Border Security Force: Wikis

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Border Security Force
Formation December 1, 1965
Headquarters Force Head Quarters, Block 10
CGO Complex
Lodhi Road
New Delhi 110003
Director General Raman Srivastava[1]
Website bsf.nic.in

The Border Security Force (BSF) is a border patrol agency of the Government of India. Established on December 1, 1965, it is a component of the paramilitary forces of India (PMF) and its primary role is to guard India's international borders during peacetime and also prevent transnational crime. Like most paramilitary units of India, the BSF is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs. It is one of the many law enforcement agencies of India.

The unique BSF Camel Contingent during the annual Republic Day Parade.

With a strength of 240,000 men in 186 battalions, including women battalions[2][2][3], it is one of the world's largest border patrol forces. The current Director General of the BSF is Raman Srivastava.

Contents

History

A personnel of India's elite Border Security Force.

The Republic of India is a federal state in which political power is shared between the federal government (referred to as the Union Government or Central Government) and the states and territories of India,

From independence in 1947 to 1965, India's international boundaries were guarded by the local armed police battalions of every border state, with little interstate coordination.

The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 demonstrated the inadequacies of the existing border management system and led to the formation of the Border Security Force as a unified central agency with the specific mandate of guarding India's international boundaries. The BSF was the brain child of its founding father Sh KF Rustamji,IP, the first Director General of BSF. The BSF's capabilities were used in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 against Pakistani forces in areas where the Regular Forces was thinly spread; BSF troops took part in several operations including the famous Battle of Longewala. In fact. for BSF the war on eastern front had started well before the war actually broke out in Dec '71. BSF had trained, supported and formed part of "Mukti Vahini" and had entered erstwhile East Pakistan before the actual hostilities broke out. BSF had played a very important role in LIBERATION of BANGLADESH which Late Mrs Indira Gandhi and Sheikh Mujbir Rehman had also acknowledged.

Although originally charged with guarding India's external boundaries, the BSF has more recently been given the task in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations. When the insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir broke out in 1989, the Jammu and Kashmir state police and the thinly-deployed Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) struggled to cope up with the spiraling violence, and the Indian government deployed the BSF to Jammu and Kashmir to combat Islamic militants.

Indian Border Security Force.

The BSF initially suffered casualties from insurgent attacks but later saw successes, including the arrest of militant leaders, after setting up an intelligence network and working with local civilians. The BSF killed Ghazi Baba—second-in-command of Jaish-e-Mohammed and the mastermind of the 2001 Indian Parliament attack—in August 2003. The BSF raided Baba's hideout in Srinagar and he was killed in the ensuing gunbattle. Currently BSF has 186 battalions. Despite the BSF's success in a counter-terrorism role, many in the government felt that this additional burden was leading to a dilution of the BSF's mandate and degrading the force's ability to perform its primary role of guarding the country's borders. The Indian government has now decided to implement recommendations to restrict each security agency to its mandate. Thus the 16 BSF battalions in Jammu and Kashmir are gradually being withdrawn from counter-insurgency duties and sent back to guard the borders. They are being replaced by fresh units from the Central Reserve Police Force that have undergone specialized training in counter-terrorism. But CRPF is yet to take over sensitive places like Tral. The 16 Battalions being withdrawn from J&K were supposed to provide R&R to the border deployed Battalions. But due to failure of specialized CoBRA battalions in combating Naxals, BSF once again has been asked to assist CRPF in controlling the Naxal menace.

In the first of its kind BSF has deployed its first batch of women personnel, at the border long considered a male bastion, to carry out regular frisking of women as well as other duties performed by their male counterparts, including guarding the border. Over 100 of them have been deployed on the highly volatile Indo-Pak border, while around 60 will be deployed on the Indo-Bangla border. The first batch of 178 constables have already completed successful training and are all set to serve the frontier. In total, 595 women constables will be deployed on the border in different phases.

The current Director General is Mr.Raman Srivastava who took charge in June 2009, an officer of the Indian Police Service, from the state of Kerala.Srivastava who had held various key posts including that of Executive director (security) of ONGC was caught up in a controversy following his alleged involvement in the ISRO spy case in the 1990s. The case was dismissed as baseless by the Supreme Court later. This is the first time a tainted officer has been made the DG of such an elite force. [4]

Organisation

The Border Security Force has its Head Quarters at New Delhi and is known as Force Head Quarter (FHQ) headed by a Director General. Various Directorates like Operations, Communications & IT, Training, Engineering, General, Law, Provisioning, Administration, Personnel, Medical, Finance etc. function under the DG. Each Directorate is headed by an IG. The Eastern Theater is looked after by Spl DG HQ at Kolkata and the Western Theater is looked after by Spl DG HQ at Chandigarh.Field Formations in BSF are headed by an IG and are known as Frontiers Head Quarters (FtrHQ). There are 13 such Frontier under which Sector Head Quarters (SHQ) function headed by a DIG each. There are 46 such Sectors. Each SHQ has under its command 3 or more Duty Battalions. Presently 186 Battalions are sanctioned to BSF. Five major training institutions and 10 Subsidiary Training Centres (STCs) are imparting ab-initio as well as in-service training to its ranks and other CPOs/SPOs including IPS Probationers.

