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Assam Rifles

Topics Covered: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

Assam Rifles:

Why in News?

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has asked the Assam Rifles to shift its base from the heart of State capital Aizawl to Zokhawsang about 15 km away at the earliest.

What’s the issue?

The stand-off between the Mizoram government and the Assam Rifles began on August 18, when 15 personnel of the force’s 46th Battalion allegedly forced their way into the State ignoring COVID-19 safety protocols.

  • Previously, The Mizo National Front government had in 1988 asked the Assam Rifles to shift from Aizawl after the killing of 12 civilians in an “encounter”.

About Assam Rifles:

Assam Rifles which is also referred to as the Sentinels of North East is the oldest paramilitary force of India.

  • It was formed as a single unit called Cachar Levy in 1835 to assist the British rulers in maintaining peace in the Northeast.
  • Incremental gains were accompanied by name changes for the primary law enforcement agency – Assam Frontier Police to Assam Military Police to Eastern Bengal to Assam Military Police – before Assam Rifles became the official name in 1917.
  • It served in both the World Wars.

Who controls the force?

It was after the Chinese aggression in 1962 that the Assam Rifles battalions were placed under the operational control of the Army.

  • Today, the administrative control of Assam Rifles lies with the Home Ministry, while the operational control is with the Defence Ministry.


Prelims Link:

  1. Assam Rifles- formation.
  2. Administrative control of the force is under?
  3. Who has the operational control?
  4. Functions 

Mains Link:

Discuss the key mandate carried out by Assam rifles. What are the issues and concerns surrounding the dual control of the same?


Sources: the Hindu.