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Centre compromising national sovereignty: AASU

By R Dutta Choudhury
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GUWAHATI, Dec 14 - The Government of India has been compromising with the sovereignty of the nation by adopting two sets of methods in guarding of the western and eastern borders of the country and immediate steps must be taken to ensure that the security along the international border with Bangladesh is augmented to match with the measures taken along the border with Pakistan. This was the demand made by the All Assam Students� Union (AASU).

Talking to The Assam Tribune, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya demanded that the fencing along the international border with Bangladesh should be completed on war footing and the Government should announce a specific date on which the work would be completed.

Referring to a report, which appeared in this newspaper on the differences of border guarding methods in eastern and western sector of the country, Bhattacharya said that Assam and other states of the North East region have been facing problems since Independence due to the perception of the Government of India. He said that the Centre is always very serious in guarding the international border with Pakistan, but the same kind of seriousness was never shown while it comes to guarding the border with Bangladesh. Even during the partition of the country, Assam could remain with India only because of the bold initiative of Mahatma Gandhi and Gopinath Bardoloi. But since then the perception of the Government of India has not changed and by not ensuring that the border is properly guarded, the Centre has compromised with the security of the country, he added.

Bhattacharya questioned why the border guarding personnel deployed along the border with Bangladesh are not allowed to use lethal weapons like the ones deployed along the India-Pakistan border. The Border Security Force (BSF) personnel deployed along the border with Pakistan always use lethal weapons to check any infiltration bid, while, those deployed along the Bangladesh border are allowed to use such weapons only on self defence. He also questioned why other major steps like improving the quality of the fencing, electrification of the fencing, etc., are not done along the Bangladesh border as are done in the western sector. He pointed out that only now the process of installation of flood lights started along the border with Bangladesh, while, the same was done much earlier in western sector. In this part, the flood lights are used only for a few hours, that too depending on generator sets unlike the western sector where dedicated power lines are made available.

The AASU chief adviser said that the Government of India admitted before the Supreme Court recently that in the last eight years, only 26 km of fencing was constructed in a year and faced strong criticism from the Court. If the Government cannot protect the border, battalions of local youths should be created and they should be given sophisticated weapons to protect the border, he added.

Bhattacharya pointed out that the Government considers Pakistan as a hostile neighbour and Bangladesh as a friendly country. But the perception needs to change as the North East is facing silent invasion from Bangladesh, which not only posed a threat to the identity of the indigenous people but also put the security of the country at risk as agents of the forces inimical to India managed to sneak into the country by taking advantage of the porous border, he asserted.

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Centre compromising national sovereignty: AASU

GUWAHATI, Dec 14 - The Government of India has been compromising with the sovereignty of the nation by adopting two sets of methods in guarding of the western and eastern borders of the country and immediate steps must be taken to ensure that the security along the international border with Bangladesh is augmented to match with the measures taken along the border with Pakistan. This was the demand made by the All Assam Students� Union (AASU).

Talking to The Assam Tribune, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya demanded that the fencing along the international border with Bangladesh should be completed on war footing and the Government should announce a specific date on which the work would be completed.

Referring to a report, which appeared in this newspaper on the differences of border guarding methods in eastern and western sector of the country, Bhattacharya said that Assam and other states of the North East region have been facing problems since Independence due to the perception of the Government of India. He said that the Centre is always very serious in guarding the international border with Pakistan, but the same kind of seriousness was never shown while it comes to guarding the border with Bangladesh. Even during the partition of the country, Assam could remain with India only because of the bold initiative of Mahatma Gandhi and Gopinath Bardoloi. But since then the perception of the Government of India has not changed and by not ensuring that the border is properly guarded, the Centre has compromised with the security of the country, he added.

Bhattacharya questioned why the border guarding personnel deployed along the border with Bangladesh are not allowed to use lethal weapons like the ones deployed along the India-Pakistan border. The Border Security Force (BSF) personnel deployed along the border with Pakistan always use lethal weapons to check any infiltration bid, while, those deployed along the Bangladesh border are allowed to use such weapons only on self defence. He also questioned why other major steps like improving the quality of the fencing, electrification of the fencing, etc., are not done along the Bangladesh border as are done in the western sector. He pointed out that only now the process of installation of flood lights started along the border with Bangladesh, while, the same was done much earlier in western sector. In this part, the flood lights are used only for a few hours, that too depending on generator sets unlike the western sector where dedicated power lines are made available.

The AASU chief adviser said that the Government of India admitted before the Supreme Court recently that in the last eight years, only 26 km of fencing was constructed in a year and faced strong criticism from the Court. If the Government cannot protect the border, battalions of local youths should be created and they should be given sophisticated weapons to protect the border, he added.

Bhattacharya pointed out that the Government considers Pakistan as a hostile neighbour and Bangladesh as a friendly country. But the perception needs to change as the North East is facing silent invasion from Bangladesh, which not only posed a threat to the identity of the indigenous people but also put the security of the country at risk as agents of the forces inimical to India managed to sneak into the country by taking advantage of the porous border, he asserted.