New Delhi: Faced with an incursion by Chinese troops in Ladakh, the Army has reopened the issues of bringing the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) under its operational control along the China border with the matter to be taken up by a parliamentary committee in the coming days.

Army has once again raised the issue of bringing central armed police force ITBP and road construction organisation BRO under its direct operational control along the Line of Actual Control with a parliamentary panel, sources said here. ITBP is presently under the Home ministry.

Army has raised the issue with the Standing Committee on Defence at a time when Chinese troops have en ered well inside Indian territory in the Chumar area and have refused to leave more than 10 days after moving into the area, they said.

There is a view that bringing ITBP and BRO under a one umbrella can reduce duplication of command and the issue is expected to be discussed by the committee, the sources added.

The issue has to be examined by other agencies, including Home Ministry, and cannot be decided in haste merely on the basis of demands made by the Army, they said.

Army has been demanding for the ITBP to be placed under its operational control for better coordination of border management along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.

Home Ministry has been against the proposal as it feels that ITBP does a good job of guarding the border in peacetime. The force automatically comes under the operational command of the Army during times of war.

ITBP has around 17 of its battalions deployed along the LAC with China stretching from Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh in the northeast.

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Free Press Journal