AN RSS-BACKED organisation is planning to hold a two-day conference in Kolkata next month on security issues at the India-Bangladesh border — from infiltration to fake notes, terrorism to the Rohingya refugee crisis, and even cattle-smuggling.
The “mega conference” is being organised by the Seemanta Chetana Mancha, an RSS affiliate, on February 10 and 11.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Jagannath Senapati, state organising secretary of the outfit, claimed: “Invitations have been sent to the PMO, Ministry of Home Affairs, BSF and the Ministry of Defence, apart from governors of five states bordering Bangladesh. Already, we have confirmation from the Governor of Tripura (Tathagata Roy). We expect BSF, MHA and other agencies to send their representatives to attend. We will also call security experts. Over 350 delegates, from Assam, Bengal, Tripura, Mizoram and Meghalaya, will deliberate on border issues.”
Senapati said: “As we are aware, the border with Bangladesh has become a conduit for fake currency, terrorists, smuggling and other activities. We have incidents in which Bangladesh-based terrorists like the Ansarullah Bangla Team sneak into West Bengal and get shelter here. We have seen incidents like (the communal violence) in Bashirhat and Kaliachowk in Malda.The situation is a matter of serious concern for all of us.”
The Mancha is part of the RSS-backed Seema Jagran Manch, a national body for awareness and “generating patriotism” in border areas across the country. In the east, the organisation works with people living within 20 km of the Bangladesh border.
India and Bangladesh share a 4,156-km border, of which 2,217 km is in West Bengal.
“There is a need for development and awareness in these border areas. There is a need for inculcating patriotic values. After the BSF, it is the people who defend the border. There is a need for generating employment so that youth do not fall prey to illegal activities,” said Senapati.
In 2017, the RSS passed a resolution at the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, its highest decision-making body, expressing “grave concern over unabated rise in violence by Jehadi elements in West Bengal, encouragement to the anti-national elements by the state government due to its Muslim vote bank politics and declining Hindu population in the state…”
Senapati said that the Union Home Ministry had directed the West Bengal government in October to acquire and provide land for construction of border fences, and ban cattle markets within 8 km of the border.