Nongkrem (Meghalaya), Sep 28 (IANS) Outgoing Assam Rifles chief Lt. Gen. K.S. Yadava Tuesday said that the central government plans to move in the Border Security Force (BSF) to the northeast to guard the unfenced India-Myanmar border.
He said the Assam Rifles would continue its counter-insurgency operation in states bordering Myanmar.
Yadava said the central government was in the process of raising 26 additional BSF battalions.
'The new BSF battalions would be posted at the India-Myanmar border. These would look into infiltration, smuggling and other border-related issues,' Yadava told journalists at the Assam Rifles headquarters here.
At present, the Assam Rifles is burdened with the twin responsibility of guarding the treacherous India-Myanmar border and also conducting counter-insurgency operations in Manipur and Nagaland, he said.
There has always been a school of thought that the Assam Rifles, the oldest paramilitary force in the country, should be relieved of its border guarding responsibilities and allowed to concentrate solely on counter-insurgency operations, he said.
However, the home ministry's 'one border, one force' policy always came in the way to facilitate such a policy shift, he said.
As of now, the ministry has mandated the BSF to guard the India- Bangladesh border in the region. The Assam Rifles is tasked with guarding the India-Myanmar border and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police is responsible for guarding the India-China border. The Sashastra Seema Bal guards the India-Bhutan border.
Yadava, who would hang up his boots Sep 30, said the decision to raise 26 additional Assam Rifles battalions has been kept in abeyance by the central government. 'There are some problems in raising the additional 26 Assam Rifles battalions,' Yadava said without elaborating.
Instead, the oldest paramilitary has raised a new field intelligence unit to boost its intelligence gathering along the India-Myanmar border. The unit consists of 200 officers from the force.
Yadava said the BSF recently inspected the border area to finalise plans to post its men there. The officers went on a familiarisation mission to these areas.
India shares a 1,643-km long unfenced border with Myanmar. The porous border with its rugged terrain is used by Indian insurgent groups to slip in and out of the country. Forest and animal products are also smuggled through this route in and out of India.
"There is no specific regulation on fake currency offence in the country. And an offender if caught red handed with Indian fake notes is penalised under petty offence and easily get bail to start afresh crime," according to BSF Director General Raman Srivastava. Economists opined that random news reports of Indian fake currency seizure across Indian borders have dented confidence among the business as well and common people that severely affecting Indian economies.
An estimated data revealed that about 86 lakh worth of Indian fake notes had been seized by the BSF in past four years, tips of iceberg, from Indo-Bangla borders alone.
" This amount only from here and I do not know how much from other sides of the Indian borders in the western India," the BSF chief said on Tuesday after returning from Dhaka.
He was in Dhaka to attend a six-day BSF-BDR's bi-annual conference on border situation.
" It is very difficult to know the sources of fake notes as and when we catch a career he or she turned out to be living on border line. About thirty 30 per cent offender arrested is either woman or a minor. The real offender is remaining illusive. Because the fake notes offenders are mostly carrying agents work on paltry wages," Srivastava said.
" The quality paper used for making fake notes is tremendous hi-tech. The manufacturing quality is also tremendous and we have to know the roots of sources to contain such crime,' he said.
He said many agencies were working on to find out the sources but the existing laws in the country were not enough to deal such crime.
Srivastava said they would approach the Centre to enact a law so that all the agencies working on to contain the crime find support in curbing the menace.
The Army’s special forces were the first to receive them. It was then the turn of security personnel in J&K. Finally, CRPF personnel operating in Maoist-infested Lalgarh have got access to sophisticated weapons imported from Israel.
Senior officials believe that the 5.56mm Tavor guns, manufactured by Israel Weapon Industries Ltd (IWI), will give their men that much-needed edge over the guerrillas who use the terrain to their advantage. The INSAS, AK-47 or 7.62 mm SLR used by the CRPF till now have not proved to be too effective in close quarter battles (CQB). Indian ordnance factories have been trying to come up with an effective solution, but their latest products have not yet cleared field trials by the armed forces.
In 2009, Union home minister P Chidambaram cleared the procurement of 10,147 assault rifles from IWI in a `144-crore deal. The defence ministry had also imported similar weapons for use by its special forces.
