Act Tough On Border, Rajnath Tells BSF

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New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday reviewed the working of the Border Security Force and directed it to set up a real-time intelligence sharing grid and seal all vulnerable points along the Pakistan border.

The meeting was attended by top officials of the Home Ministry and the Border Security Force, which guards Pakistan and Bangladesh borders.

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The meeting reviewed the overall functioning of the BSF, besides gaps and lapses in border guarding and how to plug them as the Home Minister expressed concern over infiltration from across the International Border and the Line of Control.

The BSF has been told to set up a real-time intelligence sharing grid along with State police forces to act promptly on the intelligence gathered by the border guarding force to effectively check infiltration along the international border, a Home Ministry official said.

Upgrading outposts

Issues of upgrading existing border outposts on par with composite BOPs, construction of advance fibre reinforced polymer shelters on high-altitude, forward-defended localities on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, acquisition of land for newly sanctioned battalions at old norms were also discussed.

Evolving BSF Air Wing as a self-regulatory establishment on the lines of Coast Guard was flagged for discussion at the meeting. Comments in this regard have been invited from the Ministries of Civil Aviation and Defence and Coast Guard.

A high-power committee headed by former Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta has flagged gaps in fencing and vulnerability along the Pakistan border and suggested that technology should be used and vigil strengthened on riverine frontiers.

Of the 3,323 km-long Indo-Pak border, 1,225 km falls in Jammu and Kashmir (including the LoC), 553 km in Punjab, 1,037 km in Rajasthan and 508 km in Gujarat.

The committee was set up three months after the Pathankot airbase attack to suggest ways to strengthen security along the border with Pakistan and address the vulnerability in fencing.

Referring to the Bangladesh border, the Home Minister asked the BSF to ensure that smuggling of cattle and narcotics was stopped. India shares a 4,096 km-long border with Bangladesh.

‘Battle Casualty’ status

At the meeting, the Minister approved the demand of the paramilitary force to issue “Battle Casualty” certificate to those who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty, at par with the Army. It will ensure benefits like pension equivalent to the last drawn salary and petrol pumps to the kin of those killed in counter-insurgency duties.

 

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