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Amit Shah to oversee Assam Rifles base shift in Mizoram

The decision to move the Assam Rifles’ base to the outskirts of the state capital has been finalized following discussions between Shah and Lalduhoma during the Chief Minister's recent visit to the national capital in June.

News Arena Network - Aizawl - UPDATED: July 5, 2024, 10:47 AM - 4 mins read

Union Home Minister Amit Shah. (File photo). Area domination operation launched by the Army and Assam Rifles on June 4 as part of a joint strategy for the recovery of snatched weapon (Right).

Amit Shah to oversee Assam Rifles base shift in Mizoram

Union Home Minister Amit Shah. (File photo). Area domination operation launched by the Army and Assam Rifles on June 4 as part of a joint strategy for the recovery of snatched weapon (Right).


Union Home Minister Amit Shah is set to visit Mizoram next month to oversee the relocation of the Assam Rifles’ headquarters from central Aizawl to Zokhawsang, announced Chief Minister Lalduhoma on Tuesday.

 

The decision to move the Assam Rifles’ base to the outskirts of the state capital has been finalized following discussions between Shah and Lalduhoma during the Chief Minister's recent visit to the national capital in June.

 

"We are committed to shifting the Assam Rifles’ headquarters to the designated place," Lalduhoma affirmed during a joint meeting attended by key state officials and Assam Rifles representatives.

 

Discussions at the meeting centered on the necessary infrastructure developments at Zokhawsang to facilitate the relocation.

 

Key challenges, including the relocation of existing facilities like the magazine building and firing point within the Zokhawsang complex, were highlighted by Assam Rifles officials.

 

In response to infrastructure concerns raised, authorities agreed to conduct a joint inspection aimed at expediting necessary relocations.

 

Assam Rifles officials committed to repairing internal roads and transformers within the Zokhawsang complex, highlighting their responsibility for these facilities since their transfer from local authorities five years ago.

 

The Assam Rifles battalion headquarters is currently situated in Treasury and Zodin Square in the heart of Aizawl city.

 

The Ministry of Home Affairs had directed the relocation of the battalion headquarters to Zokhawsang, approximately 15 km from Aizawl, in February 2019.

 

Historically, demands for relocating the Assam Rifles battalion headquarters away from Aizawl's urban center have persisted since 1988.

 

The incident involving the killing of 12 civilians by Assam Rifles personnel prompted the Mizo National Front (MNF) government, led by then Chief Minister Laldenga, to advocate for the move.

 

Basic infrastructure at Zokhawsang, necessary for accommodating the Assam Rifles battalion headquarters, has already been constructed. The inauguration of these facilities took place on April 1 last year, with Union Home Minister Shah in attendance.

Assam Rifles'

Assam Rifles, a Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) under the Ministry of Home Affairs, engages in counterinsurgency operations across northeastern India and other critical regions. During peace and proxy war times, it secures India's borders with China and Myanmar.

 

Under Army oversight, it intervenes when other paramilitary forces cannot manage internal security.

 

Operational command rests with a Lieutenant General, unique as its Director-General's headquarters is in Shillong, unlike other CAPFs in New Delhi.

 

Established in 1835 as 'Cachar Levy,' it protected British tea estates. Evolving into the 'Frontier Force,' it conducted expeditions and merged into Assam Military Police in 1870, contributing 3,000 soldiers to British efforts in Europe and West Asia.

 

Renamed Assam Rifles in 1917, it has expanded from 17 battalions in 1960 to 46 today.

 

The force has evolved post-Independence, from combat roles during the Sino-India War 1962 to being a part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka in 1987, besides performing peacekeeping roles in north-eastern India. 

 

From 17 battalions in 1960 it has grown to 46 battalions today.

 

On July 15, 2004, 12 Manipur women staged a naked protest in front of the Assam Rifles headquarters at Kangla Fort in Imphal against the custodial rape and death of 32-year-old Manorama Thangjam four days earlier. 

 

She was picked up by Assam Rifles personnel for questioning and her bullet-riddled body was later found in a paddy field.

 

The force’s HQ was shifted from Kangla Fort, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh handed the fort over to the Manipur government on November 20, 2004.

 

 

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