ITBP personnel stand guard as trucks carrying essential commodities travelling to Kargil from Zoji-La pass
PC : economictimes

NEW DELHI: The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), in developments that took place in the last few months, has broken the myth of some countries that they have a powerful army, Union minister G Kishan Reddy said on Saturday, in an apparent reference to the ongoing border standoff between India and China in Ladakh.

The ITBP is deployed along with the Army on Indo-China border, including the spots in Ladakh witnessing a standoff since May-June.
The minister did not name any country while making the above remark in his address at the 59th raising day function of ITBP in Greater Noida, but he did say that while India believes in the philosophy of “vasudhaiva kutumbakam” (world is one family), the culture of the country teaches it to worship both “shastra and astra” (scriptures and weapons) at the same time.

“This has taught us that the enemy can raise its head anytime, anywhere and we should be fully prepared to face any possibility. The ITBP is an important pillar of that preparedness of the country,” Reddy said.

“The armies of some countries had a myth that they were among the powerful armies of the world, but during the developments in the past few months, the ITBP has broken that myth,” he added.

Meanwhile, ITBP DG S S Deswal in his address on the occasion said the force has got a weapons upgrade, V-SAT systems for better border communication, better vehicles, apart from bullet-resistant jackets and helmets for its personnel, as part of its modernisation. He commended the ITBP jawans deployed in Ladakh for valiantly dealing with the recent border challenge, saying that he had honoured the personnel on the spot by visiting their border outposts, even as names of many personnel had been recommended for gallantry awards.

Reddy added that the home ministry had, under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leadership of home minister Amit Shah, taken a slew of initiatives to empower the ITBP. This included a grant of approval to ITBP to establish 47 border outposts. This year alone, he said, 28 types of new vehicles had been provided to the force. He added that ITBP personnel in high-altitude areas had been given specialised clothing and mountaineering equipment.

“A budget of Rs 7,223 crore has been allocated for the ITBP and more than Rs. 15 crores have been sanctioned for management,” he said while praising the valour shown by ITBP men during the standoff with Chinese troops in Ladakh.

In his message to ITBP on its Raising Day, home minister Amit Shah tweeted: “The valour and courage of our ITBP personnel cannot be put in words. Their commitment to safeguarding our motherland at world’s most difficult terrains is truly remarkable”.

The valour and courage of our ITBP personnel can not be put in words. Their commitment to safeguard our motherland… https://t.co/cPmpmU1Lon— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) 1603537224000

Speaking at the Raising Day event in Greater Noida, Deswal said ITBP had sent a proposal regarding phase 2 of Indo-China border roads programme to the home ministry. Also, a high level empowered committee was looking at another proposal for critical infrastructure — 18-foot tracks in Arunachal Pradesh — and the DG hoped construction of the same would start soon.

Reddy praised the ITBP’s “selfless” services in fighting Covid-19, particularly its operation and management of the largest Covid care centre at Chhatarpur, New Delhi.

Raised on October 24, 1962, during India-China War, ITBP primarily guards the nation’s 3,488 kilometre long borders in the Himalayas at the BOPs located at altitudes ranging from 3,000 feet to 18,800 feet. The force is also deployed for anti-Naxal operations and other internal security duties.