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Bangla border

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  22 May 2016 12:00 AM GMT

Assam chief minister desigte Sarbanda Sonowal has said that the Bangladesh border will be completely sealed in two years. This is the time frame laid down by Union Home Minister Rajth Singh. While inspecting the border at the Karimganj sector in January last, Singh had said that construction of barbed wire fencing along the Assam stretch would be completed by the end of this year. This puts into perspective the scale and difficulty level of the task. In particular, the riverine stretch of the border poses a technical problem that needs to be sorted out soon. The no-man’s zone along the boundary line has many gaps. As for floodlighting the border, the Supreme Court appointed Upamanyu Hazarika panel has earlier laid bare the real goings-on. It transpired that the Assam government has no regular power supply to keep the floodlights on through the night. These are kept lit for a couple of hours with diesel generators. Contrast this with the well-fenced and flood-lit Indo-Pak border, through which the jihadis still keep coming. The mockery in the me of fencing and floodlighting the porous Indo-Bangla border has to end; the distortion it has wrought upon Assam’s demography is well nigh irreversible, apart from rampant cross-border crime and terror. Sonowal has spoken about upgrading the Indo-Bangla border along Assam into a tourist spot like the Wagah border in Punjab. If and whenever that materializes, the Central and State government in the meantime should ensure a foolproof NRC. Armed with a rousing mandate for change, Sonowal will have to keep his word about dealing with infiltrators ‘as per existing law’— which in turn requires they be weeded out strictly from the NRC. Considering the widespread forgery of papers submitted in the NRC update exercise, this task will be anything but easy.

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