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Shah urged to finish fencing work along India-B’desh border, expedite chit fund cases probe

By IANS Updated: Sep 27, 2019 9:42 pm

Agartala, Sep. 27 (IANS): Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to complete the border fencing work along the India-Bangladesh frontiers to curb smuggling of drugs and other contrabands, illegal cross border movement and crimes, an official said here on Friday.

According to Border Security Force (BSF) officials, the various agencies engaged by the government have completed the fencing work on 790 km of the total stretch of the state’s 856 km-long international border with Bangladesh.

The Indian side of the international border passes through West Bengal (2,216 km), Assam (263 km), Meghalaya (443 km), Tripura (856 km) and Mizoram (318 km).

Deb held a meeting with Shah in New Delhi on late Thursday, an official of the Chief Minister’s secretariat said.

Deb, who also holds the Home portfolio, had earlier met top officials of the BSF and state government, Tripura Police, district administrations here, and reviewed the progress of the barbed wire border fencing work.

“The Chief Minister had asked the senior officials and construction agencies to complete the works of border fencing along India-Bangladesh frontier on a ‘war-footing manner’,” another official of Home department said.

Deb also told the officials not to tolerate any obstruction during the construction work.

The officials apprised the Chief Minister that land acquisition has been completed. The fencing would be in a single-line pattern in some parts and double-line in other portions.

The Tripura Home department officials said houses, homesteads, farm land and various others properties of a large number of families have fallen on the other side of the fence, resulting in numerous problems, including uncertainty and insecurity.

India started construction of the fence and flood lights along the 4,096-km India-Bangladesh border around 23 years ago to curb cross-border movement of terrorists, stop infiltration and check various border crimes, including smuggling and illegal trade.

The mountainous terrain, dense forests, riverine and other hindrances make the borders porous and vulnerable, enabling militants, illegal immigrants and intruders cross over without any major hurdles.

The chief minister also urged that Union Home minister to expedite the probe into all the 74 chit fund cases in the state, officials said in Agartala on Friday.

Deb also requested Shah for the early completion of a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the murder two journalists in Tripura.

Within a month of coming to power in March 2018, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led state government handed over all the 74 chit fund cases to the CBI to probe the illegal collection of money from people by the unlawful chit fund operators.

BJP spokesman Nabendu Bhattacharjee said in Agartala that the previous Left Front government in the state had, in various ways, backed the unauthorised chit fund organisations and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) in looting crore of money from gullible people.

“The CPI-M government was averse to handing over all the cases related to chit fund organisations and NBFCs to the CBI,” he said.

Bhattacharjee told the media that the BJP government’s vision was to free Tripura of corruption and the drugs menace.

The opposition CPI-M leaders strongly refuted the accusations.

CPI-M Central Committee member and Left Front convenor Bijan Dhar said it was widely known that the CBI had been misused by the ruling parties at the Centre.

The erstwhile Left Front government in Tripura had enacted a law in 2000 to deal with illegal NBFCs and chit fund organisations and, since 2016, had began confiscating all movable and immovable properties in the state of the Rose Valley group.

Rose Valley, a Kolkata-based chit fund company, is now under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI, while the company’s sole proprietor and Chairman Gautam Kundu and other important functionaries were arrested in Kolkata in 2015.

The chief minister also requested him to deploy two battalions of Tripura State Rifles (TSR) outside the state to facilitate to recruite hundreds of unemployed youths.

By IANS Updated: Sep 27, 2019 9:42:56 pm