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A TRIBUTE TO ‘THE FRIENDS OF THE HILL PEOPLE’ ON ASSAM RIFLES DAY


The genesis of Assam Rifles goes back to the days when Assam served as the principle source of wealth due to large scale exports of coal, oil. and forest produce to Britain. The saga of this magnificent Force begins with British attempt to extend their rule into the North Eastern Tracts of India in the early part of eighteenth century. It was decided to raise a Levy or Militia body distinct from the regular Army with its primary aim being to serve as a semi military body to protect the British settlement, tea gardens and to maintain law and order in the tribal areas. The first unit of the new organization, the ‘Cachar Levy’ was raised in 1835 by Mr Grange. The title of the Force underwent many changes from Cachar Levy, Assam Military Police, Frontier Police and finally in recognition of the contribution made by the Force towards the war effort during First World War, the Government of India redesignated the Force as the ‘Assam Rifles’. Over a period of time, due to its employment as well as being allied with Civic Action Programmes in the North East, Assam Rifles has distinctively earned the names of ‘Friends of the Hill People’ and ‘Sentinels of the North East’.

States Range, later known as Mizoram Range Assam Rifles and Head Quarter 23 Sector Assam Rifles was raised at Silchar on 10 Sep 1960 under Col J D Nadirshaw, Vrc, SC, as the first DIG of the Range. Assam Rifles units deployed in North East States of Mizoram, Manipur and Tripura were placed under command of the States Range. Immediately after raising, the States Range was assigned the task of providing aid to civil authorities in dealing with law and order situation in Cachar and later the Range Head Quarter moved to Mokokchung, Nagaland during the Chinese aggression. In 1966, insurgency broke out on a large scale in Mizo Hills and Range Head Quarter was moved to Aizawl. Since then Head Quarter 23 Sector Assam Rifles has continued to stay in Aizawl till date. States Range was redesignated as Head Quarter Mizoram Range with Mizoram becoming Union Territory in Mar 1972 and renamed as Head Quarter 23 Sector in Jan 1997. Presently it has under its command 10 Assam Rifles at Aizawl, 4 Assam Rifles at Serchip, 40 Assam Rifles at Lunglei, 5 Assam Rifles at Jiribam and 45 Assam Rifles at Halflong.

10 Assam Rifles which is co-located with 23 Sector AR in Aizawl was raised on 1 Nov 1956 at Meerut by Lt Col K S Rai, MC. The Battalion has earned laurels during Nagaland insurgency of 1973-75 and 1993-1994, and added another feather in its cap by demonstrating the highest standards of Counter Insurgency Operations during OPERATION RAKSHAK in Jammu & Kashmir. During its stint in Manipur, the Battalion has been instrumental in keeping Sajik Tampak free from militant activities amidst the constant threat imposed by Under Ground Organisations like PLA, PREPAK and UNLF. In the last one year in Aizawl, the Battalion has been actively involved in Civic Action activities like conducting free Medical Camps, spreading computer literacy, training the youth of Mizoram for recruitment into Security Forces, organizing educational trips and excursions for school children and guarding the borders of Mizoram. During its tenure in Nagaland, Manipur and Jammu & Kashmir, the Battalion has been awarded several gallantry awards to including two Shaurya Chakras, four Sena Medal besides numerous awards of President Police Medals, COAS commendation cards and Governors Gold, Silver & Bronze Medals for the exemplary and meritorious service towards the nation.

On this day, we salute all Officers, JCOs and Other Ranks who laid down their lives in the service of the nation by protecting our borders, safeguarding every advance into the interiors and ensuring law and order in the country.


 

 

PIB Aizawl

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