In news– The paramilitary Assam Rifles has felicitated the surviving soldiers of Operation Dudhi recently.
What is Operation Dudhi?
- A team of 15 soldiers of the Assam Rifles’ 7th Battalion led by Naib Subedar Padam Bahadur Chhetri had on May 5, 1991, gunned down 72 Pakistan-trained extremists and captured 13 others at 14,000 ft in Jammu & Kashmir.
- The operation, undertaken by the battalion during its tenure in Jammu & Kashmir from 1990 to 1992.
- It remains the most successful counter-insurgency operation conducted by any security force to date.
- Not only the battalion had eliminated 72 militants but it also apprehended 13 others in that operation.
- The 7th Battalion had earlier been conferred numerous honours and awards during Operation Rakshak in Jammu & Kashmir.
- These included two Kirti Chakras, one Shaurya Chakra, one Vishisht Seva Medal and 10 Sena Medals.
- It is India’s oldest paramilitary force, whose operational control is with the Defence Ministry and administrative control with the Home Ministry.
- Meghalaya’s capital Shillong is the headquarters of Assam Rifles. It is a region specific force with its operational role in the North East.
- The force is commanded by an officer of the rank of Lieutenant General of the Army.
- It was established in 1835, as a militia called the ‘Cachar Levy’.
- With approximately 750 men, this force was formed to primarily protect British Tea estates and their settlements against tribal raids.
- Subsequently, all these forces were reorganised and renamed as the ‘Frontier Force’ as their role was increased to conduct punitive expeditions across the borders of Assam.
- This force significantly contributed in opening the region to administration and commerce and over time they came to be known as the right arm of the civil and left arm of the military.
- The Post-Independence role of the Assam Rifles continued to evolve ranging from conventional combat role during Sino-India War 1962, operating in foreign land as part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to Sri Lanka in 1987 (Op Pawan) to peacekeeping role in the North-Eastern areas of India.
- Today the force remains deployed in some of the most remote and underdeveloped areas and provides security to locals.
- Assam Rifles has grown substantially over the years from 17 battalions in 1960 to 46 battalions at present.
- Since its establishment, the Assam Rifles has been engaged in countless counter-insurgency operations across the northeast and elsewhere in India.
- In 2019-20he Home Ministry was planing to merge Assam Rifles with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), which guards the Indo-China border.