GUWAHATI, July 11 - Making a strong pitch for improving the security and amenities in areas falling near the international border with Myanmar, Bhutan and Bangladesh, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said that development and security needs of the border populace had been neglected for long.
The Home Minister also asked Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to open more police stations and strengthen the existing ones, which he said would also be crucial for the successful implementation of the Act East Policy.
�There are some 240 villages with over two lakh inhabitants within 10 km of the Indo-Myanmar border, and this large population is without any security cover and is at the mercy of insurgents. A similar situation is conspicuous along the Bhutan border,� he said at a press conference.
The Home Minister added that the Centre had enhanced the share of the region under the Border Area Development Programme to 40 per cent from 30 per cent.
�Of late the India-Myanmar border has become restive with reports of insurgents, weapons and drugs crossing the border. We have constituted a committee to recommend effective management of the Indo-Myanmar border,� Singh said.
Inter-state border rows: Singh urged the chief ministers of the north-eastern states to resolve mutually the contentious boundary disputes such as the Assam-Nagaland, Assam-Arunachal Pradesh and Assam-Meghalaya border rows.
The Home Minister, who addressed the media following his meeting with the chief ministers, said that the chief ministers had agreed to maintain status quo in the disputed areas and assured him that under no circumstances would the disputes be allowed to degenerate into ugly flare-ups.
�The Centre would assist the state governments in their endeavour to resolve the border rows amicably,� he said, adding that many of the disputes were legacies of the past and the states concerned must exercise restraint and act tough on any mischief-mongers.