Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday asked all the eastern states to be extra vigilant to check the influx of Rohingya and illegal immigrants through the Indo–Bangladesh border.
Singh – who held a meeting of chief ministers and senior officials of West Bengal, Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Tripura in Kolkata – assured a Border Protection Grid (BPG) similar to Unified Command which was set up in Naxalite-affected areas.
He said, this BPG – in coordination with all the eastern bordering sates – will be effectively able to stop illegal immigrants including Rohingya.
“This BPG will be fool-proof mechanism to secure the 4,036-km-long Indo-Bangladesh border. There will be several division in the BPG which include physical barriers, non-physical barriers, surveillance, system, Intelligence agencies, state police, BSF and other state and central agencies,” Singh said.
He said, “Beside illegal immigrants, special measures will be taken to prevent extremists from entering India. We can only prevent such elements from entering our country through joint effort of eastern states and the Centre. This target cannot be achieved alone.”
“India maintains healthy relationship with neighbouring countries and it is our duty to facilitate trade while securing our borders. Fake Indian currency, cattle smuggling and drugs is also a concern for us and need to be curbed,” he added.
Arrest of Bangladeshi terrorists from Kolkata was also raised during the meet.
At the end of the meeting, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee welcomed all the decision taken by the Singh and assured all assistance for any joint operation.
States like Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram which shares the border with Bangladesh – out of sanctioned fencing area of 1538.22km, nearly 327.22km stretch is still laying unfenced.
At Indo-Myanmar border, India shares an unfenced border of 1643 km adjoining the North-Eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh (520km), Nagaland (215km), Manipur (398km) and Mizoram (510km). Worryingly, the Centre has so far manages to fenced only 4km in Manipur at three border posts, out of 398km.
The Indian side of the Indo-Bangladesh border passes through West Bengal (2216.7 Km), Assam (263 Km), Meghalaya (443 Km), Tripura (856 Km) and Mizoram (318 Km).