Guwahati: On its 186th raising day, Know more about Assam Rifles : Today marks the 186th Raising Day of Assam Rifles, the oldest paramilitary force of India, dating back to 1835 under the British Raj.
On March 24, every year, India celebrates and honors the Assam Rifles, who have served a number of roles in India’s conflicts including both the World Wars.
The force is under the control of the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs and there are currently 46 battalions of Assam rifles with a sanctioned strength of 63,747 personnel.
The present-day Assam Rifles can trace its origins to a paramilitary force known as Cachar Levy which was established by the British in 1835 in the Assam region.
With approximately seven hundred and fifty men, this force was formed as a police unit to protect settlements against tribal raids and other assaults as British rule slowly moved towards the northeast parts of India.
During World War I, men from what was then known as the Assam Military Police were part of Indian forces that fought in Europe and the Middle East. After the war, the force returned to northern India where they were used to maintain security amidst growing civil unrest and disorder.
Again during World War II, the role of the Assam Police evolved once more as they were called upon to undertake even more varied tasks due to their status as both a police and military organization. After the lightning-Japanese advance in 1942, the Assam Rifles fought a number of Independent actions behind enemy lines as the task of rear-area defense and rear-guard often fell to them during the Allies’ retreat into India.
From a force of five battalions in 1947, the Assam Rifles has grown substantially over the years. In 1960 there were seventeen battalions, in 1968 there were twenty-one and today there are forty-six battalions.
In addition, the force has several area HQs, a training center that processes up to 1,800 recruits at a time, and a number of logistics units.
The members of the Assam Rifles have received many prestigious awards overtimes. The force bagged the Ashoka Chakra four times and Vir Chakra five times.
(All pictures used here are taken from Twitter account of Assam Rifles)