In an attempt to strengthen its presence on the Sino-India border in Ladakh, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has sought deployment of additional 6,000 personnel along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the sector that has witnessed a series of transgressions by the Chinese army.
ITBP, which mans the 3,488 km border with China stretching from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, has moved the proposal for deployment of six battalions to plug gaps along the LAC, official sources said on Sunday.
While the proposal is under Home Ministry's consideration, the sources said, in-principle approval has been given to the force for raising eight additional battalions (about 8,000 personnel) to enable rest and recuperation of its men after working in harsh weather conditions on the icy frontier.
According to official estimates, an average ITBP jawan spends 80 per cent of his tenure in adverse climate and the remaining 20 per cent on guard duties of VVIPs and others.
Sources said the force wants to enhance its reserves in the Ladakh sector, above Leh, as it has some of the most challenging frontiers to guard along the 1,597-km border which Jammu and Kashmir shares with the country's eastern neighbour.
At present, ITBP has about seven battalions in this region which effectively means about 6,000 armed personnel at any point of time.
Officials said the force is also in the process of bolstering the number of its troops in each border post on this frontier as many of them are located at altitudes ranging between 9,000-18,500 feet amidst thin oxygen levels and a continuous threat of blizzards. The approval, sources said, came after ITBP Director General Krishna Chaudhary led a team of his senior officials to make detailed presentations before the Ministry of Home Affairs following which Home Minister Rajnath Singh gave his nod. -timesofindia