Monday, May 30, 2011

Centre not serious in guarding Bangla border:Prakash Singh, Former DG BSF

From The Assam Tribune            R Dutta Choudhury

File photo of an unguarded stretch of the Indo-Bangla border.
 GUWAHATI, May 29 – The Government of India’s attitude towards guarding the international borders in the eastern sector is not as serious as guarding the borders in the western sector, observed former Director General of the Border Security Force (BSF), Prakash Singh.Talking to The Assam Tribune, Singh, who was in Guwahati to attend a seminar organized by the Assam Police AccountabilityCommission, said that the Government of India is much more serious in guarding the border with Pakistan. He pointed out that the border is guarded in a much aggressive manner in the western sector and any kind ofintrusion is dealt with strongly and very often intruders are gunned down. No question is asked if any intruder is gunned down along the border with Pakistan, but that is not the case while guarding the border with Bangladesh, he added.
Singh said that India is much softer in matters of guarding the international border with Bangladesh and an aggressive posture like the one adopted while guarding the border with Pakistan is not adopted along the Indo-Bangla border. If an intruder gets killed along the border with Bangladesh, there are protests in the neighbouring country and India, on its part, also adopts a soft attitude. Such attitude of the Government percolate down to the men involved in guarding the border and they also try to avoid any casualties, he pointed out.

The former BSF DG said that India's attitude towards the border with Bangladesh is that the intruders should be pushed back but that is not an easy proposition and the task becomes more difficult as the fencing along the border is yet to come up in most parts of the border with Bangladesh. He said that the border fencing should be completed as soon as possible and there is lot of room for improvement of the infrastructure.
Singh said that though the new Prime Minister of Bangladesh is cooperative towards India, the issue of illegal migration is yet to be dealt with seriously. He pointed out that the new Government in Bangladesh cooperated with India on the issue of dealing with insurgents , but on the issue of illegal migration, the Government of the neighbouring country is yet to take any step. On its part, the Government of India has also not been able to take up the issue seriously with the Government of Bangladesh. He wondered whether the Government of India is serious on the issue of presence of large number ofBangladeshi migrants in the country. "I feel very sad about the state of affairs being a former head of the BSF," he admitted.
The former BSF DG , who is well versed with the situation in the North East, expressed the view that a comprehensive policy for dealing with the problems of the region should be adopted by the Government of India. At present, the Government of India is only adopting ad hoc measures to deal with the problems of the region, he added.

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