Sunday, December 02, 2007

BSF plan to boost troops

- Gadgets to add teeth
OUR CORRESPONDENT

Silchar, Dec. 2: The BSF has drawn up an elaborate plan of action to prevent infiltration, mainly by Bangladeshis, and curb other crimes like cross-border smuggling.

At the BSF’s headquarters in Masimpur last night, the inspector-general of the BSF’s new frontier force in Mizoram and Cachar district in south Assam, Himmat Singh, said the thrust of the new border plan would be to increase its current strength from 10 battalions to 13 in the area.

Singh added that the gaps between two border outposts of the BSF along the Cachar-Mizoram border with Bangladesh would be reduced from the present distance of 5km to 3.5km to ensure better patrolling and surveillance.

The inspector-general said strengthening of the BSF troops along this frontier and minimising the distance between two border outposts were recommended by a group of ministers at the Centre.

He added that the Union home ministry is taking steps to execute the process.

Singh said the plan includes measures to shift the cattle markets from the border areas to the hinterlands for preventing unhindered cattle smuggling to Bangladesh from Assam and “sterilisation of the 150metre belt along the international border by getting the inhabitants there relocated to the other nearby areas”.

He added that the weaponry now being used by the BSF troops would also be modernised in tune with the requirements of the present times.

The BSF would be provided with state-of-the-art gadgets like hand-held thermal images, night-vision devices, battlefield surveillance radar and intruder alarm systems to prevent infiltrators and insurgents from sneaking across the border.

Other modern systems such as lightweight compass, laser range finder and global positioning system would also be introduced in phases.

Singh added that the BSF would set up a subsidiary training centre near this town soon for imparting in-service training facilities to the BSF on handling weaponry, firing skills, counter-insurgency, anti-Naxalite tactics, commando training and explosive management.

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