India intensifies vigil along border with Bangladesh
AGARTALA, JANUARY 8
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]ndia has further intensified vigil along its border with Bangladesh in view of the ongoing political turmoil and attacks on religious minorities in the neighbouring country, an official said here Wednesday.
“We have asked our troopers to tighten their vigil along the India-Bangladesh border. Additional forces have been deployed in the sensitive border locations adjoining Indian states,” an official of the Border Security Force (BSF) told IANS.
“Though we do not have any kind of specific intelligence inputs of troubles opposite to Tripura, Assam, Mizoram and Meghalaya frontiers, there are troubles and incidents of attacks on religious minorities in Bangladesh territories opposite to West Bengal borders,” said the official, who refused to be named.India’s five states – West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram – share a 4,096-km border with Bangladesh. A large portion of the International Border remains unfenced and porous.
There are a large number of thickly populated Bangladeshi villages and towns on the other side of the International Border, making patrolling a delicate task for the Indian border guards and other security forces.
According to media reports in Bangladesh, over 200 houses and shops belonging to the minority Hindu community have been vandalised and looted by the Jamaat-e-Islami activists in different parts of Bangladesh’s Jessore and Dinajpur districts.
“Several hundred minority people, including women and children, have taken shelter in the Hindu temples and safer places. Bangladesh security forces have arrested many attackers,” the reports said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has asked the Bangladesh government to take appropriate actions to protect the minorities in that country.
“If the Bangladesh government does not take urgent adequate security measures, the situation might go out of control,” BJP’s Tripura unit president Sudhindra Dasgupta said.
“The government has asked the BSF to keep maximum alert along the border. We have asked the superintendents of police of bordering districts to take necessary measures to deal with the situation,” Tripura Director General of Police C. Balasubramanian told reporters.
“Mobile Task Force officials and troopers were also engaged in round-the-clock patrol along the bordering areas to prevent any untoward elements from (coming) across the border,” he said.
BSF Director General Subhash Joshi earlier last month inspected the India-Bangladesh border in Tripura and other northeastern states to review the security.
The BSF chief accompanied by Inspector General (operations) Rajib Krishna and Additional DG (east) B.D. Sharma also held a series of meetings following the border inspection.
“We have asked our soldiers to keep an intense watch on the border situation. Our men, with available gadgets, remain vigilant round-the-clock along the borders, specially where a substantial number of people reside across the border,” BSF chief public relations Officer Bhaskar Rawat said.