Centre asks BSF to set up intelligence sharing grid
Amid reports of an increase in infiltration bids, the Centre on Tuesday directed the BSF to set up a real time intelligence sharing grid and seal all vulnerable points along the Indo-Pak border.
The directive was given by Home Minister Rajnath Singh at a meeting attended by top officials of the Home Ministry and the Border Security Force, which guards Indo-Pak and Indo- Bangladesh borders.
The meeting reviewed the overall functioning of the BSF, besides gaps and lapses in border guarding and how to plug them as the Home Minister expressed concern over infiltration from across the International Border and Line of Control.
The BSF has been told to set up a real time intelligence sharing grid along with the state police forces to act promptly on the intelligence gathered by the border guarding force to effectively check infiltration along the international border, official sources said. The Home Minister is believed to have conveyed to the BSF that despite difficulties they have to perform and must ensure that there is “zero infiltration”, the sources said.
A high-powered committee, headed by former Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta, has flagged gaps in fencing and vulnerability along the Indo-Pak border and suggested that technology should be used and vigil strengthened on riverine frontiers.
Besides using water sensors in the riverine areas, the Committee also suggested installing electronic sensors and putting up fences on the Indo-Pak border, the sources said.
It also suggested installing underground sensors in infiltration-prone areas and foliage penetrating radars in forests and areas with heavy vegetation.
Of the 3,323 km-long Indo-Pak border, 1,225 km falls in Jammu and Kashmir (including the LoC), 553 km in Punjab, 1,037 km in Rajasthan and 508 km in Gujarat.
The Committee was set up three months after the Pathankot attack to suggest ways to strengthen security along the border with Pakistan and address the vulnerability in fencing. Referring to the Indo-Bangladesh border, the Home Minister asked the BSF to ensure that smuggling of cattle and narcotics is stopped and advised better coordination with state police forces. India shares a 4096 km-long border with Bangladesh.
At the meeting, the Home Minister approved the long-pending demand of the paramilitary force to issue “Battle Casualty” certificate to those who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.