NEW DELHI: The Centre has transferred over 2,000 Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel to the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to strengthen the border security and intelligence apparatus, especially along China and Nepal.
In an October 12 order, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said a total of 2,104 posts of the civilian component of the force, often dubbed as the ‘dying’ cadre, will be transferred to the IB “immediately”. Some of these posts are not occupied at present. A small component of 94 posts, spread across five cadres, will be retained by the SSB.
The ministry has now ordered that out of the total 24 cadres of these personnel in the SSB, 19 will be sent to the IB.“These cadres will get integrated with relevant and comparable cadres of IB. They will be governed by service conditions of IB after transfer from SSB,” stated the order.
A blueprint prepared in this context said that this cadre, which is trained, experienced and well-acquainted with the border areas, could be effectively used to upgrade the country’s intelligence generation and gathering capability along the 15,000 km of its border. The personnel could undertake tasks aimed at generating nationalist sentiments among the population settled along the border.
Sources in the ministry said the future tasking of these personnel would be charted over the next few months and both the central agencies will “mutually decide the detailed implementation modalities, including those related to the transfer of SSB’s assets to the IB”.
Doval behind move
The move was initiated by NSA Ajit Doval, who in June 2016 wrote to then home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi underlining the need to effectively utilise this manpower for enhancing border security though better intelligence gathering.