17 new IRB battalions for J&K, LWE-hit states

New Delhi: Government today cleared the creation of over a dozen special police battalions which will provide jobs to about 17,000 youth in Jammu and Kashmir and Naxal-violence-hit Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Jharkhand.

The decision to create 17 new Indian Reserve Battalions (IRBs) was cleared at a meeting of the Union Cabinet held here under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

While a maximum of 5 IRBs will be raised in Jammu and Kashmir, four will be formed in Left Wing Extremism-hit states of Chhattisgarh, three each in Jharkhand and Odisha and two in Maharashtra.

In an attempt to create employment and provide jobs to the local youth, a cabinet statement said, in Jammu and Kashmir sixty per cent of vacancies in the new IRBs will be filled from border districts of the state for recruitment in the ranks of constables and class IV employees in their establishment.

In the LWE affected states, 75 per cent of vacancies of constables in the new IRBs will be filled from 27 core districts identified under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme which categories the worst Naxal violence- affected regions in the country as flagged by the Union Home Ministry.

The IRBs were first created in 1971 by the central government and till now 144 such units have been raised out of a total sanctioned 153.

An IRB is a special auxillary unit of trained police personnel created to assist and aid regular police units in rendering special tasks of law and order upkeep or to undertake anti-Naxal or counter-insurgency operations like central paramilitary forces.

An IRB has an estimated operational strength of 1,000 personnel.

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