It is hardly surprising that the Supreme Court should be unhappy about the way the border between India and Bangladesh is being maged along the stretch that falls in Assam. Recently it had appointed a one-man commission of Supreme Court advocate Upamanyu Hazarika to make an assessment of the way the border between India and Bangladesh was maged. Hazarika submitted three reports to the Supreme Court that have prompted the apex court to order both the Centre and the Assam government to constitute a coordition committee to be headed by the Secretary, Border Magement of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Chief Secretary of Assam. The committee has been mandated to work on all the issues flagged by the Centre and the State governments including those related to border fencing. It has also been directed to prepare an action plan on how to complete its work, and to fix a timeframe. The committee has been directed to submit its report along with its action plan at the next hearing which has been set for December 1. The apex court has made no secret of its dissatisfaction over the latest affidavits filed by the Centre and the Assam government on the issue.
Time and again we have drawn attention to the difference in the magements of the Indo-Pakistan border and the Indo-Bangladesh border. One is tightly guarded with no breaches anywhere and with shoot-at-sight orders in the event of any violations. The other is an open border actually encouraging illegal infiltration. The Supreme Court must insist on the same standards for guarding both the borders.