Paramilitary forces of India
- For police forces formerly considered paramilitary forces, see Central Armed Police Forces and State Armed Police Forces
|Active troops||1,325,000 (3rd)|
|Reserve forces||1,155,000 (7th)|
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According to the official definition adopted in 2011, "Paramilitary Forces" refers to three organisations which assist the Indian Armed Forces particularly closely and are led by officers of the Indian Army or Indian Navy. They are:
- The Assam Rifles (AR) 50,000 personnel
(led by Indian Army officers reporting to the Ministry of Home Affairs)
- The Special Frontier Force (SFF) 10,000 personnel
(led by Indian Army officers reporting to Indian Intelligence)
- The Indian Coast Guard 10,000 personnel (29 stations)
(usually led by Indian Navy officers and reporting to the Ministry of Defence). - According to the Indian defense and paramilitary personnel webpage, Coast Guards belong to Defense Services.
The term "paramilitary forces" was previously used to refer to a variety of armed services that aid the operations of the law enforcement agencies of India and the Indian Armed Forces. No single official definition existed, so the term normally included central armed police and often included state armed police.
In March 2011, at the request of the Indian Army, the Indian government authorized the Indian Army to provide definitive terminology. An extremely narrow definition of "paramilitary" was adopted which excluded services now known as the "Central Armed Police Forces" (CAPF) (e.g. the Central Reserve Police Force) and services now known as the "State Armed Police Forces". The Indian government's new terminology does not necessarily coincide with the existing terminology of the states of India; for example, the state of Bihar calls its state armed police force "Military Police". It is not yet clear how (or whether) such discrepancies will be resolved.
The Rashtriya Rifles are not a paramilitary force but part of the Indian Army.
Paramilitary Forces was a term previously used without strict definitions and could include not only the current three forces, any of the Central Armed Police Forces and State Armed Police Forces and other organisations such as the Home Guard.
In March 2011, at the request of the Indian Army, the Indian government authorized the Indian Army to provide definitive terminology. A narrow definition of "paramilitary" was adopted which excluded services now known as the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) such as the Central Reserve Police Force, and services now known as the State Armed Police Forces. The Indian government's new terminology does not necessarily coincide with the existing terminology of the states of India. For example, the State of Bihar calls its state armed police force Military Police. It is not yet clear how (or whether) such discrepancies will be resolved. They are also compared to India's various State Armed Police Forces.
The Assam Rifles can trace their lineage back to a paramilitary police force that was formed under the British in 1835 called Cachar Levy. Since then the Assam Rifles have undergone a number of name changes before the name Assam Rifles was finally adopted in 1917. Over the course of its history, the Assam Rifles and its predecessor units have served in a number of roles, conflicts and theatres including World War I where they served in Europe and the Middle East, and World War II where they served mainly in Burma. In the post World War II period the Assam Rifles has expanded greatly as has its role. There are currently 46 battalions of Assam Rifles under the control of the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and they perform many roles including the provision of internal security under the control of the army through the conduct of counter insurgency and border security operations, provision of aid to the civil power in times of emergency, and the provision of communications, medical assistance and education in remote areas. In times of war they can also be used as a combat force to secure rear areas if needed.
Special Frontier Force
The Special Frontier Force (SFF) is a paramilitary unit of India. It was conceived in the post Sino-Indian war period as a guerrilla force composed mainly of Tibetan refugees whose main goal was to conduct covert operations behind Chinese lines in case of another war between the People's Republic of China and India.
Based in Chakrata, Uttarakhand, SFF is also known as the Establishment 22. The force was put under the direct supervision of the Intelligence Bureau, and later, the Research and Analysis Wing, India's external intelligence agency.
- Border Security Force
- Indian Military
- Sagar Prahari Bal
- Sashastra Seema Bal
- National Security Guard
- Special Forces of India
- List of Indian Intelligence agencies
- Defence Research and Development Organisation
- The Assam Frontier Police (1883), the Assam Military Police (1891) and Eastern Bengal and Assam Military Police (1913), before finally becoming the Assam Rifles in 1917. See Sharma 2008.
- See History of the Assam Rifles
- Sharma 2008.
- The SFF became morle famous within the administration as the "Establishment 22" because its first Inspector General (IG) Major Gen. Sujan Singh, a Military Cross holder and a legendary figure in the British India Army. Singh commanded the 22nd Mountain Regiment during World War II in Europe and a Long Range Desert Squadron (LRDS) in north Africa.
- Bollywood Sargam - Special: Tibetan faujis in Bluestar
- Assam Rifles official site
- Analysis of the PMF
- An informative article on the PMF
- Global Security article on Border Security Force