Tripura is working to complete barbed wire fencing in unfenced areas of international border with Bangladesh, even as border curfew is imposed along the 856 km Indo-Bangla border during COVID-19 lockdown.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Sepahijala District Magistrate C K Jamatia said fencing of an 8.5 km area in the district was halted during lockdown. The work resumed today at two places, NC Nagar and Kailashnagar, while fencing work would also start at a stretch of Sobhapur village as well.
“BSF made a temporary barrier with barbed wire coils at these unfenced patches when lockdown was first imposed. We have now instructed NBCC, the designated construction agency, to start work of barbed wire fence in three places. We have set them a target to finish composite row fencing in 1.5 km within June. However, single row fencing will be done in the rest of the 8.5 km unfenced border in this district”, the official said.
Dhalai DM Brahmneet Kaur said BSF is doing intensified patrolling in bordering areas of the district, especially in several patches at Ambassa and adjoining areas, to prevent any illegal migration from Bangladesh, where many adjoining areas of the international border are still unfenced.
Border Management Authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had earlier set a target for Tripura to complete barbed wire fencing in 67 km unfenced patches by July.
Tripura shares an 856-km long international boundary with Bangladesh, the second Indian state to have such a long border stretch with this country after West Bengal.
Several parts of South Tripura district, especially Sabroom in the southernmost tip of the state adjoining Bangladesh, are unfenced. River Feni serves as a natural barrier and riverine border in these areas.
South Tripura DM Debapriya Bardhan told this publication that border fencing is being pursued as a continuous process in these unfenced patches but the work is stuck due to objections from Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) in several areas.
The official, however, denied having any recent instruction for expediting border fencing with imminent deadline.
Earlier in April, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb asked people from villages adjoining the border to join ‘Janata Patrolling’ and prevent any intrusion of Bangladeshi nationals amidst coronavirus pandemic.
“Bangladesh is a friendly state. But we come to hear that social distancing is not being maintained there. So, we have to resist the spread of coronavirus across the border to save our own homes. There might be your relatives or acquaintances there who might seek help for treatment here. I am not against humanitarianism. But I want to assert that humanitarian approach should not become our weakness. I request everyone, across religions, castes or political identity to make sure that no one can cross the border and enter Tripura from Bangladesh”, he had appealed.
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