BSF steps up vigil along West Bengal’s porous border

December 1st, 2008 - 6:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Dec 1 (IANS) In the wake of the brazen terror attacks in Mumbai last week, the Border Security Force (BSF) has intensified vigil along the West Bengal border with Bangladesh, focussing especially on the porous riverine channels. “We have a presence on the Indo-Bangladesh border in West Bengal up to Samshernagar point, and after the terror attack in Mumbai we have beefed up our vigilance and random checking along the area,” BSF Deputy Inspector General (South Bengal Frontier) Bikash Chandra told IANS Monday.

He said the BSF was also regularly holding high-level talks with other security agencies, such as the Coast Guard, to revamp the security mechanism along the border, especially the riverine channels.

India shares a 4,095 km-long border with Bangladesh, including the longest stretch of 2,216 km in West Bengal, part of which is porous, riverine and unfenced and prone to frequent infiltration and skirmishes.

In the south Bengal frontier area alone, the total border extends 1,146 km, of which 367 km is completely riverine.

“We nabbed 23 people today (Monday) from the Indo-Bangladesh border near Bongaon in West Bengal. These people were crossing to the other side when the BSF caught them and later handed them over to the state police,” Bikash Chandra said.

Among those arrested, 11 were young men between 18-26 years, and the other included six women, five children and an old man, he said, adding the local police was investigating further.

Local sources in Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove reserve formed at the confluence of the rivers Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna, claimed they often saw Bangladeshi fishing trawlers enter Indian waters.

“Now, what we need is the local operation to keep a close watch on the border. Without a joint effort, it’s difficult for any security agency to carry out regular operations in such a vast border area. We want local population to come forward and help us in our initiatives,” Chandra said.

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