With China challenge hanging, India strengthening defences in North East

India is strengthening defences in the North East with reorientation of existing troops, raising of new armoured units to handle the Chinese difficulty and a fresh concentrate on increasing connection to Asean neighbours.

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

With internal security circumstance improving in the North East, Assam Rifles battalions that earlier had a secondary function on the border are likely to be moved to forward locations, far from the hinterland in the next 3 months.Induction of these units near the border would increase troop density at vulnerable points along the border. The release plan is targeted at covering all significant ingress points with a two-tier system, including the army in front and the Assam Rifles in an assistance role to cover gaps.These battalions will be offered a revised scale of weapons in the border safeguarding role, including mortars, grenade launchers and anti-tank guided missiles. Besides, they are likewise likely to be equipped with 105 mm field artillery guns.The Assam Rifles has 46 infantry battalions, out of which 20 are released on the Indo-Myanmar border. Army chief Gen MM Naravane just recently said that the plan is to have 29 battalions in a border guarding function in the near future.Plans are likewise underway to raise a brand-new armoured brigade with fresh primary battle tanks to enhance defences in Sikkim, which has actually been becoming a flashpoint with repeated efforts by China to test India’s persistence at Naku La and Doklam.While India already has one armoured brigade completely deployed in the border state, its elements are divided between north and east Sikkim where there has actually been a boost in Chinese activity. With the raising of an additional brigade, armoured units will be available in sufficient numbers at Gurudongmar Lake to cover disobedience points in the north along with to look after the Chinese increased deployment at Doklam.The bigger strategy is to improve defences in the North East as India looks for to improve local connectivity as part of its appearance east policy. Tasks to connect Myanmar, Bangladesh and Thailand with road and rail networks are being concentrated on as a reaction to the Chinese One Belt, One Roadway (OBOR) initiative.Central to the border strengthening strategies has been the enhanced internal security scenario in the North East. Plans are underway to raise 18 India Reserve Battalions for Nagaland, Manipur and Assam, besides posting in 4 extra Central Reserve Police (CRPF) units as the Assam Rifles and army refocuses.As part of its recalibration efforts that have been on for two years, the army has currently disengaged 14 infantry battalions from internal tasks and 2 department head office that belonged to the counter revolt grid will be completely concentrating on the border protecting role.

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