India orders to move 2,000 SSB personnel to strengthen Intelligence Bureau

India orders to move 2,000 SSB personnel to strengthen Intelligence Bureau

SAM Staff,

Over 2,000 non-combatised personnel of border guarding force – SSB – have been finally ordered to be moved to the Intelligence Bureau (IB) as part of an ambitious central government plan to bolster the internal snoop agency’s on-ground presence at Indian borders, especially along China and Nepal.

PTI has accessed an October 12 order issued by the Union home ministry directing that a total of 2,104 posts of the civilian component of the force, often dubbed as the ‘dying’ cadre, will be transferred to the IB “immediately”. Few of these posts are not occupied at present.

The unique move was in the making for the last few years after National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval had in June, 2016 written to the then Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi underlining the need to effectively utilise this manpower for “enhancing” border security gathering better intelligence.

The ministry has now ordered that out of the total 24 cadres of these personnel in the SSB (Sashastra Seema Bal), 19 will be sent to the IB.

“These cadres will get integrated with relevant and comparable cadres of IB. They will be governed by service conditions of IB after transfer from SSB,” the ministry order said.

A blueprint prepared in this context said that this cadre, which is trained, experienced and well acquainted with the border areas, could be effectively used to upgrade country’s intelligence generation and gathering capability along 15,000-kms of its border.

In addition, the blueprint said, the personnel could undertake tasks aimed at generating nationalist sentiments among the border population, as in the past.

A senior official privy to the development said the future tasking of these personnel would be charted over a period of next few months and both the central agencies will “mutually decide the detailed implementation modalities including those related to transfer of assets of the Sashastra Seema Bal to the IB.”

A small component of 94 posts, spread across five cadres, will be retained by the SSB, the order said.

The SSB, with a strength of about 80,000 personnel, has been guarding the 1,751-km Indo-Nepal border since 2001 and the 699-km Indo-Bhutan border since 2004.