Check Rohingya influx, Rajnath Singh tells border states

08 December, 2017, 10:51 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Chief minister Mamata Banerjee speaks with Union home minister Rajnath Singh as Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal looks on during a press meet at Nabanna in Kolkata

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today asked five eastern states sharing boundaries with Bangladesh to be extra vigilant against illegal influx through the porous Indo-Bangla border.

"The centre is committed to securing India's border with all neighbouring countries", he said before leaving for Kolkata, according to the news agency PTI.

Mr Singh will hold a crucial meeting in Kolkata on Thursday where issues like infiltration of illegal Rohingya migrants and Bangladeshis would be discussed in detail.

"We seek full cooperation from Bangladesh bordering states to control illegal activities in border areas".

"Radical elements and terrorists can be checked only with joint action and active cooperation of Central and State Governments", he said.

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As of now an estimated 36,000 Rohingyas are suspected to be living in different parts of India.

Director general of India's BSF KK Sharma had said last week his troops apprehended 87 Rohingya Muslims along the Indo-Bangla border since the beginning of the current year till 31 October, of whom 76 were sent back to Bangladesh. He added that a border protection grid consisting of both physical and non-physical barriers will be in place and will be manned together by state police as well as state and Central agencies.

This is the fourth meeting of the Chief Ministers of States, which share worldwide borders, called by the Home Minister.

The Home Minister, giving highest priority to making borders secure, had earlier conducted border-specific review meetings for Indo-China, Indo-Myanmar, Indo-Pakistan borders. He underlined the need for securing the country's borders and putting in place the systems to facilitate legitimate trade and commerce. "I have requested the representatives of all the five states having borders with Bangladesh to take personal interest to expedite land acquisition in the interest of national security". He said, the central government should set a deadline to completely seal the worldwide border with Bangladesh.

Besides Singh, Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Assam's counterpart Sarbananda Sonowal and Mizoram's Lal Thanhawla, officials from Meghalaya and Tripura also attended the meeting.

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