“The INSAS is a good weapon for an infantry soldier. However, it is too cumbersome for personnel involved in counter-insurgency operations. The AK-47s are easier to carry, but are not accurate enough. The weapons imported from Israel are not only accurate and lightweight, they also have a rate of fire to match the AK-47s. They are ideally suited for the CQB environment when personnel have only a spilt second to react,” an official said.
Fitted with special sights, it doesn’t take long to aim the Israeli guns before firing. Unlike the AK-47s and SLRs, these weapons use 5.56mm ammunition, similar to the INSAS. Platoons no longer have to carry different types of ammunition.
“These are ambidextrous weapons that can be used with both hands. They have integral reflex sights that allows a jawan to aim with both eyes open. They are good for both day and night operations,” the official said.
According to experts in the defence ministry, the Israeli weapons are unlike anything that have been used by Indian troops. These are the only weapons that have the characteristic ‘Bull Pup’ design. This design makes these weapons extremely useful for special forces and troops involved in counter-insurgency the world over.
“Unlike weapons used by Indian forces so far, these guns have their magazines behind the trigger. As a result, the centre of gravity is to the rear and the barrels point upward even when the weapons are not in use. In case of emergency, it is far easier to bring the barrel down and fire the weapons. In other rifles, the barrels have a tendency to point downward,” an Army officer involved in the training of special forces said.
BSF finds mapping method- With satellite images, BDR promises to locate rebel camps
Shillong, Oct. 1: India and Bangladesh have come a long way and this was evident at the recently concluded BSF-BDR meeting held in Dhaka.Unlike in the past, the BSF used the Global Positioning System (GPS) to pinpoint the whereabouts of the camps of Northeast insurgents in Bangladesh and handed over the details to the BDR during the meeting.
In another departure from the past, the BDR assured the BSF delegation that they would try and locate these militant camps.“We have used the GPS method so that the BDR can help trace the camps more effectively,” the BSF IG, Assam-Meghalaya frontier, S.C. Saxena, told The Telegraph today.
“In the past, we used to give the total number and locations of the camps of Northeast militants taking shelter in Bangladesh, enabling them to search within a km of a particular place where the camp is located,” he added.
The new method of sharing GPS data with the BDR assumes significance in the context of the constant denial by the Bangladesh authorities in the past about the existence of the camps of Northeast militants in their country.
They also denied allegations that Ulfa leaders were running hotels of international standard in that country and had rubbished as “nonsense” data furnished by the BSF on the bank accounts of Ulfa leaders there.
Saxena, who was part of the director-general level meeting between the BSF and the BDR, said the BSF had handed over a list of the names and addresses of around 60 camps of Northeast insurgent groups taking shelter in Bangladesh with accurate specifications obtained from satellite.
“The GPS method using satellite has the pin-pointed details about these camps and we have shared them with the BDR for their necessary action,” he said. The GPS can spot the camps more accurately by specifying the longitude and latitude.
The IG said security forces use hand-held mobile phones which have GPS to gather satellite-based specific information about the whereabouts of militant camps.
“We have cross-checked and verified the existence of Northeast militant camps in Bangladesh and we hope that security forces in Bangladesh will be able to act on the information,” Saxena said.
He said unlike in the past, positive steps were being taken by the Bangladesh authorities as far as taking action against Indian insurgents in Bangladesh was concerned.
Northeast militant groups like Ulfa, NDFB, NLFT, the All Tripura Tiger Force, NSCN(I-M), PLA, the Muslim United Liberation Front of Assam (Multa), KYKL, Prepak, UNLF and the HNLC have set up camps in the Bangladesh districts of Moulvi Bazar, Sherpur, Bandarban, Sylhet, Cox’s Bazar, Khagrachhari, Mymensingh, Rangamati, Sunamganj, Kurigram Tangil, Chittagong, Comilla and Jamalpur.
New salary scheme with slew of benefits for paramilitary force
The government has brought more than eight lakh personnel of paramilitary forces like CRPF, BSF and NSG under a new "charge-free" salary scheme which entitles them to have concessional loans and hassle-free withdrawal of salaries.Under the new scheme, the spouses of these men and women in uniform will also be provided with a free 'add-on ATM card' which will enable them to withdraw money and carry out financial transactions in the absence of the earning member of the family, posted far away along the border or in the Naxal-hit areas of the country.
