BSF to raise 29 battalions to check terrorists' influx | india | Hindustan Times
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BSF to raise 29 battalions to check terrorists' influx

India has decided to raise 29 battalions comprising 29,000 personnel of frontier guards to man the country's border with Pakistan and Bangladesh to check cross-border terrorism and infiltration of illegal migrants, officials said.

india Updated: Jan 20, 2009 20:44 IST

India has decided to raise 29 battalions comprising 29,000 personnel of frontier guards to man the country's border with Pakistan and Bangladesh to check cross-border terrorism and infiltration of illegal migrants, officials on Tuesday said.

"The central government has sanctioned 29 more Border Security Force (BSF) battalions and we hope to raise them soon and deploy them in the border areas. About 12 battalions would be deployed in the northeastern region, while the others would be kept for internal security duties," BSF Director General ML Kumawat told journalists in Guwahati.

He said India was prepared to meet any challenges on the western frontiers with border guards on a state of high alert.

"We are ready for any eventualities with our troopers on maximum vigil," Kumawat said. He said terror operators from Pakistan were now using the unfenced border that India shares with Nepal and Myanmar to enter India.

"With the India-Bangladesh border now almost fenced and patrolling intensified, Pakistan's ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) was unable to penetrate it and hence the border with Nepal and Myanmar has become more vulnerable," the BSF chief pointed out.

Kumawat said there were 110 camps of northeastern Indian separatist groups in Bangladesh. "We are aware of camps in Bangladesh and we hope Dhaka would support us in evicting those rebels from their soil," the BSF chief said.

Quoting intelligence reports, Kumawat said nearly 1.3 million Bangladeshi nationals have not returned to their country from India from 1972 to 2008. "Infiltration has come down considerably due to stepped up vigil and border fencing," the BSF official said.