Mon, 27 Jun 2022

New Delhi [India], May 25 (ANI): The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will give a detailed description of the functioning of the Assam Rifles to a Parliamentary panel on Wednesday as the force is tasked with the maintenance of law and order in the North East along with the Indian Army and also guards the Indo-Myanmar border in the region.

The 30-member committee under the chairmanship of senior lawyer and Rajya Sabha MP from West Bengal Abhishek Manu Singhvi will hear the views of MHA officials who will explain to the panel about the functioning of Assam Rifles.

The meeting is scheduled at the Parliament premises around 3:30 pm.

"Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs to hear the views of Ministry of Home Affairs on the functioning of Assam Rifles," mentions the subject of the meeting.

With sanctioned strength of over 63,000 personnel and having 46 battalions apart from administrative and training staff, Assam Rifles is one of the six Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) under the administrative control of the MHA.

Assam Rifles was in limelight after the killing of over a dozen civilians in the Mon district of Nagaland in December last year followed by an angry crowd vandalising camps of the force in the region. While the botched operation was launched by the Indian Army, Assam Rifles, which has the responsibility of the area where the incident occurred, issued a statement later expressing regret over the loss of innocent lives. It also informed that the Indian Army had instituted an inquiry into the incident.

Assam Rifles is the only paramilitary force with a dual control structure. While the administrative control of the force is with the MHA, its operational control is with the Indian Army, which is under the Ministry of Defence (MoD). This means that salaries and infrastructure for the force are provided by the MHA, but the deployment, posting, transfer and deputation of the personnel is decided by the Army. All its senior ranks, from DG to IG and sector headquarters are manned by officers from the Army. The force is commanded by Lieutenant General from the Indian Army.

The force is the only central paramilitary force in a real sense as its operational duties and regimentation are on the lines of the Indian Army. However, being a Central Armed Police force under MHA, its recruitment, perks, promotion of its personnel and retirement policies are governed according to the rules framed by the MHA for CAPFs.

This has created two sets of demands from both within the Assam Rifles and by MoD and MHA for singular control over the force by one ministry. A large section within the force wants to be under the administrative control of the MoD, as that would mean better perks and retirement benefits which are far higher compared to CAPFs under MHA.

However, Army personnel also retire early, at 35, while the retirement age in CAPF is 60 years. (ANI)

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