Tech boost to BSF's Indo-Bangla border vigil

With rising reports of cross-border movement of militants along the India-Bangladesh border, the BSF is all set to install state-of-the-art surveillance and communication equipment on the international border that Meghalaya shares with the neighbouring country, The Times of India reports.

Revealing this at the Meghalaya Frontier Headquarters of the BSF here on Friday, director general of BSF Utthan Kumar Bansal, who met chief minister Mukul Sangma, said, "The state government and intelligence reports have hinted at cross-border movement of militants."

The BSF chief also emphasized on increasing vigil along the border in view of the assembly elections in Meghalaya less than a year from now and added that equipment would be deployed for early detection of intrusion. He said 9 battalions of the BSF, comprising approximately 10,000 men, have been deployed along the Meghalaya border, which he described as "full of difficult terrain".

The DG added that the chief of the banned Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) was presently lodged in "some jail" in Bangladesh and iterated that the BSF was in close coordination with the state police to tackle the militant outfit.

Bansal said the BSF had "excellent relationship and cooperation" with Bangladesh Border Guard (BBG). He added that the two forces were working in "close coordination" to check cross-border crime.

"In view of increased sensitivity on the border, lot of 'force-multipliers' like hand-held thermal-imagers, battle field surveillance radar and night vision devices have been installed on the border to ensure effective night domination," a statement issued by the BSF said.

"The jawans on the border have been briefed to avoid predictable operational activities to maintain element of surprise," the release read. "Vulnerable areas have been identified and mobile check posts are being laid," it said.

Out of the 498 km border that Meghalaya shares with Bangladesh, 215.196 km have been fenced so far and work along the remaining stretch is in progress. "The Meghalaya government is likely to give clearance for the remaining 88 km of pending fencing work and the BSF director general has requested the state government to expedite the same," said the release.

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UNB