Braving extreme conditions, jawans ensure security of post close to international maritime border

Narcondum: Strategic LoP in North Andaman
Report by: 
Port Blair
1 Jan 2017
Home to India’s one of the main endemic species, Narcondum Hornbill, located just 1.5 nautical miles from the international maritime border, Narcondum Island is a strategic post. It was in the 90’s when a group of Myanmareese invaded the island, claimed title, handcuffed all the security personnel; but managed to flee hours before the Indian Navy’s reinforcement arrived. Since then the security establishments of these islands, considered crucial for India’s “Look-East” policy, have ensured security of our land. Presently, armed police, radio operators, Indian Reserve Battalion (IRBn) guard the post round the clock braving tough conditions in the remotest territory of the archipelago. Agencies in the local government provide all the necessary logistics and necessary support; but a little extra care is what our men in uniform have been longing for over the years.
Detailed research by this publication revealed how our security forces battle extreme conditions to guarantee the Look-out Post close to our littoral neighbours. While the Andaman and Nicobar Police, IRBn have implemented strict guidelines for posting and relocation of staff, 30 days in the remote island is duty performed for the nation, which seldom gets recognition. The Indian Navy, Coast Guard sentry the marine border, but our jawans from the police, equipped with inflated boats, long range binoculars ensure no stone unturned to protect our pristine territory. What’s lacking is a little more attention from the government.
“Around 18 personnel from the Andaman and Nicobar Police, Radio Operators, IRBn personnel ensure 24x7 patrol of the island. Armed cops with binoculars walk the beat in rotation during the entire posting tenure. But for our 30 days of term, we’re provided with ration for 40 days. Narcondum Island is located close to sedimentary rocks and such being the situation; it becomes difficult for the vessels to anchor close to the island. We haul all our baggage, ration and other items from deep waters. In most of the occasions, our ration items get destroyed while negotiating tall waves and rough seas. Sometimes, deployment of personnel to replace gets delayed. But we’ve no complaints as it is our bounded duty to serve the country. We just expect a little more support from the government which will help us serve the remote security post,” said some personnel of the Andaman and Nicobar Police, who guarded the Narcondum Island, requesting anonymity.
 The Narcondam Hornbill, an endemic species listed in Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, frequents the proposed site at Narcondam Island, which is only about 7 square kilometres in area. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) also lists the Narcondam Hornbill as an endangered species. The mixed tropical forests in this island is the only place in the world where these colourful birds are found.