee observes that the ITBP was raised for border security. However, some ITBP battalions are deployed for anti-Naxal operations and internal security as a result the jawans suffer in terms of training and rest.”
“This has been a long-drawn battle for ITBP whose personnel are deployed in extreme weather conditions and good rest is a must for them. They often complain of being sent for tasks of internal security during their rest period. This affects their training and welfare,” a senior government official said.
Non-border duties of ITBP include VIP protection, anti-Naxal operations, security to diplomatic missions in Afghanistan, United Nations peacekeeping operations, disaster management, poll duty, security and communication cover during Kailash Mansarovar and Amarnath Yatra.
Out of the total 60 battalions in ITBP, 32 are deployed in border guarding, 11 in internal security, eight in anti-Naxal Operations and five are reserved for rest.
Last year, MHA had said that Central Reserve Police Force and ITBP will be relieved from protection work, adding that the job would remain with National Security Guard and Central Industrial Security Force.