Stating that international border security is of top priority to the government, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said a multi-layered “Border Protection Grid” (BPG) will be set up across the country’s border.
“The total length of India-Bangladesh border covering five states is 4,096 km, of which 3,006 km has been fenced. But the remaining 1,090 km of border is not fenced yet.
“We have decided to implement technological solutions in this region which can also be termed as non-physical barrier,” Singh said after holding a meeting in Kolkata on developmental security issues at the India-Bangladesh border with the chief ministers of states bordering Bangladesh.
“Of the non-fenced areas, 684 km would be secured with fence and related infrastructures. The remaining 406 km of border area would come under non-physical barriers as fencing in these places is not feasible,” he said, adding that the non-physical barriers would be first implemented in the Dhubri sector of Assam.
The minister said that apart from the physical and non-physical barriers, the entire India-Bangladesh border would be brought under a “Border Protection Grid” for fool-proof security.
“The grid will comprise various elements including physical and non-physical barriers, surveillance systems, intelligence agencies, state police, Border Security Force (BSF) and other state and central agencies,” Singh said.
According to him, the implementation and functioning of BPG would be supervised at the state level by a standing committee chaired by the respective state’s Chief Cecretary.
“Although bulk of infrastructure is in place or under construction, the building of infrastructure in some parts is yet to commence mainly due to land acquisition issues,” a statement said, adding that the Home Minister urged the chief ministers of five bordering State to take personal interest to expedite land acquisition in the interest of national security.
Terming the border inhabitants as strategic assets to the country, the Home Minister said bringing quick development in the bordering areas while maintaining the security was the focus of the present regime.
He said major issues like cattle smuggling, human trafficking, cross-border smuggling of arms, drugs and fake Indian currency notes were discussed at length at the meeting and urged the concerned states to be more vigilant on issue of infiltration.
“We share a friendly relationship with Bangladesh, but security environment is a dynamic issue. Also, not having a completely fenced border is a problem. The terrorist organisations can misuse the land of neighbouring Bangladesh. That’s why we need to be extremely vigilant,” Singh pointed out.
Claiming that the insurgent forces in the northeast India had been largely brought under control, Singh said the government was keeping an eye on the insurgent groups that had taken refuge in the neighbouring country.
“The issue of insurgency in the Northeast is largely under control but there are a few insurgent groups have taken refuge in the bordering areas of Bangladesh. Because Bangladesh is our friendly country, we would take their help to keep these groups under strict surveillance,” he added.