Saturday, June 20, 2009

BSF to reserve 20% jobs from Naxal areas

19 Jun 2009, 2324 hrs IST, Debasis Sarkar, ET Bureau

KADAMTALA: An aggressive approach alone cannot keep Naxalite activities under control. It needs a social approach too. With this as objective,
Border Security Force (BSF) is now going to follow a policy of 20% reservation in recruitment for youths from Naxal-hit areas.

"The youths will have to fulfil the basic physical, mental and academic needs for the respective posts," said IG BSF (North Bengal Frontier) Nand Kishore on Friday.

"Though the policy was formally introduced in 2007-08, BSF is going to follow it strictly from now onwards," said Commandant J Prasad, BSF North Bengal Frontier spokesman. In addition to this, there is another 20% reservation in BSF recruitment for youths in border areas.

With the quantum of central government appointment low for the past couple of years, reservation could not yield much for the beneficiaries. But BSF has now undertaken a huge expansion plan. By 2013, 29 new battalions will be added to the existing 157.

"Moreover, the average border coverage length of 5.5 km under each border outpost (BOP), will be reduced to 3.5 km. This requires huge manpower," said Mr Kishore.

Meanwhile, according to the BSF brass, the eastern India border, mainly with Bangladesh, is being given equal priority with the western border with Pakistan. "Northeastern militant outfits, especially Ulfa, are desperate to find safe haven in Bangladesh. That makes the over 4000-Kmlong Indo-Bangla border more important," the officials said.

The issue will figure in the next DG level talks between India and Bangladesh.

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