By Priyanka S Raj
Guwahati. Assam Rifles, one of the oldest Paramilitary Force, celebrated its 186th Raising Day in Shillong on March 24 under the leadership of Force’s Director General Lt Gen Sukhdeep Sangwan, AVSM SM. The celebrations were attended by the Inspector Generals, Sector Commanders and the Commandants of units commenced at HQ DGAR, Laitkor, Shillong with a grand programme followed by Annual Assam Rifles Commanders’ Conference and a spectacular cultural programme showcasing the rich heritage of the Force on March 23-24.
On this special occasion, Arunachal Pradesh Governor Brig (Dr) BD Mishra (Retd.) attended the event as Chief Guest at the HQ DGAR. He extended his best wishes to all ranks of the Force and their families, and complimented officers and troops for their indomitable spirit with which they continue to discharge their duties with courage, dedication and devotion. He also paid homage to Martyrs of Assam Rifles by laying wreath at Assam Rifles War Memorial on March 24.
Interacting with all ranks, retired personnel and next to the kin of those who laid down their lives in the line of duty, the Arunachal Governor said, “This Force has become an inseparable part of the States of the Northeast over the years and very rightly and fondly been recognised by the indigenous population as the Friends of the North East,” he added.
The Governor stated that “Assam Rifles plays an important role in containing insurgency in the sensitive areas of the North eastern states while guarding the Borders”. With the present disturbed situation in Myanmar, our neighbouring country, its role has become very important, he said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also extended his greetings to Assam Rifles via Twitter which read: “Greetings to our brave Assam Rifles personnel and their families on the 186th Raising Day. The Assam Rifles is the sentinels of the Northeast and India’s oldest Paramilitary Force with a rich history of valour and courage. We salute their devotion towards protecting our motherland.”
Conveying his best wishes to the Assam Rifles personnel, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh wrote on Twitter: “Greetings to Assam Rifles personnel and their families on Raising Day. The Assam Rifles is India’s oldest paramilitary force which has been at the forefront of keeping India safe for nearly 19 decades. The courage and professionalism of this force are deeply appreciated.”
As part of a series of events commemorating Assam Rifles 186th Raising Day, the two-day Annual Assam Rifles Commanders’ Conference began at HQ DGAR, Shillong. On the opening day, Lt Gen Anil Chauhan, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC, GOC-in-C, Eastern Command addressed all Commanders of the Force and complimented them for their professionalism, commitment and dedication to duty in extremely challenging conditions. The General Officer conveyed his best wishes to all ranks of the Force on 186th Raising Day, and exhorted them to continue with their untiring efforts in upholding the highest traditions of their service to the nation in the years to come.
Speaking on Assam Rifles Commanders’ Conference, Director General Assam Rifles Lt Gen Sukhdeep Sangwan, AVSM SM informed that the conference was held to discuss solutions to the challenges faced in maintaining the internal peace and security of the North eastern States highlighting the issues related to security along Indo Myanmar Border.
The conference discussed issues like Force Modernisation, Smart Solutions and Leveraging Technology for Operational, Administrative and Man Management aspects. In parallel, he also lauded his personnel for being the active force in anti-insurgency operations, relief efforts, disaster management, peacekeeping and Covid 19 pandemic operational tasks in the Northeast region.
Assam Rifles, since its inception in 1835, has repeatedly demonstrated its credibility by executing challenging operations with high degree of proficiency, alacrity and discipline. Throughout its overlong and cherished history, the Force has made immense contribution towards peace, stability and harmony in the country and abroad. The Force has actively participated in all major wars including World Wars, Indo-China conflict, Indo-Pak Wars in 1965 and 1971.
The untiring efforts and endeavour of Assam Rifles in combating insurgency in guarding of Indo-Myanmar border has resulted in peace and tranquillity in the North eastern region. It is one of the India’s oldest paramilitary force which has been at the forefront of battling the most critical region of India for nearly 19 decades. The identity of Northeast India would be incomplete without considering the glorious contribution of Assam Rifles which has earned for itself the sobriquet of “Friends of the Northeast People” and “Sentinels of The Northeast.”
-The writer is a Meghalaya-based defence journalist