From the period of Independence in 1947 to 1965, the protection of India’s international boundaries was the responsibility of local police belonging to each border state, with little inter-state coordination. “BSF-Border Security Force” is a Central Armed Police force charged with guarding India’s land border during peace time and preventing transnational crime.
It is a Union Government Agency under the administrative control of Ministry of Home Affairs. It is one of many law enforcement agency of India. It currently stands as the “world’s largest border guarding force”.
The BSF is India’s primary border police force and one of the five Central Police Forces of the Union of India. Founded on December 1st, 1965, is now celebrating its “52nd anniversary”.
And here we’d like to take this opportunity to add to your knowledge, 15 cool facts about this organization of men and women that are warriors to the core!!!
1. The BSF is the world’s largest border guarding force with 186 battalions and 2.4 lakh personnel to its name.
2. Their motto is literally to get you Goosebumps with pride- “Duty Unto Death”.
3. The founding father and first general of the BSF was “K.F. Rustamji” from the Indian Police Services.
4. The BSF has a separate camel and dog wing that lets them expand their reach into varied terrain and threatening situations.
5. The BSF also run a national level dog breeding and training facility. The ‘National Training Center for Dogs’ trains canine experts in the infantry, patrolling, detection of explosives and tracking.
6. It is the only Indian paramilitary force with its own Marine and Air wings and Artillery regiments that support the general duty battalions in their operations.
7. They maintain a very unique Tear Smoke Unit (TSU) in Tekanpur since 1976 that produces tear gas munitions for anti-riot forces.
8. The BSF has access to special all-terrain vehicles for their personnel in the Rann of Kutch. These help them monitor over 4,000 km of inhospitable terrains in Gujarat.
9. They have an elite force called the “Creek Commando Force” that means the hostile creek area of Pak-bordering Gujarat. Trained to endure the harshest of environments, these may well be our borders’ super-soldiers.
10. BSF played a significant role in freeing Bangladesh. They helped the senior leaders of the “Awami League Party” to become stronger after the Pakistani massacres in 1971.
11. The BSF was deployed in the most sensitive areas during the Kargil War in 1999. They joined the Army and the rest, as they say, is history.
12. It is the BSF that conducts the “Wagah border ceremony” on the Indian side of the border. The Wagah border ceremony so happens that- Every evening, at the Wagah border, which is the international border of India and Pakistan, the BSF together with the neighboring country’s border guarding, the Pakistan Rangers conduct a military drill while lowering the respective national flags. This attracts a good number of spectators from both countries, as well as international tourists. Similar parades are being organised at Mahavir/Sadqi border near Fazilka and Hussainiwala/Gandasinghwala border near Firozpur.
13. In 2003, the BSF killed the mastermind behind the 2001 Indian Parliament attack. They raided Ghazi Baba’s hideout in Srinagar and killed him in the gun battle that followed.
14. Peace-time or war, the BSF is always at work – defending the borders during the war, and guarding and preventing trans-border crime during peace-time.
15. This law enforcement force has the biggest women’s contingents. Numerous women hold significant positions including those of combat ranks.
The country we live in is under greater threats beyond the barriers of our imagination. Though, we have a sense of relief that these men and women soldiers are into our rescue and guarding the border without the barricades of dawn and dusk.
Hat’s off to them and the pure souls who have departed us, sacrificing their lives on duty. Let’s take a moment to be grateful for their tireless service to our great nation. “Jai Hind… Jai Bharat Mata”.