© Ministry of Home Affairs, Annual Report 2002 - 2003
The Special Security Bureau (SSB) was set up in the early 1963 in the wake of Indo China conflict of 1962 to build people's morale and inculcate a spirit of resistance in the border population against threats of subversion, infiltration and sabotage from across the border. However, the charter of duty of SSB has since been amended and it has been given the border guarding responsibilities along the Indo-Nepal Border. The SSB now functions in five border states covering a stretch of 1,751 km of International Border in 20 districts along Indo-Nepal Border. The SSB has two Frontier HQs at Patna and Lucknow, six Sector HQs at Ranikhet, Bahraich, Gorakhpur, Muzaffarpur, Purnia and Ranidanga. Out of 24 SSB areas to be relocated along Indo-Nepal border, 16 have already been relocated and started functioning. Orders for the relocation of eight more areas have been issued.
Since its deployment on Indo-Nepal border, contrabands worth Rs. 3.5 crore, narcotics worth Rs. 56.72 lakh, Indian fake currency amounting to Rs. 65,000, some illegal Indian currency and small arms and live cartridges have been seized. 18 suspected Nepali militants, 103 smugglers and 16 anti-national elements were apprehended. Besides, 37 couriers of smugglers, four fake currency racketeers, five suspected Pak ISI agents and 81 militants active in bordering districts of Darchula and Baitadi of Nepal (opposite Pithoragarh district, Uttranchal) and 28 madarssas suspected to be indulging in subversive activities were identified. The organization is gearing up in its new role of a Border Guarding Force. A comprehensive modernization plan for induction of sophisticated weaponry and equipment costing to Rs.189.16 crore is being drawn up for the force.
Delhi to beef up Special Services Bureau [The Telegraph, 19 Dec 2003]
The Special Services Bureau (SSB), which has been assigned the task of policing the volatile Indo-Bhutan border, is likely to get a few more battalions. The proposal is part of Delhi's strategy to improve management of the country's borders. A source in the Union home ministry said as many as 12 new battalions could be added to the SSB. "This expansion is required for various reasons. Firstly, the SSB has the unenviable task of guarding both the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders. Both the borders are sensitive and frequented by militants and smugglers," the source said. The SSB's role in guarding the 370-km Indo-Bhutan border assumes more importance in view of the ongoing operation by the Bhutan Royal Army to flush out militants of the Northeast from the Himalayan kingdom. Though it is almost certain that all the camps will be dismantled, it will be a challenging task to prevent further attempts by the militants to sneak into the jungles and re-establish their bases.
The present strength of the SSB is about 30,000, which makes it the third largest paramilitary organisation in the country. Once its expansion is completed, the manpower will increase to over 40,000. An official said the proposed addition of new battalions was part of the overall modifications being planned to tackle militancy in the region. The Union Home Ministry is planning to assign the task of combating militants to the Assam Rifles and the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force), while the BSF (Border Security Force) and the SSB will be asked to focus on the frontiers. Created under the Cabinet Secretariat in 1963 and brought under the Union home ministry only two years ago, the SSB is supposed to have expertise in gathering intelligence, which distinguishes it from other paramilitary units.
It was initially deployed in the areas near the Indo-China border, where it trained the local populace in handling arms and ammunition. Union Minister of State for Home in Charge of the Northeast, Swami Chinmayanand, said the process of recruitment to the proposed new battalions of the SSB would begin shortly. "The decks have been cleared and the process will be initiated soon," he said. The minister indicated that once the operation by the Royal Bhutan Army was over, Delhi would do an "evaluation" of the security requirements along the border. "It is necessary to ascertain the kind of infrastructure that will be required to check illegal activities. This includes an estimate of the number of outposts that need to be set up and identification of the strategic points where these should be located," he said.