ITBP on alert, conducting patrols along China border: Home Ministry
According to the 2022–23 annual report of the Union Home Ministry, which was released on Friday, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) carried out 2,899 patrols along the Chinese border between April and December 2022.
Indo Tibetian Border Police force
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is a border guarding force of India. It was established in 1962 after the Sino-Indian War of 1962. The ITBP guards the 3,488 km long India-China border from the Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh.
When was the ITBP formed and the historical background behind the formation?
- Indo-China War: The Sino-Indian War of 1962, often referred to as the Indo-China War of 1962, was a brief but ferociously fought struggle between China and India. It began in October 1962 along the disputed border between the two nations, particularly in the Aksai Chin and northeastern Himalayan regions. The Line of Actual Control (LAC), a de facto border that marked the conclusion of the conflict in November 1962, was created.
- Requirement: Border security is required since there were long-standing territorial disputes and a lack of a clearly defined border between China and India in the Himalayan region before the war. The start of the conflict brought to light India’s border regions’ vulnerability and the requirement for a specialized force to secure and monitor these areas.
- Formation of ITBP: Following the Sino-Indian War, the Indian government decided to create a specialist border guarding force after realizing the value of protecting the country’s border with China. To protect India’s borders with China’s Tibetan Autonomous Region, the ITBP was established in October 1962.
What are the functions of ITBP?
- Security at the Border: The ITBP’s main duty is to patrol and secure India’s borders with China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. This entails preserving a continual watch along the border, stopping unauthorized entry, and protecting India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
- Patrolling: Long- and short-range patrols are carried out by the ITBP in the remote and unpopulated areas close to the border. In isolated areas that are susceptible to different natural disasters and potential threats, these patrols are crucial for keeping an eye on activity.
- Disaster Response: In the Himalayan region, ITBP acts as the initial disaster responder. The ITBP is essential to search and rescue efforts during earthquakes, landslides, avalanches, snowstorms, and other calamities because of the difficult terrain and arid climate of the Himalayas.
- Rescue Operations: Outside of natural calamities, the ITBP helps trekkers, mountaineers, and pilgrims travelling to sites like Kailash Mansarovar and Amarnath who may become stranded or in need in high areas.
- Mountaineering trips: The ITBP has conducted a large number of mountaineering trips, frequently setting important field records. ITBP troops are extremely accomplished mountaineers.
What are the major operations ITBP was part of?
- Indo-Pak Wars: The ITBP participated in both the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak Wars. It participated in border security and combat activities during these conflicts.
- Counter-Insurgency Operations: Six extra ITBP battalions were established in 1987 to help fight the Punjabi insurgency’s bank robberies. Personnel from the ITBP engaged in anti-insurgency operations in the state.
- Jammu and Kashmir: To combat insurgency in the area, ITBP had a limited presence in Jammu & Kashmir from 1989 to 2004.
- Disaster Response: In the Himalayan region, ITBP has actively participated in numerous disaster response and relief operations. This covers dealing with landslides, avalanches, snowstorms, earthquakes, and other natural calamities.
- Mountaineering trips: Members of the ITBP have taken part in several climbing trips both domestically and abroad, frequently setting important records in the process.