Tripura State Rifles to get three more battalions

Agartala, Dec 17 (IANS) The union home ministry has sanctioned three more battalions of the Tripura State Rifles (TSR), which earned kudos for policing during the 2010 Commonwealth Games and elections in many states, officials said here Tuesday.

"Responding to the state government's demand, the union home ministry has sanctioned raising of three more TSR battalions. All three battalions would be India Reserve battalions," state chief secretary Sanjay Kumar Panda told reporters.

With this approval, the total number of TSR battalions goes up to 15, including 12 India Reserve battalions.

The India Reserve battalions can be deployed anywhere in the country by the home ministry.

"Besides providing security during the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2010, the India Reserve battalions of the TSR were earlier sent to Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Mizoram to provide security during assembly elections," a police official told IANS.

The counter-insurgency trained elite TSR battalion was constituted in March 1984 to deal with terrorism in Tripura. Seventy-five percent of its troopers are from Tripura while the remaining are from across the country.

At present, there are 12 TSR battalions, including nine India Reserve battalions, in Tripura.

"The TSR has been modelled on the pattern of Border Security Force and Assam Rifles. It has played an important role in curbing four-and-a-half decades old terrorism in Tripura," the official added.

With the success of the TSR in curbing terrorism in Tripura, the state police last year received the "President's Colours", the fourth police force in India to received the honour after Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Tamil Nadu.

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