The Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR) are the State Armed Police Force for West Bengal in the West Bengal Police jurisdiction (i.e. as opposed to the Kolkata jurisdiction). They are part of the West Bengal Police.
Border Guards Bangladesh are descended from the portion of the Eastern Frontier Rifles given to Pakistan on partition in 1947.
The Eastern Frontier Rifles were founded as the Frontier Protection Force by the East India Company at some point in the second half of the eighteenth century, and have had their current title since 1920. The Eastern Frontier Rifles fought in the Second World War, and, as the Bengal Military Police, in the First World War.
In 1947, when India and Pakistan became independent, the force was split between the Indian state of West Bengal, and Pakistan. The Pakistani part became the East Pakistan Rifles, which became the Bangladesh Rifles when Bangladesh became independent, and Border Guards Bangladesh in 2010. The West Bengal part retained its title of Eastern Frontier Rifles.
- 18th century: Founded as Frontier Protection Force.
- 1795: Renamed Ramgarh Local Battalion
- 1861: Renamed Frontier Guards
- 1891: Renamed Bengal Military Police, modernised, & given up-to-date weaponry (NB: An unrelated unit, the 45th Sikhs, had previously used this same title)
- 1920: Reorganised and renamed Eastern Frontier Rifles
- 1947: Split between West Bengal and Pakistan. The West Bengal portion retained the unit title
Many contingents of EFR are kept deployed in various disturbed areas of the state. However, in recent years the force has used for day-to-day law & order duties. The headquarter of EFR at Salua, near Kharagpur.
Like the armed police forces of many states, the EFR are currently challenged with the naxalite insurgency. In February 2010 an EFR camp called Silda was attacked and burnt down by maoist rebels, resulting in 24 riflemen killed out of a detachment of about fifty. This resulted in condemnation of the state government by the EFR Special Inspector General, Benoy Chakraborty, who claimed his force was "mis-used" and "ill-treated". Morale in the force is believed to be low.
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