India steps up vigilance along Bangladesh border
Agartala/Silchar: India has beefed up security along the border with Bangladesh in view of the political turmoil in that country, officials said here on Friday.
"We have asked our soldiers to keep a close watch on the border situation. Our men remained vigilant round-the-clock along the borders, specially where a substantial number of people reside across the border," Border Security Force (BSF) public relations officer Bhaskar Rawat said.
"After the Assembly Elections in the five Indian states are over, the BSF personnel deployed on poll duties would be re-deployed along the borders to further reinforce vigilance along the sensitive borders," Rawat told a news agency.
India shares a 4,096-km border with Bangladesh, including 2,216 km in West Bengal, 856 km in Tripura, 443 km in Meghalaya, 318 km in Mizoram and 262 km in Assam. A large portion of the international border remains unfenced and porous.
Another top BSF official said: "We were apprehensive that when Bangladesh deployed its Army before their General Elections (due in January) and started taking action against miscreants and wrongdoers, there might be some influx of people from across the border into Indian territory."
"However, we will take steps as and when the situation so dictates," the official told a news agency, refusing to disclose his identity.
There are a large number of fairly thickly populated Bangladeshi villages and towns on the other side of the international border, making the task a delicate one for Indian border guards.
The Bangladesh election commission has set January 05, 2014 for the 10th Parliamentary Elections, a plan rejected by the major opposition parties.
Main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led 18-party alliance with the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami being a major partner, is conducting a violent agitation across the country demanding postponement of the polls and holding them under a neutral caretaker government.
According to media reports, at least 20 people have died in widespread violence in the past three days.
Rail coaches, vehicles and private and government assets have been damaged by the protestors.
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