Security alert along India-Bangladesh border | india | Hindustan Times
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Security alert along India-Bangladesh border

india Updated: Oct 30, 2006 14:31 IST
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Security was tightened Monday along India's border with Bangladesh in the northeastern state of Tripura following political instability and continuing violence in the neighbouring country ahead of general elections next year.

"All the border outposts and patrol parties of the Border Security Force (BSF) have been asked to maintain high vigil along the international border," said BSF spokesperson SK Thakur. Training battalions of the BSF were also deployed to prevent infiltration from across the border.

India shares over 4,000-km border with Bangladesh. Tripura has an 856-km border with Bangladesh, a majority of the area unfenced with just concrete pillars separating the two countries.

Political violence in Bangladesh has hit border trade with India, besides affecting movement of people from states like Tripura to the neighbouring country.

The daily Agartala-Dhaka-Kolkata passenger bus service has stopped since Saturday. This has resulted in a large number of people from both countries being stranded in Tripura and at Petrapol and Benapol border areas of West Bengal.

"A Dhaka bound bus from Tripura had to return with the passengers due to political violence in the bordering district," said a spokesperson of the Tripura Road Transport Corporation.

However, Bangladesh authorities continue issuing visas.

"Issuing of visas for visiting Bangladesh has not been stopped. It is normal," said Bangladeshi official Monir Ahmed, who heads the visa office in Agartala.

At least 25 people have been killed in Bangladesh in violence triggered by a dispute over transfer of political power to an interim administration that will oversee elections in January.

Jatiya Sangsad, the Bangladesh parliament, was dissolved on Sunday after the expiry of the five-year-term of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led coalition government. There have been running street battles between supporters of the BNP and the main opposition Awami League.

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