The country's largest banker -- State Bank of India -- recently launched a unique paramilitary salary package on the lines of a similar facility for the Armed forces -- army, navy and the air force.The new scheme will entitle the paramilitary jawans to enjoy "charge-free" facilities like zero balance account, free ATM-cum-shopping card without an annual maintenance fee and freedom to draw their salaries from the nearest SBI branch or an ATM of any bank, when they are deployed away from their parent units.
"In central paramilitary and police forces, a jawan and officer are not posted at the parent unit or a battalion headquarter often. Under the new scheme, the troops can have free cheque books and ATM cards to draw their salaries at any place," a senior paramilitary officer said.
The scheme was inaugurated by Union home minister P Chidambaram on September 29 for forces like Central ReservePolice Force (CRPF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBPF),Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Border Security Force (BSF), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and the elite National Security Guard (NSG).
The other facilities that can be enjoyed by the troops include free multi-city cheques, free demand drafts, free internet banking, free transfer of money through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and concessions in interest rates on home, car and education loans and discount on purchase of gold coins.The headquarters of the paramilitary forces have also issued orders for conducting awareness camps on these new facilities for jawans and officers at various battalions and company headquarters."We want them (force personnel) to avail the benefits of the new service as soon as possible. Senior officials from the forces and experts from the banking sector will be conducting lectures for these facilities," the officer said.General costumers have to pay a certain service charge for these facilities. New salary scheme with slew of benefits for paramilitary force - India - DNA
Eastern borders more problematic than in the west: BSF
gartala, Oct 11 (IANS) India's eastern borders pose more problems than the western part of the international boundary, a top Border Security Force (BSF) officer said here Monday.'India's western part of the international borders are largely plains, better fenced and well guarded while eastern region of the boundaries are both plains and mountainous besides not being fully fenced,' Pranay Sahaya, newly appointed special director general of the BSF, told reporters.
He added that the distance between two BOPs (border outposts) on the western border is lesser than in the eastern part of the borders.
I will study the international borders carefully before taking suitable plans to further strengthen vigil along the eastern Indian border,' said Sahaya, who will take charge Tuesday as special DG of the BSF in Kolkata.
A 1975 batch Manipur-Tripura cadre Indian Police Service officer, Sahaya was the director general of Tripura police and worked in that northeastern border state in various capacities for more than two decades.He said inter-linkages between separatist outfits of the northeastern region had been weakening while sharing of information and experiences between the security forces of northeast was being strengthened.
In Bangladesh, in view of the crackdown by the security forces of that country against the northeast India militants, the camps of Tripura terrorists have been reduced to 18 now from 45 in 2003.''I have seen some instances of a few security personnel of other states conniving with militant outfits, but Tripura is the only state where no such case has been found so far,' the senior IPS officer said.As part of the modernisation plan, he said, police stations in Tripura would be online from January next year.
ITBP proposes to raise 13 more battalions Proposal of raising 13 more battalions and setting up seven to eight training institutions have been sent to the government
Published on 10/22/2010 - 10:45:38 AM New Delhi: The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has sent a proposal to the Union government to restructure the force and raise 13 more battalions to make it toothier.
"There are several plans. Proposal of raising 13 more battalions and setting up seven to eight training institutions have been sent to the government. They are under active and positive consideration,” ITBP Director General RK Bhatia said here on Thursday.
Raised in 1962 with just four battalions the force currently has 49 battalions of which 19 battalions are deployed at the Indo-China border.
The proposals also include a Mountain Warfare Training Institute and a Research and Referral Hospital for the force. The 200-bed hospital would come up at Greater Noida.
"The responsibilities of the force have increased significantly. Although the ITBP is mainly a border guarding force, we have been deployed for several duties related to internal security,"
Conservation team opposes fencing- Experts feel construction along the border in Dampa will impact wildlife
Guwahati, Nov. 1: An expert team constituted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has opposed the construction of fencing and patrol road along the Indo-Bangladesh border in Dampa tiger reserve as it would have an impact on the movement of wildlife.Dampa tiger reserve shares international boundary with Bangladesh for around 127km in the southern part of the reserve.
The team was asked by the NTCA to carry out an appraisal of the reserve as it has been categorised as “poor” because of its low tiger numbers.
