Days ahead of the January 5 general elections in neighbouring Bangladesh,Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami Tuesday reviewed security on the Indo-Bangla border,which would be sealed during the polls and also discussed various issues including BSFs demand for land to set up battalion headquarters and border outposts.
Goswami also held a meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and met senior security officials,including those of the state government.
We discussed law and order situation of the state among other matters. The state government asked for funds (for different projects) and we told them to send us project reports, Goswamy,who came to Kolkata on a special BSF flight,said after the meeting. He returned to Delhi in the evening.
Mamata,however,described it as a routine meeting saying they discussed the border situation. Asked whether Bangladesh elections and the situation there came up for discussions,she said: Why should I talk about the internal matters of another country?
According to sources the projects for which the state government asked for funds included modernisation and special infrastructure scheme for the state police,border fencing and building up of more coastal police stations,to name a few.
State Home Secretary Basudeb Banerjee,however,said that 80 per cent of the meeting was devoted to the border with Bangladesh in view of the elections in the neighbouring country.
Elections are scheduled to be held (in Bangladesh) on January 5. He (Goswamy) asked for a detailed report about the situation along the border and the steps being taken. The border along Bangladesh is going to be sealed, Banerjee said
Another issue that came up during the meeting was a surrender package for KLO militants,in the line of the package given by the central government to surrendered Maoists. One of the state government officials broached the subject and the Union Home Secretary said the Centre would consider it, a top central government official told The Indian Express.
The two sides also discussed the issue of allotment of land for construction of border outposts and BSF battalion headquarters across the state. The BSF has asked for 80 acres of land each for its proposed 16 battalion headquarters and five acres of land for 100 outposts. But because of scarcity of land the government agreed to allot 30 acres of land for each of the battalion headquarters and 2 acres for each of the BOPs.
Goswamis meeting with the Chief Minister took place in the backdrop of her strong reservations over introduction of the Land Boundary Agreement Bill in the Rajya Sabha recently. The Chief Minister had categorically said the state government would not implement it and that the state stood to lose more land under the agreement.