New Delhi: It is a challenge to guard the country's borders with Nepal and Bhutan, and anti-social elements here are hard to detect as there is "no restriction" on the cross-border movement of people, Union Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said.
Despite these challenges the force was doing a good job in securing these frontiers, he said during the 51st Raising Day of border guarding Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) here.
The SSB guards the 1,751 km-long Indo-Nepal and 699 km-long Indo-Bhutan border after it was raised in 1963 in the aftermath of the Chinese aggression.
"These (Nepal and Bhutan) are totally different borders. As these borders are open and there is no restriction of movement for people...Hence it is difficult to identify anti-social elements. But Nepal and Bhutan have been friends of India for centuries and SSB successfully rendered its task of managing security on these borders. I am sure SSB will help us better our relations with our neighbouring countries in the future by their good work," he said.
Chaudhary, an MP from Gujarat and inducted into Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet recently, officiated as the chief guest at the event after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh could not make it to the function, as he was away in Lucknow.
"In the last 30 years it has happened for the first time that a government which has full majority has come to power...After his (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) taking over, the image of India that was distorted ('bigdi') in the world has got better. The PM took foreign trips to the US, Australia, Japan, Bhutan and Nepal and the kind of image that India has (now) got will get better in the world. India will get the benefits (of this)," he said.
Chaudhary added that the Home Ministry would "sympathetically" decide on the forces' demand for grant of special allowance for the non-combatised members of the force who work in difficult and hard areas to carry out civic action work sponsored by the central government for the needy.
SSB chief B D Sharma, during his speech earlier, placed a demand for a special allowance for this component of his force.
It was also the first time that the Raising Day celebration of SSB was attended by the chiefs of the border counterpart guarding forces of Nepal and Bhutan.