Under a comprehensive integrated border management scheme, India would lay a network of radars, CCTV cameras, laser fences and motion sensors to plug the existing gaps and secure its international border, said Union Minister for Home Affairs Rajnath Singh on Sunday.
Under a pilot project, porous international border in Gujarat, West Bengal, Tripura and Punjab would be secured using “technological solutions”, he said during a visit to a BSF border outpost on the India-Pakistan border at Nadabet in Banaskantha district of Gujarat. He said there has been a 50 per cent reduction in “successful infiltration” along the India-Pakistan border.
“We have decided to secure our border using technological solutions. We have taken a few steps under a comprehensive integrated border management scheme under which technological solutions will be used to fill the existing gaps in our borders,” said Singh, while addressing Border Security Force (BSF) personnel. He also felicitated family members of around 20 BSF men from Gujarat who laid down lives on the line of duty since early 1990s. He also felicitated gallantry award winners of the BSF.
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“We have ordered a pilot project in Gujarat, Punjab (having border with Pakistan), West Bengal (sharing border with Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh) and Tripura (having border with Bangladesh),” said the Union minister, adding that the government’s effort was to ensure that no one dies while guarding the borders.
This decision to start a pilot project came after Narendra Modi government announced that it would completely seal Assam’s border with Bangladesh. “I also want to tell you that there has been a 50 per cent drop in the number of successful infiltrations,” Singh added.
According to BSF officials, a total of 1,750 BSF personnel have died while guarding the border.
Gujarat alone shares 508 km of porous international border with Pakistan. The government had sanctioned construction of 340 km of border fencing in the state, out of which work on about 264 km has been completed. Due to extreme topography, it is not only difficult to fence the border in Gujarat, but the existing fencing and its foundation are prone to corrosion by salty water and heavy inundation.
MoS for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh, who was also part of the event, said infiltration along the Pakistan border has reduced after Modi government allowed security forces to retaliate, if provoked. “Earlier, we used to bind our forces. If any incident happened on the border, we used to talk in an attempt to resolve the issue. This increased the confidence of our enemies. Now, we have allowed our forces to retaliate, if provoked. This has brought down the incidences of infiltration,” he said.
He said China considers India as a rival for being a “world power”, and so “rivalry” with China would “always remain”, despite the business interests between the two nations.
Fewer Naxal incidents
MoS for Home Haribhai Chaudhary, who was present at the venue, said there was a significant reduction in Maoist incidents in the country. “Naxalism had spread to 10 states and 108 districts. In the last two years, under Rajnath Singh’s leadership, there has been a 42 per cent reduction in the number of Naxal-related incidents,” he said.