57 Moutain Division to be replaced soon

Imphal, September 14 : A division of Army of 3 Corps is expected to be stationed at Leimakhong in Manipur to take care of the India-Myanmar and India-Bangladesh borders.

The Ministry of Defence, Government of India is learnt to have taken decision in this regard.

Reliable sources said, following this decision, the Army authorities have started taking steps to raise two more divisions under the Eastern Command, located in Kolkata.Troops of 57 Mountain Division stationed at Leimakhong are likely to be shifted to Southern Assam.

During the interchanging period of the Army troops, Assam Rifles (Central Paramilitary Force) will handle, besides guarding the Indo-Myanmar border, additional responsibility of counter insurgency operations which the Army was engaged in, the sources said.It may be noted here that sources in the Army have always maintained that the Army is taking a major role in the counter insurgency operations in Manipur, while sources in the AR have always contended that the AR are the force which are playing a significant role in countering the insurgent activities.

At the same time, two new divisions are proposed to be raised and they would be under the respective controls of the 3 Corps and 4 Corps.

One which would be stationed in Arunachal to take care of the China-India-Myanmar axis has been raised while the other which would be stationed at Leimakhong, Manipur to cover the Bangladesh-India-Myanmar axis is yet to be raised.

Although the two divisions together make up a Corps' strength, they would be separated and placed under the respective controls of the 3 Corps and 4 Corps, sources said.

The division at Leimakhong will be under the 3 Corps, based at Rangapahar near Dimapur in Nagaland.

The one in Arunachal will be under the 4 Corps, based in Upper (eastern)Assam.

Source further said that the new division at Leimakhong which would replace the existing 57 Mountain Division will be under the 3 Corps, based at Rangapahar near Dimapur in Nagaland.

The one in Arunachal will be under the 4 Corps, based in Upper (eastern) Assam.

During the process of raising of the two new division, army troops will be busy in moving in and out which would not be able to handled the counter insurgency operation which mainly handled by the army in Manipur.

Additional responsibilities will be given to the paramilitary force - Assam Rifles in Manipur, source said adding that in Manipur, counter insurgency operation has been handled mainly by the army.

A highly reliable sources here said that move of troops of 57 Mountain Division from Manipur is as part of pulling out of army units from across the country for raising two more divisions to make up make up a Corps' strength.

The necessity to strengthen the army corps in the north eastern region arises since the army sounded red alert.

The army has sounded an operational alert on the India-China Line of Actual Control (LAC) after reports of a Chinese military exercise involving 50,000 troops in Tibet, where Beijing has increased its activities.

The 57 Mountain Division headquarters are at Masimpur near Silchar.

The formation and units of 57 Mountain Division are deployed in some of the remotest corner of Manipur and Indo-Burmese border.

As of 2004, between 57 Mountain Division, Imphal Sector of Assam Rifles, and Local Commanders of CRPF & BSF, about 16,000 � 17,000 troops deployed in Manipur, of which 5,000 troops were on patrol at any point of time.

Both Army & Assam Rifles wanted clear-cut directions for an end result.

This above the 73 Mountain Brigade is deployed in Bishnupur district.

The Bishnupur Brigade under the aegis of Red Shield Division has established itself firmly in the district.

The steps of moving Army troops is amidst the process of shifting of BSF from the state for deployment in the state affected naxal violence states across the country.

Authorities so far replaced BSF posted at Wangjing and Nongpok Sekmai in Thoubal district, at Ethai, Wangoo, Moirang INA Complex and Kwakta in Bishnupur district was withdrawn and sent to the naxal hit states.

After the withdrawal of the BSF personnel, IRB replaced the Wangjing, Moirang INA Complex, Kwakta posts while CRPF replaced Ethai and Wangoo posts.

The BSF post at Nongpok Sekmai has been destroyed by insurgents before IRB take post.