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BSF seeks more forces to curb Bangladeshi influx

BSF seeks more forces to curb Bangladeshi influx

Author: PTI
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: January 3, 2009.
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/147572/BSF-seeks-more-forces-to-curb-Bangladeshi-influx.html

BSF has asked for more battalions of forces to curb infiltration, movement of militants and enhance management on the India-Bangladesh border.

Official sources said BSF made the demand yesterday during a top security meeting in Guwahati chaired by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram where the influx from across the border was a much-emphasized issue.

Chidambaram has reportedly considered the proposal. The BSF pointed out that only 91 km border has been fenced and work is in progress on 129 km of the 577-km Bangladesh border in Assam and Meghalaya, a portion seen as the most infiltration prone.

Currently, there are 11 battalions deployed along the international border in Assam and Meghalaya.

The issue of opposition by villagers to the fencing in Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya was also raised in the meeting.

According to BSF officials, their counterpart in Bangladesh, BDR, has been objecting to the fencing in 75 patches along the international border in North-East, but have recently allowed the work to continue in 46 places.

Work under phase-I of the Indo-Bangla fencing project was started in 1989 and fencing was done in 854 km against the approved target of 857 km. Phase-II involved 2429 km of the total 4,096 km long border.

Currently, phase-III is in progress in Assam's Dhubri district. Around 364 km of the fencing that was constructed as part of phase-I of the project has been replaced so far as the old fencing had become outdated and damaged at several portions.

About 861 km of fencing constructed under Phase-I would be replaced by March 31, 2010.

Chidambaram had recently said the Centre was not satisfied with the progress in fencing on India-Bangladesh border and would take steps to speed up the project.

While the Centre had decided to floodlight the entire border fence, only a stretch of 277 km was completed so far as part of a pilot project.

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