Rajnish Sharma, Asian Age Correspondent
New Delhi, 11 August 2012. The Cabinet Committee on Security will soon discuss threadbare security along the India-Bangladesh border and suggest “corrective measures, particularly in areas of strategic importance like border fencing, checking infiltration and smuggling”.
Top government sources said the comprehensive security review at the CCS level was necessitated by the recent ethnic violence in Assam, whose roots lie in cross-border infiltration. The government, sources added, attached a lot of importance to the violence in Assam and was keen to ensure there was no repeat of such incidents in future. This is more so as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a Rajya Sabha MP from Assam.
“It is an easy excuse to say Assam has a history of such ethnic clashes. But this time we need to get to the root cause and fix it. This review is a great opportunity for security agencies as it will go beyond Assam and look at security hazards in the entire Northeast due to the highly porous border,” a senior government official said.
While work on the 3,400-km fencing along the Indo-Bangladesh border is said to be progressing at a “satisfactory pace”, certain patches are still an area of concern. Sources claim that a stretch of at least 40 km at different places in Assam is still not fenced. In addition, there are riverine areas which are not patrolled properly. Floodlighting along the fencing also has to be expedited, officials said.
After the recent ethnic clashes, the intelligence agencies have told the government there was an “erratic increase” in population in some Assam districts, including Kokrajhar and Dhubri, among the areas worst affected by rioting.