BSF is the only paramilitary force which has its own Air Wing, Water Wing and Artillery Regiments which extend support to the General Duty Battalions in their operations during peace/war.

The BSF also has a national level school for breeding and training of dogs. Dogs from other CPOs and State Police are sent to National Training Centre for Dogs (NTCD) to be trained in infantry patrol, explosive & tracking etc.

A unique organisation, the only one of its kind in India, is also manned and managed by BSF. This is Tear Smoke Unit (TSU). It is responsible for producing tear gas & munitions required by the Anti-Riot Forces and a substantial quantity is also exported to other countries.

Two Battalions of BSF have been designated as National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) located at Kolkata and Guwahati. Each battalion will provide 18 self-contained specialist search and rescue teams of 45 personnel each including engineers, technicians, electricians, dog squads and medical/paramedics. The total strength of each battalion will be approximately 1,158. This will be a multi-disciplinary, multi-skilled, high-tech force for all types of disasters capable of insertion by air, sea and land. The battalions are to be equipped and trained for all natural disasters including combating nuclear, biological and chemical disasters.

Roll of Honour

The BSF personnel have been recipients of the following awards:

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Military Awards

Civil Awards

Police Medals

  • President's Police Medal for Gallantry
  • Police Medal for Gallantry
  • President Police Medal for Distinguished Service
  • Police Medal for Meritorious Service

Arjuna Awardees

  1. Comdt (Retd)Nripjit Singh, Volleyball-1962
  2. Dy Comdt (Retd)Udham Singh, Hockey-1965
  3. Dy Comdt (Retd)Praveen Kumar, Athletic-1967
  4. Inspr (Retd)Jagjit Singh, Hockey-1967
  5. Asst Comdt (Retd)Ajit Pal Singh, Hockey-1970
  6. Dy Comdt (Retd)Balwant Singh, Volleyball-1972
  7. Sec-in-Command Anil Kumar, B/Ball-1974
  8. Dy Inspr Gen (Retd)Mohinder Singh, Shooting-1983
  9. Asst Comdt Mahabir Singh, Wrestling-1985
  10. Asst Comdt Subhash Verma, Wrestling-1987
  11. Inspr Rajesh Kumar, Wrestling-1990
  12. Inspr Sanjay Kumar, Wrestling-1998

Equipment

Pistols And Handguns

Sub-machine guns and carbines

Assault rifles

INSAS Rifle.
  • AK-7, clone of the AK-47
  • INSAS 5.56mmx45 mm Assault Rifle

Sniper rifles

Machine guns

  • MG 1B 7.62mmx51 mm, Indian made Bren- This is currently being retired.
  • 5.56mm INSAS LMG

Rocket-propelled grenade

RPG-7 Rocket Launcher
  • RPG-7 40mm Rocket Launcher

Multi-role recoilless rifle

An Igla-1S missile.

Air defence

MANPADS

Aircraft

This is a list of aircraft of the Border Security Force. For the list of aircraft of the Indian Air Force, see List of aircraft of the Indian Air Force.

The Border Security Force operates helicopters, plus additional Utility aircrafts.

Image Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[6] Notes
IA Dhruv Berlin-08.jpg HAL Dhruv  India utility helicopter HAL Dhruv 0 8 Ordered.
Mi-17Afganistan.jpg MI-17  Russia utility helicopter Mi-17KF 6
Embraer erj135lr lx-lgk arp.jpg Embraer EMB 135  Brazil VIP transport 2 3 more planes ordered[7]
NISHANT UAV Launch.jpg DRDO Nishant  India reconnaissance UAV 2+ an order for 12 Nishant UAVs along with ground support systems. Deliveries underway.

Hovercraft and All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)

All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) to keep vigil on the Pakistani activities in the Harami Nala creek,BSF will deploy ATVs for vigil along Harami Nala by year-end. BSF to get two hovercraft for coastal surveillance.[8]

Criticism

BSF has often been accused by Bangladesh government of incursions into Bangladesh territory, and indiscriminate shooting of civilians along the India-Bangladesh borders. This was in retaliation to massive illegal immigration from Bangladesh into India, for which the Indo-Bangladeshi Barrier is presently underway[9] In a news conference in August 2008, Indian BSF officials admitted that they killed 59 illegals(34 Bangladeshis, 21 Indians, rest unidentified) who were trying to cross the border during the prior six months.[10].

In July 2009 Channel 4 News reported that hundreds of Bangladeshis and Indians are indiscriminately killed by the BSF along the Indo-Bangladeshi Barrier. It was also reported that most victims were innocent farmers who unwittingly approached the heavily fortified fence. The BSF claims that the barrier's main purpose is to check illegal immigration, and prevent cross-border terrorism.[11]

Kirity Roy, secretary of Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha, a non-governmental human rights organisation based in Kolkata, also said that the border guard officials of Bangladesh and India should immediately find out a mechanism to stop such indiscriminate killing by the Indian Border Security Force.[12]

See also

References

External links


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