Forces manning borders will retain their separate identities:Patil

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New Delhi, Nov 28 (UNI) Home Minister Shivraj Patil today said the different forces manning the border areas will retain their separate identities as they are required to man different kinds of terrains that marks country's border with various countries.

''Because of the different kind of terrain that marks India's border with various countries, the force guarding the areas have to perform their duties differently,'' Mr Patil said in reply to a discussion in the Rajya Sabha on the Sashastra Seema Bal Bill, 2006, providing for the constitution and regulation of an armed force for ensuring security of the borders.

On the need for many border forces -- the Border Security Force, the Indo Tibetan Border Police, the Central Reserve Police Force, the Central Industrial Security Force and, now, the SSB, Mr Patil said, ''An area of more than 1000 km have to be guarded. More importantly, a large part of the border lies in the Himalayan region which is a highly difficult area to man, especially during the Winter season, when there is not even a blade of grass.

''Infact, officers living at a very high altitude to man the borders tell me that if they live there for one year, their life is reduced by three years.'' Mr Patil said the SSB provides for constitution and conditions of service of its members.

''The Bill, on becoming a law, will help the force to function on par with its counterparts,'' the Home Minister said.

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