Militancy will fade if Indo-Myanmar border guarded well: Ibobi



New Delhi: If India guards its frontier with Myanmar effectively, militancy in the Northeast will fade away, Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh said here on Monday.

Speaking at the Chief Ministers' conference on internal security here, Singh said his state endorses the central government's proposal to deploy the BSF, replacing the Assam Rifles, to guard the 1,640-kilometre-long border which will help to ensure effective surveillance of this porous frontier.

"We have been consistently and repeatedly drawing attention of the Government of India to the dire need to effectively guard the India-Myanmar border. We are happy to learn that the Ministry of Home Affairs has finalised a proposal to construct 4,585 kms of roads, 113 helipads and two helibases along the Indo-Myanmar border.

"I understand that the proposal is awaiting approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security. We fully endorse MHA's proposal to deploy BSF as the dedicated border guarding force for the Indo-Myanmar border," Singh said.

The chief minister said that this initiative will ensure effective surveillance along the sensitive and porous border which today is "at the core of illegal arms and drugs smuggling and the unchecked trans-border movement of militants" who are a threat to internal security.

"...Allow me to reiterate that if we can guard this border effectively, militancy in the North East will fade away. This is a core issue which Government of India must tackle with clear foresight and in a sustained manner," he said.

The chief minister also said that for an effective guarding of the border, "it is absolutely essential that the border is fenced and a network of roads developed on top most priority".

PTI