“The team feels that if the border outpost and concrete road and fence are constructed, the movement of animals across the border to use the suitable forest areas for ecological needs of the species concerned would vastly reduce if not completely stopped. This could hamper conservation of tiger and other key species in Dampa tiger reserve. If migration of species is stopped because of the construction of border outposts and concrete patrolling roads and fences within the reserve, this could attract disrespect for the conservation of migratory species at global level,” the report submitted to the NTCA recently said.
Seven border outposts are planned to set up in the 62km stretch of the core of the reserve.A senior official of Dampa tiger reserve said the proposal for construction of fencing and patrol road would hamper the movement of wildlife. The Kassalong reserve forest in Bangladesh is located on other side of the border.
“There should be talks between officials of India and Bangladesh on the issue of wildlife movement as has been done in case of India and Nepal,” the official said.The team opined that any patrolling road and fence within the tiger reserve should not be encouraged and no concrete road and fence should be allowed within the reserve.
“If for security reasons, the establishment of border outpost is essential for the security of the country, a joint and formal patrolling strategy by the BSF and forest staff should be encouraged under the leadership of the field director of Dampa tiger reserve and the deputy inspector-general of the BSF of the region,” the report said.
The Mizoram forest department is also awaiting a team of the NTCA for conducting site inspection and suggest alternatives and precautionary measures.
Dampa tiger reserve has been categorised as poor by the earlier studies carried out by the Wildlife Institute of India and the NTCA.
Camera trapping exercise in the tiger reserve could find other salient cat species like clouded leopard, leopard, leopard cat and others but so far failed to get a tiger trapped in those cameras
Fencing of India-Bangladesh border in progress, says Chidambaram
Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday informed that 11 kilometres of fencing and 15 kms of road works were completed in phase II and 17 kms of fencing was replaced in phase III at the India- Bangladesh border while 59.73 kms of formation works and 3.23 kms of surfacing works were completed in October on India-China border.
Chidambaram while presenting the Home Ministry's report card for the month of October here said: " Eleven kilometres of fencing and 15 kms of road works were completed in October, 2010 under phase II of the project, 17 kms of fencing was replaced in October, 2010 under phase III of the project. Poles for floodlighting were erected on a length of 50 kms and cables were laid on 10 kms during the month of October, 2010."
On the India-China Border, the Home Minister informed that 59.73 kms of formation works and 3.23 kms of surfacing works were completed in October, 2010. "The construction of Sugar Point - Lapcha road (7.55 kms) in Himachal Pradesh was also completed in October, 2010," he stated.
On the issue of coastal security, Mr. Chidambaram informed that one boat was delivered in October, 2010 by Goa Shipyards Limited. In addition, 13 boats are ready for delivery including seven boats for Andaman and Nicobar. "Against a delivery target of 180 boats up to October, 2010, 159 boats have been delivered. We have been assured that the shortfall will be made up and all the contracted 204 boats will be delivered by January, 2011 as against original target date of December, 2010," he stated. (ANI) http://sify.com/news/fencing-of-indi...btEfeajfc.html
Special integrated check post at Attari to be operational by April 2011
The Integrated Check Post (ICP) at the Attari border, Amritsar to facilitate trade between India and Pakistan is likely to be operational by April 2011.With more than 60 per cent work being over, the ambitious project spread over 130 acres and built with a project cost of Rs150 crore would be completed within its deadline. Experts believe that trade with these two countries will further achieve a new milestone, once the state-of-the-art facility becomes operational.
According to data, on an average 30-50 trucks laden with Indian merchandise cross the Wagah border daily at present. With the completion of ICP, the infrastructure will enable ten times the the number of trucks to pass conveniently.The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had already placed orders for installation of necessary machinery, including high-tech scanners for customs and immigration departments, for speedier services at the border.
“The ICP would provide modern infrastructural facilities for cross-border movement of persons, vehicles and goods. We are also going to install full body scanners for trucks. The facility would also give a filip to India’s trade and commerce,” said P K Sirohi, chief commissioner, Central Excise and Service Tax, Chandigarh
It is worth mentioning that the Indo-Pak trade has got a shot in the arm with the commencement of cross-border movement of truct on October 1, 2007 of trucks along the Attari border, Amritsar(Punjab) on October 1, 2007. This historic day was not only a milestone in Indo-Pak bilateral relations over the last 60 years but also in the world history as the entire global focus was likely to be on the Indian subcontinent in the years to come. Earlier, the goods were exported by porters by exchanging their loads on Radcliff line(border).
