State BJP plans to step up vigil along Bangla border

  • Bibhas Bhattacharyya, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Dec 19, 2014 13:32 IST

The state BJP is forming its own ‘vigilance teams’ along the Bengal-Bangladesh border to curb infiltration. Districts such as North 24-Parganas, Nadia, Malda and Murshidabad will get special attention as a lot of infiltration takes place in these areas, state BJP leaders told HT.

These teams – drawn from local BJP workers and sympathisers – will coordinate with the BSF and local police personnel. If they find anything suspicious, they will inform these two agencies immediately. "Infiltration is a big problem in Bengal and the ruling party is indifferent to this issue. On many occasions, terrorists entered India through the Bengal-Bangladesh border taking advantage of the state government’s callousness. We have decided to form our vigilance teams along the border areas," Rahul Sinha, the state BJP president, told HT.

Criminals have snipped miles of fencing, say local BJP leaders, facilitating crossovers. In many areas, there is no fencing. For example, 2.5 km stretch of the 42-km border under Swarupnagar police station (in North 24-Parganas district) is unfenced. Before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, infiltration turned out to be a political issue in Bengal with BJP training its guns on the ruling party, accusing it of making a bid to gain political mileage. While campaigning, Narendra Modi attacked chief minister Mamata Banerjee for ‘allowing’ infiltrators to come in. She is indulging in vote bank politics, alleged Modi.

After the October 2 blast in Burdwan, the infiltration issue has taken centre stage. “We do not support infiltration. But let me also tell you the onus of stopping it lies with the BSF,” said Kalyan Banerjee, Trinamool Congress MP. “One can’t imagine the present condition of Bongaon (in North 24-Parganas). It has turned into a safe zone for infiltrators and smugglers. Human trafficking is rampant, and the police in unable to prevent it. In my area, I have already started taking steps to form a vigilance team,” said KD Biswas, the BJP leader who contested from Bongaon Lok Sabha constituency this year. “After infiltrating, the Bangladesh nationals manage to obtain voter identity and ration cards after bribing the local political leaders. Despite information in most cases, police are doing nothing because of political pressure,” alleged the BJP state president.

After the Burdwan explosion, investigating agencies came to know that most of the operatives of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, Bangladesh (JMB) sneaked into Bengal taking advantage of the porous international border. Later, some of them managed voter identity and ration cards.

“There are many unfenced areas along the Bengal-Bangladesh border and shortly the fencing of these areas would be done,” the state BJP president claimed. The state BJP also said that cattle smuggling has been going on for years. The smugglers regularly take cattle to Bangladesh through North 24-Parganas, Malda, Murshidabad and Nadia. These smugglers are powerful and on many occasions they even killed BSF personnel when they tried to stop them.

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