Guwahati, Monday, October 31, 2011
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Strengthen border security: Mizoram, Tripura Governors

 Agartala/Aizawl, Oct 31 (IANS): Security along India's borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar must be strengthened for lasting peace in the region and to curb the smuggling of items such as arms, drugs and counterfeit currency, the governors of Tripura and Mizoram have said at a conference in New Delhi.

Tripura Governor DY Patil and his Mizoram counterpart Vakkom Purushothaman were speaking at the 43rd conference of governors in New Delhi Oct 29-30 addressed by President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram.

In the speech released on Monday, Purushothaman said Mizoram was a peaceful state "but it turns into transit zone for smuggling of drugs, counterfeit currencies and limited arms into and out of the state for insurgent groups in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland".

"The construction of border fencing along the India-Bangladesh international boundary is progressing well and with the rapid deployment of BSF (Border Security Force) personnel, border crimes have largely tamed," he added.

"The Assam Rifles which guards the Indo-Myanmar border alongwith other law enforcing agencies on the Indian side have been seizing weapons and drugs and that most offenders are found to be of Myanmar origin," he stated.

The Tripura governor said it was tough for security agencies in bordering northeastern states to detain the offenders as they crossed the border immediately after carrying out different types of crimes.

"Existing systems to get the help of Bangladesh police to hold the criminals and curb crimes are time taking and complicated. Reviewing the entire system, the police and the concerned authorities of both countries must evolve a purposeful method in this regard," Patil pointed out.

He urged the central government to complete border fencing at the earliest and stressed on further deployment of BSF troopers to check cross border movement of northeast India based militants.

"The number of Border Out Posts (BOPs) would be increased to 245 from the existing 210 BOPs to improve the vigil on the 856 km India-Bangladesh border with Tripura," Patil added.

Four northeastern states - Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Assam - share a 1,880 km border with Bangladesh, while Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh share a 1,640 km unfenced border with Myanmar.

The India-Bangladesh border is manned by the BSF while the India-Myanmar border is guarded by Assam Rifles.

The dense forests, mountainous terrain and unfenced boundaries make the borders porous and vulnerable.

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