Millennium Post

Border-fencing Centre’s job, forgets BJP govt

On October 2, 2014, an explosion took place in a house at Khagragarh in Burdwan district in Bengal where two Bangladeshi JMB terrorists were killed. Soon after the incident, BJP has left no stone unturned in criticising the state government for failing to deal with infiltration.

But the ground reality portrays a sorry state for the BSF and other paramilitary forces in dealing with infiltration issues due to lack of adequate manpower, difficult terrain, infrastructure, funds and unfriendly neighbours.

Though the new government claimed that instances of infiltration have reduced compared to last year but unfenced bordering areas continue to remain a concern for the nation’s security.

To start with West Bengal, as criticised by the BJP in preventing infiltration, reports of MHA revealed (copies of which are in possession of Millennium Post) that in the second phase of out of 964 km
(Bengal-Bangladesh border), only 722 km has been fenced and rest 242 km still remain unfenced.

BSF claims that they cannot divulge the exact reason behind unfenced borders citing ‘confidential matters’.

Situation in other states including Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, which also shares the border with Bangladesh is similar after it was found that out of sanctioned fencing of 1538.22 km, nearly 327.22 km stretch still lies unfenced, which is enough for battalions of smugglers and anti-national elements to enter Indian territories.

MHA claimed that the works have spilled over as balance stretches fall under difficult terrain but experts feel that MHA cannot sit on the excuse over “difficult terrain” especially when it comes to deal with India’s most troubled neighbour — Pakistan.

At Indo-Myanmar border, India shares an unfenced border of 1643 km adjoining the North-Eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Nagaland (215 km), Manipur (398 km) and Mizoram (510 km). Worryingly, the Centre has so far managed to fence only 4 km in Manipur at three border posts, out of 398 km.

The Indian side of the Indo-Bangladesh border passes through West Bengal (2216.7 km), Assam (263 km), Meghalaya (443 km), Tripura (856 km) and Mizoram (318 km).

On the context of poor floodlighting, which is another reason behind infiltration during nights, it was learnt that the government has sanctioned 2840.90 km to be flood-lit along the Indo-Bangladesh border but nearly 1260 km still await such lighting. Similarly, along the Indo-Pakistan border out of sanctioned 2009.52 km of floodlighting, more than 60 km stretch has not been covered with proper lights.

At a time when the BSF is boasting of latest technologies to seal the borders, including installation of anti intruder devices and laser technology, such disturbing figures of unfenced borders continue to remain a major security concern even today before the agencies in containing infiltration.

Political leaders feel that the Centre instead of passing the buck on the state governments should be more active in executing the remaining fencing work at the earliest with adequate manpower, in the wake of terror threats, which was admitted by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in a police meet in Guwahati on Saturday.

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