684.21 km of Indo-Bangla Border still remains open for Illegal Infiltration

New Delhi/Guwahati, December 27: In a heated discussion in the Parliament, the Union Minister of Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday answered a number of starred questions on the floor of the house, concerning the Indo-Bangla border issue and measures taken to control the infiltration of illegal migrants.

Member of Parliament (MP) Vivek Gupta asked several questions on the floor of the house such as whether out of 667 Km along India- Bangladesh Border where a physical barrier is feasible, only 21 Km of fencing was completed in 17 months since July 2015.

“If so, the reasons for slow pace of construction of physical barriers and measures taken to speed up the construction. Estimated losses to West Bengal due to border infiltrations arising from lack of security measures along the border, the details thereof and whether the Government has considered rehabilitating villages the near fencing. And whether Government is considering building community houses for households living beyond fencing under Border Area Development Programme?”

In response, Kiren Rijiju replied that since July 2015, 69.4 km along Indo-Bangladesh Border (IBB) has been covered with physical barriers. As on date 684.21 km along IBB remains to be covered by physical barriers. Work in 333.33 km is at various stages of execution. Work in about 350 km is pending due to land acquisition.

The land acquisition process on Indo-Bangladesh Border is time-consuming and cumbersome due to which the progress has been slow. In addition to pending land acquisition, limited working seasons due to heavy rainfall, extended the rainy season in the North-Eastern part of the country and difficult terrain conditions have been affecting the pace of the work, Rijiu further said.

In order to expedite land acquisition, the Ministry of Home Affairs has authorized the State Government of West Bengal to purchase land under their Land Purchase Policy and State Government of Meghalaya to acquire land under Urgency Clause of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. The work is monitored at the highest level through regular meetings, said Rijiju.

He also said that no report of loss to West Bengal due to border infiltrations arising from lack of security measures along Indo-Bangladesh Border had been received till date.

He went on to add that as of now, no proposal for rehabilitating villages near Indo-Bangladesh Border and building community houses for households living beyond fencing, under Border Area Development Programme, is under consideration in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Another MP Ronald Sapa Tlau  also put a series of questions on the floor of the House such as whether it is a fact that the Ministry had assigned the Border Security Force (BSF) in Indo-Bangladesh Border to protect the country from illegal infiltration; how many cases of illegal intrusions the BSF has reported in this sector during the past three years, year-wise; what instructions have been given to the BSF to follow when illegal infiltrators are detected; and  whether any such actions have been taken during the past three years, if so, the details thereof, year-wise and if not, the reasons ?

Kiren Rijiju responded by saying that Border Security Force (BSF) had been assigned the border guarding responsibilities along the Indo-Bangladesh border.

He said that the cases of illegal intrusions reported by BSF along Indo-Bangladesh Border during the past three years and current year, were (2014- 1017,  2015- 1047, 2016 – 832 and upto November 2017- 543)

He went on to add that the BSF has been mandated to prevent any illegal entry into the country. Persons found illegally infiltrating are handed over to the State Police for appropriate legal action.