SHILLONG, July 25 � With improvement in the relations between India and Bangladesh, the ties between the border guarding forces have become stronger and personnel of the Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) have started joint patrolling in the vulnerable areas along the international border.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Inspector General (IG) of BSF, Assam-Meghalaya frontier, Sudesh Kumar said that the joint patrolling by BSF and BGB personnel is carried out in pre-determined routes. The exercise not only helps in improving coordination between the border guarding forces of the two countries, but also sends a strong message to the trouble makers.
Kumar revealed that interactions between officers of both the countries are held regularly. The company commanders of BSF and BGB meet once a month, the DIGs meet quarterly while, the IG level meet is held twice a year. DG level meetings, once in India and once in Dhaka are also held twice a year. He said that in addition to that, any officer can talk whenever necessary.
Kumar, who took over as IG of BSF in the frontier recently, said that making border management more effective by strengthening the efficiency and discipline in the force would be one of his priorities. He said that improvement in the relations with the people living near the international border would be another priority as �these people can be of immense help to the BSF in improving border management.� He said that the BSF has been carrying out civic action programmes in the bordering villages by creating necessary infrastructure as per the requirement of the villagers.
Stressing the need for using technology for improving vigil along the international border, Kumar said that technology can become force multipliers and in addition to the use of the available modern gadgets, a proposal for using CCTV cameras is also being mooted.
The IG admitted that the riverine international border remains a cause of concern as there is no physical barrier in the area and the BSF is trying to dominate the area with extensive patrolling by speed boats. He also said that there is need for stepping up the pace of construction of fencing along the international border. The Government of Meghalaya is yet to grant permission for fencing in 135 kilometres of international border and Kumar said that he would take up the matter with the State Government.
Though the Governments of Assam and Meghalaya have agreed to create a second line of defence, the manpower available in the posts is very limited and the new BSF IG has decided to take up the issue with the police forces of both the states.
With elephants causing havoc in Tura sector of the international border by uprooting the fencing and attacking personnel of the BSF, Kumar, who recently visited the area to take stock of the situation, said that the problem aggravated as the movement of the herds of wild elephants has been restricted and their habitats are encroached upon. He said that he would soon submit a proposal to Delhi for creation of elephant corridors on the fencing to prevent the elephant menace. He pointed out that strong watch towers can be constructed near such corridors so that BSF personnel can keep a close watch in the area from the towers.