GUWAHATI, April 28 - With the coronavirus outbreak becoming a major cause of concern, security along the international borders with Nepal and Bhutan has been augmented to check movement of people. Meanwhile, a large number of people from both India and Nepal are stranded on both sides of the international border.
India has around 1690 kilometers of international border with Nepal and about 700 kilometers with Bhutan and guarding the borders is a tough job as there is no physical barrier like fencing along the borders. The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) has been entrusted with the responsibility of guarding both the international borders and force has increased patrolling along it to ensure that no one can sneak in.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, sources in the SSB said that with the Government of India imposing a lockdown to prevent spreading of coronavirus, the security along the international borders with Nepal and Bhutan has been augmented. Only the trucks carrying essentials are being allowed through the international borders. The border outposts of the SSB are located at a distance of two to three kilometers from each other and regular patrolling are being carried out.
Sources revealed that thousands of people on both sides of the international border with Nepal are stranded and they were kept in quarantine. Sources revealed that one group of tourists from Gujarat, who were travelling back to India from Nepal, was allowed in after they completed their quarantine period. On the other hand, Nepal police has also stepped up vigil along the international border. Forces of both the countries are working in coordinated manner.
Sources further said that as India has an open border with Nepal, some farmers cultivate lands across the border and such activities are now allowed at this moment.
Though India does not have any physical barriers along the borders with Nepal and Bhutan, sources pointed out that there are a number of natural barriers including rivers and reserved forests and national parks and movement of people through it is not possible. �We just need to keep watch on the open spaces and the vehicle routes. There are some foot tracks and a close watch is maintained on it,� sources added.
SSB sources said that in case of the international border with Bhutan, substantial movement of people takes place on market days. But as the markets are closed, such movements have stopped. However, the Government has allowed movement of official vehicles of Bhutan through India, particularly Assam. Sources pointed out that the officials of Bhutan have to travel through India to reach some areas of that country and that has been allowed. �There is no risk from such movements as the officials of Bhutan have no reason to stop anywhere in India while travelling from one part of that country to another through India,� sources added.