A high powered committee of the National Security Council (NSC), headed by the former Home Secretary, Madhukar Gupta, has taken stock of the issues concerning border management along the Indo-Pak border in Punjab in a meeting held at Attari, near Amritsar where lack of infrastructure was pointed out.
The meeting, which was held at the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Attari was attended by senior members of the NSC Secretariat as well as representatives of Punjab Police, Border Security Force (BSF), Customs, Immigration and the Intelligence Bureau.
Among the concerns pointed out at the meeting, which are supposed to be impediments to the effective management of the Indo-Pak border at the Joint Check Post as well as the ICP in Attari, were the lack of a full body truck scanner which is needed to scan the hundreds of trucks which come to India from Pakistan each day with their loads of cargo. While a detailed physical examination of these trucks is done by the security personnel at the ICP, yet the lack of a full body truck scanner was thought to be a necessity at the check post.
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Highly placed sources also informed that the representatives of the security forces at the meeting also highlighted the need to have a portable explosives detector in order to have an effective control over the trucks and the material coming into India. This would reduce the possibility of some rogue elements in Pakistan attempting to send a explosive cargo to the Indian side, the experts felt.
Among the other issues discussed with the NSC committee were the lack of adequate number of fire tenders to deal with an emergency at the border check post, the need to construct an observation post tower at the ICP in order to have a birds eye view of the surroundings, the non-availability of proper accommodation for the BSF jawans who are deployed for the security of the check post, an immediate requirement for additional CCTV cameras to have a full security coverage of the area, additional medical officers to be deployed, need for boom barriers and sufficient fire alarm systems.
Among those who attended the meeting were Dr Arvind Gupta, Deputy National Security Advisor and members of the committee including K Vijay Kumar, Ashok Prasad,, NK Goel from IIT Roorkee, Arvind Gupta, OSD to the NSC Secretariat, Dr Shivananad H, Assiostant Director NSC Secretariat, Birender Kumar, Inspector General of Police, Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh DIG Border Range, Punjab, Mophan Lal, DIG (Ops), BSF, JS Oberoi, DIG BSF Amritsar Sector, Jasdeep Singh SSP Rural Amritsar, RK Meena, Commandant 154 Battalion BSF and Arvind Kumar Singh Joint Commissioner of Customs.
The committee was formed earlier this year to take stock of the security situation along the Indo-Pak border in wake of the terrorist attacks which had been carried out by Pakistani fidayeen in Dinanagar in 2015 and Pathankot in January this year. The committee has also toured the border areas along Pakistan in Jammu. It is expected to submit its report at the end of this month to the government.