MHA, MoD leave it to CCS to take final call on dual control over Assam Rifles
New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs has conveyed to the Delhi High Court that it, along with the Ministry of Defence, will abide by any decision of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on the dual control over the Assam Rifles.
In an affidavit filed to the Delhi High Court, the MHA has conveyed that the Union Home Secretary had held a meeting with the Defence Secretary on April 4 to discuss the issue.
Assam Riffles, the 184-year-old paramilitary force of the country, is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) while the operational control lies with the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The meeting discussed about a note moved by the MHA for the CCS on March 20 for resolving the issue of dual control over Assam Rifles.
The CCS is chaired by the Prime Minister and comprises the Minister of External Affairs, the Home minister, the Finance minister and the Defence minister.
It was decided by both MHA and MoD that they will abide by the decision of the CCS, the MHA told the high court in its affidavit.
The court is now learnt to have issued a notice to the Cabinet Secretary to inform it as to what decision the CCS had taken on the note forwarded to it by the MHA, an official said.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the Assam Rifles Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association through lawyer Neha Rathi on the difficulties faced by the retired personnel of the force with regard to the payment of pension due to the dual control of the force.
The Assam Rifles came into being in 1835 as a militia called the 'Cachar Levy'. With approximately 750 men, this force was formed to primarily protect British tea estates and their settlements against tribal raids.
Subsequently, all these forces were reorganised and renamed as the 'Frontier Force' as their role was increased to conduct of punitive expeditions across the borders of undivided Assam.
This force significantly contributed in opening the region to administration and commerce and over time it came to be known as the "right arm of the civil and left arm of the military".