The Border Security Force (BSF) is the primary Border guarding force of India. It’s one of the Central Armed Police Forces of the Union of India, this was raised in the wake of the 1965 war on 1st December 1965,” for ensuring the security of the borders of India & for matters connected there with. The BSF has its own cadre of officers but its head, designated as a Director-General (DG)since its raising has been an officer from the Indian police service. It’s an Armed Force of the Union of India tasked with various assignments from time to time. The BSF has grown exponentially from a few battalions in 1965 to 186 battalions with a sanctioned strength 0f 2.5 lakh personnel including an expanding an Air wing, Marine wing, Artillery regiments and Commando units. It currently stands as the world’s largest border guarding force. BSF has been termed as the First Line of Defence of Indian Territories.
There were many Historical Engagements:
Indo—Pakistan War of 1971
Operation Blue star
Operation Black Thunder
Counter Insurgency In J&K
Kargil war—Operation Vijay
India—Bangladesh Border Skirmishes in 2001
2001—2002 India-Pakistan stand off
2013,2014, 2015 India—Pakistan border skirmishes
Out of five Central Armed Police Forces, BSF primarily take care of International Border of India during the peace time & helps Indian Army to manage Border during the war time. Now Let’s see the Training and Organizational Structure of Border Security Force—
BSF personnel undergoes one of the toughest training in the world and on completion of their training they are one of the finest fighting soldiers in the world. They guard India—Pakistan Border in Thar desert where temperature goes as high as 540 centigrade in J&K where temperature it drops below zero. In Rann of Kutch they have to deal with Swampy land & saline water, whereas in India-Bangladesh have to deal with thick forest cover & marshy land.These areas are known for poisonous creatures & ferocious animals like Bengal Tiger. They undergo strenuous &rigorous training wherever they are deployed.
A Border man pledge during Training is—
“I will not Disgrace the Border Man’s Arms, nor Abandon the Comrade, who stands at my side. Whether alone or with many, I will defend everything that my country holds scared. The BSF has its headquarters at New Delhi and is Eastern Theater is taken care by Special DGHQ at Kolkata & the Western Theater is headed by special DG HQ at Chandigarh.
Key Tasks & Achievements by Border Security Force of India –
BSF believes in the fact that “MORE YOU SWEAT DURING PEACE LESS YOU BLEED DURING WAR”. BSF Personnel are always ready to serve their motherland either in case of war of some natural calamity.
BSF actively participated in 1971 war (India-Pakistan) & they were successful on both Eastern & Western front. Famous “Battle of Longewala “is a best example of how BSF played a very important role in Liberation of Bangladesh.
BSF also actively participated in “operation Bluestar “which aimed to remove Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and His armed forces from the holiest Gurdwara of Sikhs.
BSF played an important role in maintaining Law &order in 1984 Assam Unrest, 1989-Armed Insurgency in J&K. Indian Government deployed the BSF in J&K to combat separatist militants & BSF contribution in reducing militancy in J&K is widely acknowledged. BSF plays an important role in preventing Drug trade in cross- Border.
During Kargil war—In 199, BSF remained on the heights of the mountains & defended the integrity of the Nation, with all its might at its command in unison with the Indian Army.
In August 2003, BSF killed Ghazi Baba chief of Jaish-e -Mohammed and mastermind of 2001 attack on Indian Parliament along with his deputy commander.
BSF played a major role in India-Pakistan, India-Bangladesh border skirmish of 2001,2013, & 2015.
Every year BSF contributes a large number of personnel for services in United Nations Peace Keeping Mission. Also, three battalions of the BSF, located at Kolkata Guwahati & Patna, are designated as NDRF, during the Earthquake of Gujarat in 2001, BSF was the first to reach out & help the distressed people.BSF maintains Tear Smoke Unit(TSU) in Gwalior & only manufacturer of tear gas &chili grenades in India. BSF also maintains a national level school for breeding & training of dogs called (NTCD) National Training Centre for Dogs, the training starts at the age of six to nine months.BSF is one of the the main attraction in Republic Day Parade of India. It also performs Flag Lowering ceremony at Attari, Hussainiwala & sadque border
The BSF’s deployment, in Kashmir, however may put the state Administration in quandary—its personnel are not issued riot control gear such as batons or body armour like their counterparts in CRPF, who took over Law &order in 2004. Around 2,000 BSF Personnel (24 Companies) have been put at the disposal of the state government and their exact role will be finalised soon, said a senior BSF official, hinting that the paramilitary force may be used for setting barricades or road opening duties due to lack of riot control gear. The BSF men were originally deployed in the state for providing security during the Amaranth Yatra that ended on August 18th.Earlier they were involved in the duties at airports & the governor’s residence. For last 12 years, BSF is deployed in Srinagar.
India will have a Patrol-free, multi-layered smart fence along its Borders with Pakistan & Bangladesh by the later5 part i9n 2017 even as 20 big global firms are undertaking a technical evaluation for the same, DG of BSF KK Sharma said on 30th November,2016. BSF after getting a sanction from the Union Home Ministry, is working to implement a Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) where the security of two sensitive & difficult terrain borders will shift from the regular troops patrolling system to a quick reaction team pattern, where guards will strike once they notice a blip of infiltration on their surveillance radars BSF put their best foot forward in saving the infiltrators/militants, this is their committed work.
In the recent attack three terrorism were Neutralized by BSF in chamliyal area of Ramgarh sector recovered three Ak47 with 20loaded magazines, other arms &ammunition. They discovered the tunnel dug by terrorists of 75-80 metre from the IB near a tube well in an open field. The importance of Border Security Force for India & their strenuous effort & dedication to maintain peace within India & along its Border’s fights an unending war throughout the country, they never have a peace time We complain so much working in Air conditioned rooms, but BSF troops toil themselves tirelessly on the Borders, under severe climatic conditions braving the cold & heat for safeguarding the Nation, whereas down here throughout India we sleep peacefully, enjoy the festivities with our family happily &peacefully at the cost of their sacrifices. The following lines best describe the the Border Security Force of India:
“They are not only men in Uniforms, they are God sent warriors for us to safeguard our lives amidst all sorts of odds along the international borders of India to make us sleep & lead a peaceful life inside India. They safeguard total law & order, discipline in the society. Salutations to Our BSF on the Formation day by paying a tribute to the sacrifices of the Martyred & the ones who are currently protecting our Borders.
Dr. S. Sukanya Iyer