Friday, July 27, 2012

INDIA INTENSIFIES BORDER GUARD : Delhi goes slow on land swap deal

While Dhaka presses Delhi for quick ratification of the land swap deal signed between the two countries, the latter instead is going ahead to construct more border outposts and complete the fencing to check cross-border infiltration. 
India also failed to stop killing of unarmed Bangladeshi citizens along the border in spite of repeated protests and commitments made from the highest level. Bangladesh shares about 4,095 km border with India.
India’s Border Security Force (BSF) has killed 151 Bangladeshi nationals in different frontiers during the current tenure of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government since January 2009, the country’s home minister Shahara Khatun said told the parliament last month.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office Consultation (FOC) meeting between India and Bangladesh held at the Foreign Secretary level earlier this week in Delhi, Bangladesh underlined the need for India to show some urgency in getting the deal finalised without further delay.
The day-long discussion was led by Foreign Secretary, Ranjan Mathai, and his Bangladesh counterpart, Mohamed Mijarul Quayes.
According to an Indian press report on Wednesday, Bangladesh was unhappy over the delay in implementation of a number of decisions taken during the meeting of the Prime Ministers of the two countries including the sharing of water of Teesta river.
While impressing upon India to ratify the land swap transfer deal, the Bangladesh Foreign Secretary said that it cannot be seen that the agreement is not implemented. This would create mistrust between the two neighbours, he said.
The deal has to be ratified by both the Houses of the Parliament in India. While BJP has been opposing the deal since the beginning, the Trinamool Congress, an ally of the Congress Party, too has opposed the deal.
New Delhi, meanwhile informed the Bangladesh delegation that the process of internal consultation has begun on the issue. “We are in the process of working out internal consensus,” said the official spokesman of Indian Ministry of External Affairs.
Meanwhile, New Delhi has sanctioned construction of 383 additional Border Out Posts (BOPs), besides ordering reduction of distance between outposts to 3.5 Km along the Indo-Bangladesh international border.
The additional BOPs were among a total of 509 BOPs sanctioned by the Ministry of Home Affairs, including 126 outposts along Indo-Pakistan Border.
The work is targeted to be completed by 2013-2014, Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram said, adding that the BOPs are now provided better communication and infrastructural facilities.
The increased number of BOPs will help in effective monitoring of the border, said Chidambaram, addressing a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee here last Tuesday.
Chidambaram, meanwhile, informed the Indin MPs that the Government was exploring the use of modern technology in border management by proper fencing, flood lights and other new technologies available in this field. He further stated that the experiences of advanced countries are also being studied for better border management.
The Minister said that adequate resources are being provided and low cost technology and better management is being explored for better management.
According to Indian Home Minister, the fencing is helping a lot in checking infiltration but the fence also requires repairs wherever it is damaged.