GANGTOK, 22 April: To commemorate it’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations [1962-2012], the Indo- Tibetan Border Police [ITBP] is conducting a special Relay Long Range Patrol [LRP] code name ‘Himveer- 50’ covering the AOR of force from Kibithu [Arunachal Pradesh] upto Daulat Beg Oldi [Ladakh] in North Western Frontier. It was flagged off on 14 February, 2012 from Kibithu [Arunachal Pradesh].
The 13th Battalion of the ITBP posted in Sikkim continued the Sikkim leg of the Relay [LRP] which was flagged off from Salugara, Siliguri in West Bengal on 18 April and on 20 April the LRP party reached Nathula. On the occasion the 13th Bn ITBP had organised a Civic Action Medical Camp and a Hepatitis B vaccination camp at Yakla village. On 20 April, the relay LRP before departing for Nathula stopped at Serathang ITBP Camp where a function was held. The ceremony was attended by Brigadier Ravi Jhaldiyal [Commander, 63 Mountain Brigade] as the chief guest, while also present were Colonel Rajneesh Singh [Commandant, 12 Grenadiers] as the guest of honour, other army officers and ITBP personnel.
Speaking on the occasion, Commander, 63 Mountain Brigade stated that he had a long association with ITBP during his postings at Ladakh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim and has seen them operating at close hands. We can sleep peacefully because the ITBP Himveers are guarding the Northern Frontier and the Nathula border, he added.
The ITBP has been performing its duties effectively, safeguarding the India-China border starting from Karakoram Pass in Jammu and Kashmir to Jelep La in Arunachal Pradesh, which covers almost 3,488 kilometers, he said and added that members of this force are deservedly known as Himveers because it is manning border outposts ranging from 9,000 feet to 18,600 feet.
The challenges facing our nation are many, it lays extra responsibilities on the shoulders of men and women in uniform to show the way through discipline and dedication, he stated.
Shendil Kumar [Commandant, 13th Bn ITBP], addressing the gathering stated that ITBP is essentially a border guarding force and Serathang being a Trade-Mart for Indo-China border trade, the ITBP was manning this region. Many changes have taken place since inception in 1962 till now but conditions today are still difficult in many places, he added.
The force has good reputation within the country in fighting the insurgents, naxals and Maoists, providing security to the VIPs and VVIPs, he informed and added that ITBP also provided security to the Embassy of India and Consulates in Afganistan and in Various UN Missions in trouble torn regions of the world. ITBP is also the first responder for Disaster Management [02 battalions] in the Himalayan region and trains troops for National Disaster Reserve Force [NDRF].
He further informed about the other works of ITBP such as relief and rescue operations during the 18 September earthquake in North Sikkim, adopting of villages, carrying out medical and vet camps, helping in education of children, providing computers and construction of playground through their Civic Action Programme [CAP] and Border Area Development Programme [BADP].
The Relay [LRP] will be handed over to the 11th Bn of ITBP at Rang Rang in North Sikkim to be taken to the border areas and passes in its area of responsibility on 22 April. The LRP will end its North Eastern Frontier journey in Sikkim on 05 May and will finally be handed over to Bareilly Sector on 08 May at Bareilly.