New Delhi (Sputnik): The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) — India's border guard force — has operationalised a strategic command in Jammu and Kashmir's Leh-Ladakh district after moving it from Chandigarh on Monday.
The move is considered to be part of New Delhi's plan to counter the ever-increasing Chinese military build-up in the region.
"We are operational from the Ladakh region beginning 1 April and the force headquarters in Delhi has been informed," ITBP IG Arvind Kumar told the PTI news agency.
The agency reported that the new command will include about a dozen battalions deployed along the Chinese border that runs along Jammu and Kashmir, and in the future more troops will be deployed to enhance the presence of the force on this icy, blizzard-prone mountainous border.
India activates strategic command to counter China: India activates strategic command to counter ChinaThe North West (NW) frontier of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), tasked to guard the 3,488-km long Sino-India border in peace times, is headed by… https://t.co/j7nO3QeSWc pic.twitter.com/VsUlk7XPo7— Bangladesh News 24 @bdnews24 (@bdnews24) April 1, 2019
Earlier, the ITBP completed construction of the Permanent Integrated Composite Building (PICB) in the Leh region, with a central heating system and freeze-proof toilets for border outposts located at high-altitude areas, where the temperature plummets as low as —45 degrees Celsius in the winter.
The ITBP is tasked with guarding the 2,168-mile long Sino-India border, working to prevent trans-border crimes, smuggling and unauthorised entry into the territory of India. Presently, it has 56 service battalions, four specialist battalions, 17 training centres and seven logistics establishments with a total strength of almost 90,000 personnel.