NEW DELHI, Sept 7 - Expressing concern at the unabated illegal migration, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju underlined the need for formal agreements and creation of joint mechanisms between India and its neighbours to ensure elimination of illegal crossovers, drug trafficking and infiltration.
�Unless India�s neighbours are made to realise that it was in the interest of both countries to stop infiltration and incursions, the security of countries will remain at stake,� he said.
Delivering the keynote address at FICCI-India Foundation convention on �Homeland Security-2016: Smart Borders Management�, Rijiju said that India�s security apparatus can be strengthened only by promoting trade and commerce on both sides of the border, which will enable the border communities to develop.
Development and security go hand in hand and mere physical delineation of territories will not suffice, he said, adding that although India had fenced borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh, and the government was trying to make the security mechanism foolproof, drug trafficking, illegal crossing and infiltration remain the order of the day.
Referring to the pre-1998 era, Rijiju pointed out that India�s border policy was misplaced as development in terms of roads was ignored on the pretext that it was being done to prevent the enemy from using the roads to foment trouble. This, he said, was a defeatist approach as a developed border means a developed and secured country.
Rijiju said that it was time India�s border security management and welfare of the people living along the country�s borders received the attention they deserve. People, he said, were becoming impatient and they wanted to be heard. Therefore, it was critical to address the issues of people on the border; otherwise, it will lead to a situation where �they will refuse to hear us out.�
Lauding the efforts of the Indian Army, Navy and other forces that were actively engaged in securing the land borders and coastlines, Rijiju said he had personally visited border areas where in difficult weather and inhospitable living conditions, the Indian forces were guarding the country and keeping the nation secure. He added that there was a need to recognise their efforts as it would encourage them to carry out their duties in a robust manner.