New Delhi, Nov 28 (UNI) The Rajya Sabha today passed the Sashastra Seema Bal Bill 2006 seeking to provide for the constitution and regulation of an armed force of the union for ensuring the security of the borders of India.
Replying to the debate on the Bill, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said India was planning to increase the number of border posts and patrolling on Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders by raising more battalions of SSB. It would help in reducing free movement of people and better border guarding.
Mr Patil said 70 per cent of the para military forces were being used for guarding the border while 30 per cent of them were being used for helping state governments in maintaining law and order in the country.
He said that except for a few states, para-military forces had no unified command. ''In Jammu and Kashmir state police, BSF and CRPF help the state government in maintenance of law and order while in Assam and Manipur, para-military forces along with army help the state government and coordination of the activities of the unified command is done by respective chief ministers.'' Admitting that paramilitary forces were witnessing high rate of attrition, the Home Minister said it was due to difficult working situation and loneliness of the personnel. However, the government had taken a number of measures and would also take more to check the attrition, he informed the House.
He said that depending on the availability of civilian aircraft, they were also made available to the para-military forces as was being done for defence forces.
He, however, refused the suggestion to merge different para-military forces and said they would retain their separate identities as they were required to man different kinds of terrains that mark the country's border with various countries.
''Because of the different kind of terrains that mark India's border with various countries, the force guarding the areas have to perform their duties differently,'' Mr Patil said.
On the need for many border forces.....
Eds: Pls pick up from line one, para three of PAR 18 sluged LEAD SSB BILL-RS.