Northeast borders need priority in security, say chief ministers

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

AGARTALA/KOHIMA/AIZAWL - Top priority must be given to tightening security and vigil at India’s northeastern borders, chief ministers of the states in the region told a conference on internal security.

The subject was raised by the chief ministers of Tripura, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur at the conference on internal security convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi Tuesday.

India has a total of 4,750 km international boundary with China, Myanmar, Bhutan, Bangladesh in the northeast.

Effective management of the border is essential for ensuring internal security. It is urgently necessary to complete fencing in the remaining part of the borders as the separatist outfits are using the porous borders to access their camps in Bangladesh, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said at the conference.

He said: To ensure efficient border management, additional BSF (Border Security Force (BSF) troopers must be deployed, and by establishing more border outposts, the gap between two border stations should be reduced from 4.5 km to 3.5 km.

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio urged the central government to further reinforce the border security along India-Myanmar border.

The smuggling of arms and ammunition and contraband from across the border is cause for concern. The long and porous international border makes it difficult to effectively control such activities, Rio told the conference.

India should maintain regular talks with the Myanmar government at various levels and undertake intensive development of infrastructure in these areas, Rio stated.

Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla also requested the central government to keep close vigil along the borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh.

In spite of our heavy expenditure on maintaining security and peace, we have been deprived of funds under security related schemes. This is an injustice which needs to be redressed, Lal Thanhawla said.

Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh also echoed similar concerns.

Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Assam share a 1,880-km border with Bangladesh, while India and Bhutan share a 643-km unfenced border.

Indias Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram share a 1,640-km-long border with Myanmar manned by Assam Rifles and the dense forests in most parts make the border porous and vulnerable.

— Indo-Asian News Service

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