AGARTALA, Jan 18 (IANS) - To further strengthen vigil along the border with Bangladesh, India's border troopers are to use Dhruv light helicopters, mine protected vehicles (MPV) and other modern gadgets and devices, a top Border Security Force (BSF) officer said here Tuesday.
"Considering the vulnerability and other security perceptions, we have to strengthen the surveillance along the international border with Bangladesh," BSF's Tripura frontier Inspector General Ashok Kumar Jain told IANS.
According to the senior Indian Police Service officer, some MPVs have already been introduced in a number of BSF units along the border while the choppers would be pressed into service by next month.
"The light chopper would provide a lot of aid to the troopers for quick deployment during any emergency and to supply foodstuff to the BOPs (border outposts) situated at inaccessible locations, besides also to intercept movement of militants of separatist outfits," he stated.
Over 80 percent of the 856-km India-Bangladesh border in Tripura has already been fenced and work on the remaining portion is on. The ongoing construction of barbed wire fencing is expected to be completed by March 2012.
"Our close watch and guarding would be mainly along the unfenced, porous border," the BSF official stated.
India and Bangladesh share 2,979-km land border and 1,116 km of riverine boundary in the Indian states of West Bengal (2,216 km), Tripura (856 km), Meghalaya (443 km), Mizoram (318 km) and Assam (262 km).
Besides using night vision devices, the BSF is to introduce non-lethal weapons like batons, rubber bullets, water cannon and tear gas along the border by next month.
"The specially made rubberised bullets would also be used on intruders, smugglers or miscreants. There is no chance of death, but the injured person would suffer severe pain," he said.
According to the official, security forces are currently using non-lethal weapons only in Jammu and Kashmir to disperse violent mobs. Security personnel have also been using non-lethal weapons to deal with internal security troubles and crowds.
To ensure effective border management, the BSF authorities have also decided to establish more BOPs and deploy extra border guards along the border with Bangladesh.
"By setting up new BOPs to reduce the gap between two border stations from 4.5 km to 3.5 km and deployment of additional BSF troopers the vigil would be further tightened," Jain added.