GUWAHATI, March 5 - The absence of even minimum logistics along the vulnerable riverine border areas has left over 20 trained boatmen, appointed by the Assam Police Border Organization (APBO), sitting idle at their headquarters here.
These boatmen are responsible for maintaining vigil in the vulnerable Indo-Bangla riverine border areas (Assam), but unavailability of patrolling boats, be it mechanized ones or speed boats, has left these trained boatmen with no work to do on the riverine front, forcing their extended stay at the headquarters.
Such a development is seen as a setback to the country�s security concerns vis-�-vis the susceptibility of the riverine area which, over the years, has not just emerged as a safe route for infiltrators but also for smuggling of spurious drugs to the North East region. Unabated cattle smuggling too has always been a matter of prime concern for those guarding the border.
Although fencing of the land border along the Assam-Bangla border is almost complete, guarding the riverine border continues to be a daunting challenge.
Top security sources said that as there are no boats available for them to run and man the riverine areas, the 20-odd trained boatmen have been kept in the headquarters performing jobs they are not entitled to.
The sources informed that although the actual requirement of logistics was placed before the authorities concerned, nothing has been done.
�These boatmen are drawing salaries month after month without doing any work. It is just a waste of public money and an act of compromising with the country�s security. There is still no clear picture on their deployment as yet,� the sources pointed out.
The sources informed that although there are over 30 boatmen in the payroll of the Assam Police Border Organization, only eight boats are at present ready for use. �They include four speed boats and as many mechanized boats. There are occasions when the River Police hires boats,� the sources pointed out.