India clears 383 OPs on Bangla border

 NEW DELHI, Feb 28 – Asserting that tight vigil is being maintained along Indo-Bangladesh border, Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram said that Centre has cleared establishment of 383 border observation posts (BOP) along the international border with the neighbouring country. Presenting his third report after assuming charge of the Home Ministry, Chidambaram said the border has been placed under high alert and BSF asked to maintain a tight vigil. The border is totally safe, he assured, adding that security on Indo-Bangladesh border is being strengthened.

Referring to the measures taken to check illegal influx, Chidambaram said approval has been granted to construct 383 additional BOPs in addition to the 802 BOPs already in existence.

About the situation in the North-east and Assam, the Home Minister sounded a stern warning to the outfits, which have ceasefire pacts with the government, cautioning them against indulging in illegal activities.

The Ceasefire Ground Rules are being enforced strictly. The outfits, which have Suspension of Operation (SoO) with Government of India and the State Governments have been warned that grave view would be taken on violations of the ceasefire ground rules, he warned.

The Home Minister’s warning followed reports from the north eastern states about unabated extortions, abduction and even killings by militant outfits, engaged in dialogue with the Centre. The alleged involvement of NDFB cadres in the serial blasts, besides rampant extortion in North Cachar Hills by Karbi and Dimasa militants and involvement of both factions of NSCN in such illegal activities have left Chidambaram fuming.

Meanwhile, the Home Minister disclosed ceasefire with UPDS was further extended yesterday for another six months till July 31.

About the internal security scenario of the region, Chidambaram said that eight NLFT cadres have surrendered in Tripura, while 39 cadres of NDFB surrendered with weapons and hand grenades on Thursday in Assam.

Interestingly enough reports of extortions in the North-east have also led the Parliamentary Standing Committee attached to the Home Ministry to comment that in spite of decrease in number of casualties, reported instances of extortion activities and collection of levies by the outlawed groups are increasing. The Parliamentary panel asked the Home Ministry to keep a close watch on the developments and make all-efforts to foil the nefarious design of the secessionists.

In its Action Taken Report on recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee attached to the Home Ministry, the Centre said it is maintaining close and continuous coordination with the State Governments in the region with a view to periodically reviewing the situation and taking further steps, as may be necessary on a continuing basis.

The State Governments have been apprised of the views of the Committee regarding instances of extortion related activities by various groups, the report tabled in the Parliament on Wednesday said.