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Role of Sashastra Seema Bal

After the Kargil war, the K. Subramanayam Committee’s Report was considered by a Group of Ministers for relocation of all Para-military forces to achieve optimum efficiency by assigning one border for each force. SSB was declared as a Border Guarding Force in 15th January, 2001 under the Ministry of Home Affairs and renamed as "Sashastra Seema Bal" on 15th December, 2003. On 19 June, 2001 SSB was given the mandate to guard the Indo-Nepal Border (1751 Kms.) and was declared the Lead Intelligence Agency for that area. The added responsibility of guarding Indo - Bhutan Border was given to SSB on 12th March, 2004 along with being declared the Lead Intelligence Agency for that border.

The greatest moment of pride for the Organization came on 27th March, 2004 when it was awarded the President’s Colour. SSB also got the consent of the President of India, Smt Pratibha Devi Singh Patil on 20th December, 2007 for the SSB Act and Rule. A commemorative Cover (2007) and a Stamp were released by the Indian Postal Department on the occasion of SSBs Golden Jubilee Celebrations on 29th November, 2013.

SSB is now spread along the International border across Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. SSB’s  present charter of duties is to:

i.

Safeguard the security of assigned borders of India and promote sense of security among the people living in border areas.

ii.

Prevent trans-border crimes, smuggling and any other illegal activities.

iii.

Prevent unauthorized entry into or exit from the territory of India.

iv.

Carry out civic action programme in the area of responsibility.

v.

Perform any other duty assigned by the Central Government.(SSB is being deployed for Law & Order, Counter Insurgency Operations and Election duty)

The challenges of manning the open border are more daunting than securing a closed border. The 2450 kms long Indo- Nepal and Indo- Bhutan border is more challenging because the open border not only provides alluring encouragement to traffickers and smugglers but, also offers huge opportunities for militants/ ANEs trained on foreign soil to infiltrate and pose a serious threat to national security. It is extremely difficult to seal the entire border effectively owing to its porosity and visa free regime on one hand and social economic and cultural relationship of bordering countries on the other, but SSB, by virtue of its enormous past experience of working at grass root level in remote areas, is able to muster people’s support and cooperation besides physically guarding the border and maintaining its sanctity.

The transition of Special Service Bureau as an organization to Sashastra Seema Bal as a force has been very smooth, effective and is expected to have the desired impact on the security scenario on Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders.

 



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