A member of the rescue operation team of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) or Armed Border Force walks towards the officers training centre damaged by floods at their campus in Srinagar in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand June 19, 2013.
A member of the rescue operation team of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). [Representational image]Reuters

The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) celebrated its 52nd Raising Day in New Delhi on Thursday with Home Minister Rajnath Singh congratulating it for having seized Rs 215 crore along the border and nabbing 3,523 people indulging in illegal activities over a period of time.

Speaking on the occasion, he also said all Indian borders are important, but the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders come with added responsibility as they are open and there are no restrictions on the movement of people.

A Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) statement also quoted him as saying that the SSB "has has the onerous task of taking the friendly relations with Nepal and Bhutan to new heights".

The SSB, founded in 1963 as the Special Service Bureau following the Sino-Indian War of 1962, was initially tasked with providing armed support to the Intelligence Bureau and subsequently the Research and Analysis Wing — itself founded in 1968 after the setbacks India suffered in the 1962 Sino-Indian War and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. It's deployment is primarily along India's borders with Nepal and Bhutan.

Since then, the SSB has had its role expanded to various aspects of attack, defence, research and rescue. It was this aspect of the force, which unlike a lot of forces is not under the Defence Ministry, that Rajnath was highlighting when it said the SSB "has come to the rescue whenever called for whether it was an internal security situation or in Jammu & Kashmir or Left-wing-extremism-affected areas or the law and order situation in other states".

According to the official statement, the home minister also applauded the SSB's efforts in providing relief during the Nepal earthquake in May this year.

"The SSB has also taken up many people-friendly programmes, and government initiatives like the 'Jan Dhan Yojana' and 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan' are being given a great push by the SSB," he added.