The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), a paramilitary force, has set up 578 security posts on Bhutan and Nepal borders to check rising anti-India activities by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and Maoists in Nepal.
These 578 Border Out Posts (BOPs) are out of the total 582 BOPs — 450 along the 1,751 km India-Nepal border and 132 along the 699 km India-Bhutan border — which the Centre had proposed to set up.
The SSB is in the process of setting up the remaining four BOPs.
They have reduced the distance between two posts and enabled the jawans to increase frequency of patrolling.
The 41,000 strong SSB has proposed to nearly double its strength by raising 35 more battalions to man these BOPs, its Inspector General (personnel) SK Bhagat said.
“With increasing ISI activities along the Indo-Nepal border, setting up of Pakistani and Chinese study centres in Nepal, and heightened anti-India activities of the Young Communist Democratic League, an arm of Nepal Maoists, the government is taking appropriate measures to guard the borders,” said a senior SSB official wishing anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to media.
Besides, the government was considering recommendations of an inter-ministerial committee on stepping up surveillance along the twin borders, said a senior home ministry official. The ministry is considering deployment of hi-tech surveillance and border monitoring facilities, he added.
Also, the SSB has for the first time deployed seven reserve companies of Mahila Bal, women’s force, at Patna, Lucknow and Guwahati frontier headquarters to check the use of women operatives for smuggling arms, narcotics and fake currencies. The IGP said the force would raise more women companies in future.