BSF suggests no-habitation zone on Indo-Bangla border
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The Border Security Force (BSF) has suggested creation of a "no-habitition zone" of 150 yards along the Indo-Bangla border for effective surveillance.
As many as 145 villages across West Bengal, Meghalaya and Tripura touch the international border where policing is virtually impossible. A stretch of 45.45 km running through these villages will remain unfenced despite efforts by the Home Ministry to complete the project within the current year.
The BSF is of the view that unless the villages are relocated, reduction of trans-border crimes would remain a far cry since it is almost impossible to distinguish an Indian national from a Bangladeshi. These 145 villages have 13650 houses with a population of 89000.
Officials explained how a similar arrangement along the Indo-Pak border in Punjab and Rajasthan ó where no houses are allowed to be constructed within 150 yards ó has helped improved surveillance.
Farmers involved in cultivation along the stretch have been given identity cards that have to be shown everyday. The proposal for the Indo-Bangla frontier assumes importance in view of the increasing use of the neighbouring country by terrorist outfits and the insurgent groups based in the Northeast. Officials said unless "innovative" measures were implemented, the free run by anti-national elements would continue jeopardising the security of the country.
It is learnt that the Home Ministry has sent the proposal for relocation of villages. However, it may be noted that out of the three states, WB and Tripura are densely populated and availability of land for transfer might not be found.
In Meghalaya, some NGOs have told the government that the fencing project should be halted in some parts in Jayantia Hills and West Khasi Hills.
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