What makes the Rashtriya Rifles so deadly?

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Let’s go back a few decades in time to a place what is commonly called the “Paradise on Earth” or better say it one of the most bloody places on earth to live and fight. Aided by locals and with an equal Pakistani backing, militancy was gathering up in Kashmir. And militants were not just from Kashmir but from places like Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan and Chechnya due to lack of any modern surveillance at the LoC.

Now to combat such a situation, Indian Army was called for but you cannot expect Army to protect the sovereignty of the nation at the border and also perform in CI/CT Ops which clearly degrades the status. Indian Army also knew what would be the result of its involvement in Kashmir issue after recalling its experience in other parts of India where such issues arised like in Nagaland and Punjab.

In Nagaland, Army used one tactic : Dominate every village and you can flush out insurgency. The affected areas were divided into grids which would come into responsibility of Quick Reaction Teams supported by heavy fire support and required logistics in a similar way Army has.

The grid system was always not successful as the terrain was sometimes too different. This problem was encountered in Kashmir which was densely populated and hence you cannot bring in heavy fire support like Attack Helicopters and Artillery as the risk of a collateral damage increases manifold.

Soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir. (Photo: IANS)

This created the idea for a CI/CT Force in form of Rashtriya Rifles who have to conduct ops without any need of fire support. Men in RR were on deputation from Army from all branches. Army faced trouble in deploying them initially as it reduced the active manpower within IA itself. Also there were issues in giving the best of gear to RR like BPJs, Radio Sets, Helmets and more but at end it was worth the trouble.

Rashtriya Rifles over the years have proved to be extremely effective in combating insurgency and terrorism in Kashmir. Besides this they also have an effective intelligence grid and terrain knowledge in Kashmir which helps them to coordinate other units like Para SF and MARCOS during operations. In fact it is RR who should be given the credits for stabilising the Kashmir issue to some extent. Comprising of over 65 Battalions and operational over 12 Sectors they are probably the worst nightmare for terrorists and militants in Kashmir as RR has a direct effect on militants’s psyche who avoid direct contact with them and RR has maintained that constant pressure over time.

RR comprises of extremely motivational soldiers, officers with exceptional leadership qualities which has been proven time and again. You will find it interesting to note that almost 21,000 militants were killed in Kashmir with 3000 captured and 4500 being forcefully surrendered which speaks volumes about the capabilities of RR.

Relationships with locals, civil administration and police units has helped RR a lot in combat sphere with various civic works and medical works done by them for benefit of locals. These familiarity helps them to gain precious intel about militants activity and helps them operate better often taking the risk on their own mantle.

In many nations where terrorism and insurgency is fought with full use of heavy weapons like Gunships, Artillery and more, RR troopers prefer to use the same weapon as the terrorists use : the good-old AK-47. And this is just enough for them to scare the shit out of terrorists and insurgents like BAT forces and more.

This article is written by Harsh B. Mishra on Quora.