More deployment, technology on eastern borders: BSFJune 8th, 2009 - 6:44 pm ICT by IANS
Shillong, June 8 (IANS) The government is now giving equal priority to the eastern frontiers of the country as the western borders by strengthening the Border Security Force (BSF) and providing force-multiplier technology along the 4,095-km-long border with Bangladesh, a BSF official said here Monday.
The ministry of home affairs has sanctioned Rs.80 billion to the BSF to raise additional battalions, to procure modern gadgets and other assets, mainly to be used in the vulnerable northeast, the official said.
“BSF Director General M.L. Kumawat asked the commanders and jawans to step up their vigil along the borders with Bangladesh as the eastern frontier of India is an easy corridor for terrorists, infiltrators and forces inimical to India,” the official said, citing the force chief’s address to commanding officers and personnel here Sunday.
The BSF chief was on a three-day visit to review the security scenario along the country’s frontiers in Assam and Meghalaya, as well as counter-insurgency operations by BSF personnel in Assam.
According to the BSF chief, the present Sheikh Hasina Wajed-led government in Bangladesh appeared to be more receptive to India’s concerns, unlike the previous governments. He said that the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) chief, during his visit to New Delhi two months back, had assured of action against Indian terror outfits taking shelter in that country. Dhaka has also assured New Delhi that it would not allow Indian separatists to use its territory to carry out anti-India activities.
Kumawat also said that there were indications of mounting pressures on the northeast India militant outfits in Bangladesh as the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and other terror groups are desperately trying to find safer places elsewhere.
The BSF chief is scheduled to visit Dhaka soon to pursue all pending bilateral issues with Bangladesh which shares a 4,095-km border with India along three northeastern states and West Bengal.
India has expedited efforts to complete construction of fencing along the frontier with Bangladesh by 2013, while 29 additional battalions of the BSF will be raised and 500 new Border Outposts (BoPs) set up, most of which will be located in India’s porous and sensitive northeastern region, especially on the Indo-Bangladesh border.
Currently, over 70 BSF battalions are deployed along the Indo-Bangladesh border as well as for counter-insurgency operations in the northeast.
The BSF chief also said that to maintain effective vigil along the frontier with Bangladesh in the northeast, distance between two BoPs would be reduced from the present 4.5 km to 2.8 km, considering the peculiar topography of the region.
With a strength of about 157 battalions, the BSF is considered as one of the world’s largest border guard forces.