The Assam Rifles raised as Cachar Levy in 1835 is the oldest Central Para Military Force in India.
The Assam Rifles raised as Cachar Levy in 1835 is the oldest Central Para Military Force in India. The Force was raised mainly to guard the alluvial plains of Assam from the wild and unruly tribes inhabiting the surrounding hill tracts. This was the earliest embodied unit of what eventually developed into the Assam Rifles. Gradually more such units were raised and employed for establishing posts in the interior and thus acted as the strong arm of the civil administration in extending their authority into these remote inaccessible areas. They also helped in opening up these remote areas and all development activities earning many accolades from the administration. The Assam Rifles contribution towards assimilation of the people of the North-East into the national mainstream is truly monumental. Their long association with the region reflects in the force being fondly called “The Sentinels of the North-East” and “Friends of the Hill People”. As on today, the Force has 46 battalions and has a dual role of maintaining internal security in the North-Eastern region and guarding the Indo-Myanmar Border. Variously designated and reorganised from time to time, as the Assam Frontier Police (1883), the Assam Military Police (1891) and Eastern Bengal and Assam Military Police (1913), it came to be known by its present name of the Assam Rifles, in 1917 in recognition of its contribution to the war effort during World War I. During its long history, the Assam Rifles has earned many laurels both in aid to the civil administration as also fighting alongside the Army. The Force has been officered by Army Officers since 1884 and is today, on a per capita basis perhaps the highest decorated security force in the country.