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Identification process of sensitive patches begins

By R Dutta Choudhury

SILCHAR, Oct 21 � With the improvement of relations between India and Bangladesh, the personnel of the Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) have started identifying the sensitive patches along the international border for coordinated patrolling to improve border management. However, border management has been affected due to the fact that people of both the countries in Cachar sector of the border are living right up to the zero line in some patches.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, the Inspector General of BSF, Cachar-Mizoram sector, ML Batham said that the vulnerable patches are being identified on the basis of the terrain, past records, etc and both the border guarding forces have also started exchanging the list of criminals on both sides on the basis of available intelligence inputs. He said that the modalities for the coordinated patrolling are also being worked out and once this starts, border management as a whole would see vast improvement.

The IG revealed that the Cachar-Mizoram sector of the international border is comparatively peaceful and no incident of firing along the international border has taken place in the area since 2006. He said that they are yet to get non-lethal weapons to be provided to the BSF in a phased manner in the entire Indo-Bangla border.

Giving details of the activities of the BSF in the area, Batham said that this frontier of the BSF is guarding 336 kilometres of international border including 290 kilometres of riverine border in Mizoram and 128 kilometres including 37 kilometres of riverine border in the Barak valley. He said that the terrain makes it difficult to keep a close watch along the international border, particularly in Mizoram, while, the riverine international border is always a cause of concern and BSF posts have been put up all along the banks to prevent any infiltration and the force also has water wing with speed boats. The use of night vision equipment has also improved border management to a great extent. The fencing, which is yet to be completed in the Barak valley, has also resulted in improvement of border management as a two-tier fencing is being laid and with the Government of Bangladesh agreeing to laying of the fencing within 150 yards from the international border, it would now be possible to fence the entire land border. The Government of India has sanctioned installation of flood lights along the fencing and the work of installing poles for the same has started and back up generator sets will also be provided to ensure that power cuts do not affect the performance of the flood lights.

Batham said that incidents of infiltration through this frontier have come down. But at the same time, he said that identification of the foreigners is a major problem if any Bangladeshi national manages to sneak in. He said that there is need for providing photo identity cards to the Indian nationals living in the border areas so that any foreigner can be detected immediately.

Replying to a question on the inter-border crimes, Batham said that no major movement of militants through this area has been noticed and cattle smuggling, which is a major problem in some parts of the international border, is not a major problem in this part. He said that efforts by anti-India elements to smuggle in fake Indian currency notes through the international border is a cause of concern and suggested that border guarding forces of both sides should join hands to check the menace. He said that some weapons, ganja, heroin etc are smuggled through the border in Mizoram, while, psychotropic substances are also smuggled. However, there have been good interceptions in the border with the improvement of the intelligence wing, he added.

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Identification process of sensitive patches begins

SILCHAR, Oct 21 � With the improvement of relations between India and Bangladesh, the personnel of the Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) have started identifying the sensitive patches along the international border for coordinated patrolling to improve border management. However, border management has been affected due to the fact that people of both the countries in Cachar sector of the border are living right up to the zero line in some patches.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, the Inspector General of BSF, Cachar-Mizoram sector, ML Batham said that the vulnerable patches are being identified on the basis of the terrain, past records, etc and both the border guarding forces have also started exchanging the list of criminals on both sides on the basis of available intelligence inputs. He said that the modalities for the coordinated patrolling are also being worked out and once this starts, border management as a whole would see vast improvement.

The IG revealed that the Cachar-Mizoram sector of the international border is comparatively peaceful and no incident of firing along the international border has taken place in the area since 2006. He said that they are yet to get non-lethal weapons to be provided to the BSF in a phased manner in the entire Indo-Bangla border.

Giving details of the activities of the BSF in the area, Batham said that this frontier of the BSF is guarding 336 kilometres of international border including 290 kilometres of riverine border in Mizoram and 128 kilometres including 37 kilometres of riverine border in the Barak valley. He said that the terrain makes it difficult to keep a close watch along the international border, particularly in Mizoram, while, the riverine international border is always a cause of concern and BSF posts have been put up all along the banks to prevent any infiltration and the force also has water wing with speed boats. The use of night vision equipment has also improved border management to a great extent. The fencing, which is yet to be completed in the Barak valley, has also resulted in improvement of border management as a two-tier fencing is being laid and with the Government of Bangladesh agreeing to laying of the fencing within 150 yards from the international border, it would now be possible to fence the entire land border. The Government of India has sanctioned installation of flood lights along the fencing and the work of installing poles for the same has started and back up generator sets will also be provided to ensure that power cuts do not affect the performance of the flood lights.

Batham said that incidents of infiltration through this frontier have come down. But at the same time, he said that identification of the foreigners is a major problem if any Bangladeshi national manages to sneak in. He said that there is need for providing photo identity cards to the Indian nationals living in the border areas so that any foreigner can be detected immediately.

Replying to a question on the inter-border crimes, Batham said that no major movement of militants through this area has been noticed and cattle smuggling, which is a major problem in some parts of the international border, is not a major problem in this part. He said that efforts by anti-India elements to smuggle in fake Indian currency notes through the international border is a cause of concern and suggested that border guarding forces of both sides should join hands to check the menace. He said that some weapons, ganja, heroin etc are smuggled through the border in Mizoram, while, psychotropic substances are also smuggled. However, there have been good interceptions in the border with the improvement of the intelligence wing, he added.