Senior IPS officer R K Pachnanda took charge as the chief of the Indo-China border guarding force ITBP today. Pachnanda, a 1983-batch police officer of the West Bengal cadre, was handed over the baton of the about 90,000-personnel strong, mountain warfare-trained force by outgoing Director General Krishna Chaudhary. The Indian Police Service (IPS) officer will head the paramilitary force, raised in 1962, for over a year till he retires in October next year. Pachnanda comes to the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) with the rare distinction of serving in all the major central paramilitary forces and organisations including the CRPF, the CISF, the BSF, the Special Protection Group (SPG), the CBI and the NDRF.
Prior to his appointment as the ITBP chief, he was serving as the DG of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). He will also hold the charge of the NDRF DG as the government has not appointed his successor till now. Son of an army officer, Pachnanda has also served in various capacities in his cadre state of West Bengal. He takes charge of the ITBP in the backdrop of a face-off between Indian and Chinese troops over a disputed area along the Sino-Indian border in Sikkim. The paramilitary force, however, is not present in this area as the Army is deployed there. Soon after Pachnanda took over charge at the force headquarters here, senior ITBP officials briefed him about the status of its current deployment along the border and other theatres.
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The ITBP is also witnessing a major enhancement and development of its border posts and frontier roads along the Sino-Indian border, a number of which are in the Himalayan ranges. The force, raised in the aftermath of the 1962 Chinese aggression, works under the command of the Union home ministry. Earlier, the outgoing DG was accorded a farewell parade at the force’s camp in Greater Noida near here. Apart from its primary task of guarding the 3,488-km border, where ITBP troops are deployed at freezing heights of up to 18,700 feet, the paramilitary is tasked with rendering a variety of duties in the internal security domain including undertaking anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh.