GUWAHATI, March 11 � With the improvement of relation between India and Bangladesh, coordinated patrolling by personnel of the Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) along the vulnerable stretches of the international border has started to check infiltration of foreigners and trans-border movement of criminals.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, BSF sources said that the border guarding forces of both the countries jointly identified the vulnerable patches of the international border to launch coordinated patrolling. Initially, the coordinated patrolling was carried out only during the day time, but recently, such patrolling is also carried out at night.
Sources revealed that the personnel of both the border guarding forces come to the vulnerable locations at time fixed earlier to carry out patrolling in their respective areas. Sources said that such coordinated patrolling would not only improve border management but also send a strong signal to the criminals and anti-national elements as they would realise that there is strong coordination between the BSF and BGB. The BSF and BGB have also been sharing inputs on movement of criminals on a regular basis, which also improved border management considerably.
However, sources pointed out that identification of the vulnerable areas along the international border would have to be a continuous process as the criminals keep changing their modus operandi and the forces would also be on alert to thwart the criminals� moves. But movement of militants through the international border has also come down as the present regime is acting tough against all the militant groups.
BSF sources said that in recent times, the border guarding force has started reaching out to the people living along the international border areas and even senior officers of the force are holding regular interactions with the village headmen to know their problems. Under the civic action programme, infrastructure of a number of schools in the border area has been improved and the villagers have also been provided with power tillers, water pumps, etc. The BSF is organising medical camps in the remote villages along the international border and a number of youths were provided vocational training.
Such civic action programmes started paying rich dividends as the people of the remote villages have started coming forward to provide information of movements of suspicious people and they are in fact acting as force multipliers for the border guarding force.
Sources said that fence breaching by criminals has become a matter of serious concern and the matter was also taken up with the BGB officials.
BSF sources claimed that though cattle smuggling remains a problem in Dhubri sector, the overall situation has improved considerably and the items smuggled out of the country at present include psychotropic substances, while the items smuggled into India include fake Indian currency notes.
Sources said that the slow progress of construction of fencing along the international border in Meghalaya remains a matter of concern and till now around 50 per cent of the border in the State has not been fenced. Moreover, the Governments of Assam and Meghalaya are yet to strengthen the second line of defence of police personnel despite repeated requests by the BSF.