Indo-Pak border to get “smart fence” but border with Bangladesh remains neglected

The India-Pakistan border, sometimes termed the most dangerous border in world, is a regular witness to terrorist infiltration into India and numerous ceasefire violations, which are perpetrated by the Pakistani Army.

In order to put a stop to that, the Indo-Pak border has long been suggested to be sealed completely. Now we have got a date by which it could be done. The Director General of the BSF, K K Sharma on Wednesday stated that it was an immediate priority for the security agency to completely seal the Indo-Pak border in the Jammu sector by March, 2018.

Further, the BSF would be installing a “smart fence” along the length of the border. Smart Fence means that the security forces would be aided by surveillance radars, which would blip once it detects any form activity near the border.

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Other smart fence equipment that would aid the security forces are satellite imagery, thermal gadgets, and laser walls. The biggest advantage of such a border fence is that security forces won’t need to patrol it 24×7 and can only respond once a threat is intercepted. An advanced version of such a fence has been implemented by Israel along the Gaza Strip border.

This sealing would be a part of the comprehensive integrated border management (CBIM) plan which the BSF is implementing.

Even though the BSF’s commitment to protecting the Pakistani border is appreciable, it has been surprisingly lukewarm when it comes to the Bangladeshi border. According to the Sharma, the project to seal the Indo-Bangla border using smart fencing had not even started yet. This is mostly due to the reason that the Bangladesh government is not hostile as Pakistan when it comes to relationship with India.

However, the Indo-Bangla border requires fencing too. Even though our border with Bangladesh isn’t plagued with terrorist infiltration, there are other serious issues like illegal immigration and illegal cattle smuggling which are rampant.

Recently we had reported how BSF Jawans are regularly attacked by cattle smugglers along the border, which over the years has also resulted in the death and serious injuries to Jawans. Official figures also suggest that there are about 2 crore illegal Bangladeshi immigrants some of whom have also been reported to be indulging in serious crimes.

In December last year, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had claimed that the government was committed to sealing the 223.7 Km Bangladesh border along Assam. He had also assured that it would be done by Mid 2018. Also in January this year, reports had claimed that a similar smart border would also be installed along the Indo-Bangla international border in West Bengal. The time frame then given to start the project was a “few months”. But as per the latest report, the BSF doesn’t appear to be treating it at priority.

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