It is expected that with the work on ICP going at war footing level, trade will achieve new milestones. At present trade between India and Pakistan is done through Rail Route from Amritsar and Attari border. The progress of trade between the two countries has received mixed response.It is expected that the opening of Attari border for the trade, there would be a spurt in the economic activity between the Indian and Pakistan Punjab, resulting in huge revenue and employment generation. Further analysts says that there was a tremendous scope of increasing the trade from the few designated items which had been permitted for trade through trucks would be increased many fold including sport goods, light engineering hand tool, machine tools, hosiery and processed food products from Punjab and fine staples cotton would be imported from Pakistan which has assured demand in the Indian market.
Further, the agriculture economy of both countries would get a major boost with the opening of trade through this border because the farmers would get better and remunerative prices for the produce because the movement of the agriculture goods prove to be cost effective resulting in profit maximization to the advantage of the both countries.
Tired BSF can now catch some sleep India’s jawans guarding the borders can finally catch some sleep. The Border Security Force (BSF) has asked all units to give the men and women deployed along the borders six hours sleep every 24 hours, and a day off every week. So far, BSF personnel could not sleep for more than two hours at a stretch.
“They would take their bedding along when they stepped out of their outpost to their respective locations… and take turns sleeping,” said BSF’s additional director general (Human Resources) Arvind Ranjan.For a perennially short of personnel force to keep an eye on more than 6,600 km of Indian borders, there seemed to be no other way.
The jawan will either collapse… or sleep on duty,” BSF director general Raman Srivastava — who rewrote the rules of deployment for the force — conceded.“This had become a tired force… the men were working with very little rest… nobody can sleep in shifts for too long and perform,” Srivastava said, counting the new personnel policies to give the jawans time off as his “most important personal achievement”.
Srivastava also introduced the concept of a weekly off. “In the paramilitary forces, there was no concept of a holiday…You were always on duty, literally,” the BSF commandant said.On their holidays, Srivastava said the jawans would still not be able to leave their border outpost. “But they will be free to do anything they want… sleep, watch TV or read,” he said.
Srivastava said there were some locations where jawans won’t get these benefits. “But this is a small number and will be taken care of with new recruitments.”
New Delhi: As part of efforts to thwart infiltration attempts, the BSF will erect additional border posts, undertake fencing and carry out lighting work along the frontiers. Minister of State for Home Ajay Maken said additional battalions will also be raised to cater to new duties of the force, including anti-Naxal operations.
"Additional Border Out Posts (BOP) are being created by the BSF. The aim is to reduce inter-BOP distance and carry out effective vigil and patrolling along the Pakistan and Bangladesh borders," Maken told reporters on the occasion of the 45th Raising Day celebrations of the force here.
Maken said fencing and construction of roads along these "large and porous" borders is being expedited. BSF chief Raman Srivastava, while speaking on the occasion, said the force has begun a "border domination" exercise to effectively guard and keep a constant vigil on the border. The BSF guards more than 6,600 kilometres of border area and has also deployed 10,000 personnel for anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh and Orissa.
Maken said BSF is carrying out civic action work in Naxal areas by involving the local population. The BSF has taken up the case with the civil administration of Dhubri district, Assam PWD as well as Brahmaputra Flood Control Board. Of the total sanctioned length of border fencing of 90 km in Assam, 73 km has been completed while work is in progress in another 8 km.
In Meghalaya, of the total 481 km sanctioned length, 176 km has been completed and work is in progress in 114 km. Meanwhile, two insurgents today surrendered to BSF at the frontier headquarters here with arms and ammunitions.
Karbi Longri National Liberation Front (KLNLF) ?sergeant major? Kemson Phangcho, a resident of Karbi Aonglong in Assam, surrendered with a 9mm pistol, one magazine and some live rounds. Self-styled ULFA ?corporal? Doleshwar Gogoi of Golaghat surrendered with a .32 pistol and six rounds. According to a BSF statement 56 militants were held along the Indo-Bangladesh in Assam and Meghalaya border this year, while three others surrendered.
Altogether 289 infiltrators were also caught this year, besides fake currency of the face value of Rs 2.92 lakh from ten racketeers and contraband items worth Rs 5 crore.