Rajnath talks Darjeeling, border safety with Didi

Indian minister of home affairs Rajnath Singh speaks during a press conference after attending a meeting of chief ministers on the Indo Bangladesh border states to discuss security issues in Kolkata on 7 December 2017

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today asked five eastern states sharing boundaries with Bangladesh to be extra vigilant against illegal influx through the porous Indo-Bangla border. Singh, given his rapport with the CM, is likely to look into the matter.

Banerjee has been very vocal on the Centre's decision to withdraw central forces from Darjeeling during serious unrest following the demand of Gorkhaland by Bimal Gurung and his associates.

Singh on Thursday skirted questions about the possibility of a tripartite meeting on Gorkhaland, giving primacy to the state government's view. In order to plug cross-border terrorism, migration and cattle smuggling, he insisted on a technology-based surveillance system. Director General of BSF K K Sharma had last week said his troops apprehended 87 Rohingya Muslims along the Indo-Bangla border from the beginning of this year till October 31, and 76 were sent back to Bangladesh. "Of the 1,090 kilometres, 684 will be secured with fence and related infrastructure, while 406 kms will be covered by non-physical barrier", Singh said. He said that since it was hard to erect fencing in these areas, it was decided that the government would provide technological solution including installation of day light cameras, leaser and other sophisticated measures to strengthen the border security.

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"We have to put up fences in 684km". He said the India-Bangladesh border would be brought under a "Border Protection Grid" for foolproof security.

Non-physical barrier would comprise technological intervention such as radar, day-night cameras and sensors. "The grid will be supervised by a state-level standing committee which would function under the chairmanship of the government's working chief secretary", he said. He said, radical elements and terrorists can only be checked with joint action and active cooperation of central and state governments.

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