Guwahati: The Border Security Force (BSF), manning the 4, 096 kilometre India-Bangladesh border has been equipped with hi-tech surveillance equipments to keep tab on infiltrators and cross border criminals.
The list includes Long Range Reconnaissance and Observation System (LORROS), Battle Field Surveillance Radars (BFSR), Handheld Thermal Imagers (HHTI), Night Vision Devices and goggles.
“The gadgets have been installed to keep watch on the unfenced and riverine portions of the border between India and Bangladesh,” a Union Home Ministry statement said.
These bordering areas are characterised by thick vegetation, hills, forest areas, low-lying patches and thick population right up to zero-line.
All these factors make the border vulnerable to illegal cross-border activities, including drug and cattle smuggling.
“The introduction of the modern and hi-tech gadgets has come handy for our personnel as it is always not easy to keep watch on the infiltrators and the cross border criminals,” sources said.
The Home Ministry letter said in order to check cross-border illegal activities, including cattle smuggling, effective domination of the border was being done by carrying out round-the-clock surveillance.
The riverine segments were patrolled with the help of watercraft, speedboats, and floating border outposts of the water wing of BSF.
“Besides, flood-lighting of the borders has been done to enhance the observation during night, up-gradation of the intelligence with other security agencies,” it said.
Cattle smuggling through India-Bangladesh border, including the stretch in Assam’s Dhubri district is rampant. The letter said the leather industry and beef processing units in neighbouring Bangladesh are encouraging smuggling of Indian cattle through the porous Indo-Bangladesh borders.
It said the leather and tannery industries and processed beef units in Bangladesh were mostly dependent on smuggled Indian cattle. Export of the items produced by these units to West Asian countries led to further encouragement of cross-border smuggling.
The government has also sanctioned 16 additional battalions to augment Border Out Posts (BOPs) in riverine, hilly and vulnerable segment on the border.
The centre has also sanctioned additional 383 BOPs on the Indo-Bangladesh border to reduce inter-BOP distance for effective domination of the border.