Ahead of Indian Union Home Minister (State) Mullappally Ramachandran’s scheduled visit to the Indo-Bangladesh border on Friday, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said that the international border in the northeast has not been manned as efficiently as the western sector. Ramachandran would be visiting some of the troubled sectors along Meghalaya’s 443-km international border with Bangladesh to get a picture of the ground situation and also have a look at the ongoing fencing work, the Assam Tribune said.
“We are trying to fence the international border to the best of our abilities,” the home minister said during his brief interaction with the media in Shilong.
There is opposition along some portion of the border areas in Meghalaya to erect the fence from zero line. The home ministry said that discussions were on at the highest level with Bangladesh to be flexible on this bilateral issue, the paper added.
Sangma on the other hand said that the northeastern border with Bangladesh has not been manned by the border guards as desired and Meghalaya has demanded intensified patrolling by BSF along these vulnerable areas.
“The northeastern border has not been as stringently manned unlike the western sector. So we have requested the home ministry to ask the BSF to intensify their patrol,” Sangma added.
Due to Meghalaya’s insistence for better border management, the home ministry had recently deputed BSF’s Special Director General to visit the international border in Meghalaya sector as a priority, the Assam Tribune quoting Sangma said.
Ramachandran, meanwhile, said he would not comment whether the BSF would be encouraged to use rubber bullets along the international border to minimise casualties.
Meanwhile, the state government has set up a committee to find ways and means to prevent infiltration, particularly through the unfenced Indo-Bangladesh riverine border, governor JB Patnaik said on the opening day of the budget session on Thursday, another report from Guwahati said.
“My government has constituted a committee to examine and recommend ways and means to prevent infiltration through the unprotected riverine areas at Assam-Bangladesh border and the committee is, at present, deliberating on the matter,” Patnaik said.
The governor said, “36 foreigners’ tribunals are functioning in the state for detection and deportation of foreigners. Assam PWD has completed most of the Indo-Bangladesh border roads and fencing works allocated to them except those relating to three bridges, which will also be completed soon. My government is trying to complete their allocated works of Indo-Bangladesh border roads and fencing and flood lighting at an early date.”