Border security has been beefed up in the five frontier states sharing the international boundary with Bangladesh, after terror attacks that took place in Dhaka on Saturday. Following a high alert issued by the Home Ministry to the Border Security Forces and other security agencies, the state governments of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram and West Bengal initiated preventive steps to check ‘Jihadi’ activities.
Assam Police sprung into action to curb anti national activities in the state that has 262-kilometre-long, mostly porous, Indo Bangla border. “No activity of IS has been reported in Assam yet. But given the recent terror attacks in Bangladesh, Superintendents of Police in the bordering districts of the state have been ordered to ensure that no ‘Jihadi’ element can cross border,” Mukesh Sahay Director General Of Police, Assam told the media.
The three bordering districts of Assam namely Dhuburi, Karimaganj and Cachar are infamous for having porous borders. It is widely believed that the porous borders of Assam have been the routes through which terror groups set foot in India to train and radicalise local youths. “Though barbed wire fence is under construction in the two disputed areas Lathitila and Dumabari in the district, a riverine border still lies unsealed due to practical problems faced by Indian government,” said Manoj Kumar Deka, Deputy Commissioner Karimganj district.
He added that Kushiyara river forms a part of the Indo-Bangla border in Karimganj district. As per international norms the bordering fence has to be constructed 150 meters inside the actual border.
“If the fence is constructed 150 meters inside the Indian territory here, then a major part of Karimganj town will find itself out of the border fence,” he explained. Sources said that countries concerned have to agree to compromise to relax this norm. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has been trying to persuade the Bangladesh Government to compromise to no avail. “Nearly about 3.5 kilometres of the riverine border here remains a problematic part,” the Deputy Commissioner said.
Assam police arrested seven suspected cadres of Jamatul Mujahideen (Bangladesh) from Chirang district two months ago. Prior to that, the special operation unit of the state police department arrested Shahnur Alam, a most wanted terrorist, with alleged links to the Burdwan blasts, that took place in 2014.
Intelligence sources in the BSF said that security in the borders of Assam have been doubled in the aftermath of Bangladesh terror attacks. PK Dubey, Inspector General of Border Security Force (Meghalaya Frontier) told the media that there are more than 100 gaps in the 443-kilometer-long Indo-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya. Apart from those, there is a stretch of 93 kilometres of unfenced border. He further said that the BSF has sought co-operation from state and central government security agencies to check illegal immigration through these porous borders.
Sources in the West Bengal government say that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to meet the Prime Minister to discuss the security threats faced by the state. West Bengal hosts a stretch of 2217 kilometres of Indo Bangladesh border. The BSF has also launched a search operation in West Bengal in cooperation with state police. In its enhanced patrolling of Indo-Bangladesh border in Tripura, BSF gunned down one smuggler on Sunday.
K Nagaraj, Director General of Police of the state, told the media that apart from central para military force, Tripura state police and Tripura state rifles have been deployed to keep vigil of the prevailing situation far and near the 856-kilometre-long Indo-Bangla border in the state.