Sashastra Seema Bal
|Sashastra Seema Bal|
Armed Border Force</span>
|Emblem/Logo of the Sashastra Seema Bal|
|Legal personality||Non government: Central Armed Police Forces|
Sashastra Seema Bal or SSB, in English the Armed Border Force (but rarely translated into English in Indian usage) (Devanāgarī: सशस्त्र सीमा बल) is one of India's Central Armed Police Forces. It is often loosely referred to as a paramilitary force, but it is not one of the three officially defined paramilitary forces of India. It is currently under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India. It was formerly known as the Special Service Bureau.
SSB (Special Service Bureau ) was set up in early 1963 in the wake of the Sino-Indian War. The primary task of the force was to provide armed support for RAW. and secondary task was to inculcate feelings of national belonging in the border population and develop their capabilities for resistance through a continuous process of motivation, training, development, welfare programs and activities in the then NEFA, North Assam (northern areas of Assam state), North Bengal (northern areas of West Bengal state), hills of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Ladakh. The scheme was later extended to Manipur, Tripura, Jammu (1965), Meghalaya (1975), Sikkim (1976), border areas of Rajasthan and Gujarat (1989), Manipur, Mizoram and some more areas of Rajasthan and Gujarat (1988), South Bengal (southern areas of West Bengal state), Nagaland (1989) and Nubra Valley, Rajouri and Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir (1991). It was specifically created as the brainchild of Indian think tank to counter the Chinese. It was believed that militarily, the Chinese were superior to India and in the event of a war, the Chinese would overwhelm Indian forces. So in 1963 a unique force was created, which would in the event of Chinese occupation merge with the border population, donning civilian attire,working a parallel administration and carry out the war of India with the help of guerrilla tactics. The SSB came out to be successful which was evident by the success it achieved by training Mukti Bahini in Bangladesh and other places, COIN Op's in the north-east, and providing security at high peaks during Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and Kargil War.
From the Cabinet, SSB was transferred to Ministry of Home Affairs and assigned the duties of manning the Nepal and Bhutan borders. SSB was renamed as "Sashastra Seema Bal" in accordance with its new role and come under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs in January 2001. This was done after Kargil War when " one border one force concept" was adopted.
In the forty years of its existence, SSB endeavoured to present a benign face of the government among border populace in the far flung and inaccessible areas subscribing to the ETHOS of Service, Security and Brotherhood. The local populace always found SSB standing steadfastly with them during difficult times.
Pursuant to the recommendations of a group of ministers on reforming the national security system, SSB was declared as a Border Guarding Force and Lead Intelligence Agency (LIA) for Indo-Nepal border (June, 2001) and assigned the task of guarding the 1751 km long Indo-Nepal border along the states of Uttarakhand, (263.7 km with 3 districts), Uttar Pradesh (599.3 km - with 7 districts), Bihar (800.4 km - with 7 districts), West Bengal (105.6 km - with 1 district) and Sikkim (99 km). In March 2004, SSB was assigned the task of guarding the 699 km stretch of Indo-Bhutan border along the states of Sikkim- (32 km), West Bengal ( 183 km - with 2 districts), Assam (267 km - with 4 districts) and, Arunachal Pradesh (217 km - with 2 districts). Since then SSB was re-christened into Sashastra Seema Bal and reached new heights. SSB is the first border guarding force which has decided to recruit women battalions. It is doing excellent job as Border Guarding Force on INDO-NEPAL and INDO-BHUTAN Border.
SSB is also engaged in Counter Insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and Anti naxal operations in Jharkhand and Bihar. It is also performing internal security duties i.e. Election duties and law and order duties in different parts of India.
SSB celebrated the year 2013 as Golden Jubilee year marking fifty years of its raising. The celebrations have commenced with the Flag-off of a Mount Everest Expedition on 2 April 2013 from Delhi. The team led by Shri Somit Joshi, Commandant, successfully reached at the peak at about 9.45 am on 21 May 2013 to commemorate the 50th anniversary.
In 2014 the government of India approved the recruitment of women as combat officers in SSB.
The role of SSB consists of the following:-
(a) To promote sense of security among the people living in the border areas.
(b) To prevent trans-border crimes, and unauthorised entries entry or exit from the territory of India.
(c) To prevent smuggling and other illegal activities.
To achieve the above objectives, Ministry Of Home Affairs (MHA) Govt of India has conferred various powers to SSB personnel under Criminal Procedure Code 1973, Arms Act 1959, NDPS Act 1985 and Passport Act 1967. The GOI is also contemplating to confer powers under Customs Act 1962. These powers are to be exercised within a belt of 15 kilometers in the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh running along the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan border and in any area of SSB operation.
The highest-level headquarter of the force is the Force Headquarters (FHQ), also called the Directorate General of SSB, located in New Delhi. Force Headquarter (FHQ) is commanded by an officer of the rank of Director General. Director General is assisted by Additional Director General. Various Directorates like Operations and Intelligence, Personnel and Training, Administration, Provisioning and Communication, Medical, etc. function under the DG. Each Directorate is headed by an IG and assisted by DIG and other officers.
Frontier headquarters (FTR HQ) is commanded by an officer of the rank of Inspector General (IG) comes next in chain of command after FHQ. FTR HQR in turn exercises command and control over the sector HQs. There are Five FTR HQRs situated at Ranikhet, Lucknow, Patna, Siliguri and Guwahati.
The Sector HQs are commanded by Officers of the rank of Deputy Inspector General (DIG). There are Fifteen Sector Headquarters located at Almora, Pilibhit, Lakhimpur Kheri, Gorakhpur, Bettiah, Muzzafarpur,Purnea, Ranidanga, New Jaipaiguri, Gangtok, Bongaigaon, Rangia, Tezpur, Jammu and Kashmir and Alwar. The Sector HQ exercises direct command and control over the SSB Battalions deployed in its area of responsibility along Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders.
SSB Battalion having strength of 1172 personnel is commanded by officer of the rank of Commandant who is assisted by officers of the rank of Second-in-Command,Deputy Commandant and Assistant Commandant. Battalion is further divided into Companies and Border Out post (BOP). There are seven Companies in a Battalion and Each Company consists three Border outposts. Company is commanded by Assistant Commandants and BOP is commanded by Sub Inspectors.MHA has sanctioned 73 Battalions for SSB for Border duties and Internal Security duties.
There are two wings in SSB namely Combatised wing (Uniform Personnel) and Area wing (Non-Uniform OR Civil Personnel) which perform duties assigned by the FHQ. Both wings have their own cadre.Combatised wing perform duties in Battalions on INDO-NEPAL AND INDO-BHUTAN BORDER whereas Area wing perform duties in Area primarily for intelligence collection.
The training to force personnel of the SSB is given on training centres and additional training centres. Training to force personnel is imparted in following training centres on Counter Subversion, Border Management, Perception Management, and Survival & Other Professional Courses Designed to enhance performance.
Apart from above there are Additional Training Centres at different places in which newly recruited constables are being trained.