GUWAHATI, July 1: It is a matter of serious concern that at a time when the entire north-eastern region is taken up with the grave matter of checking illegal infiltration from across the border, as many as 39 of the total 159 ‘Watch Posts’ of the Assam Police Border Organisation (APBO) are non-functional or defunct. Therefore, it can be easily perceived that the areas where these 39 Watch Posts (WPs) are located, obviously the border areas are very much porous. Interestingly, all the three WPs in Guwahati city and the lone one in Chirang district are non-functional!
Thus despite all the hullaballoo raised about the various steps taken at different levels to detect foreigners at the very entry points, the sorry state of affairs with respect to the primary security agency throws to the winds all such tall claims. Moreover, it remains to be analyzed as to the gamut of activities that the remaining 120 watch-posts of the Organization carry out.
The Watch Posts are located in the infiltration-prone areas across 23 districts of the State. According to official sources, “the primary job of the personnel manning these watch posts is to detect the illegal infiltrators and initiate legal action against them.”
The fact remains that once any foreigner succeeds in crossing the international border, he or she fans off to the different areas of the State. Against this backdrop, the significance of the WPs can hardly be over emphasized.
Notably, though Dhubri district has the highest number (24) of such Watch Posts, as many as 12 are non-functional. Similarly, 9 out of the 13 WPs are not functioning in South Salmara. The other districts with the non-functional WPs are as follows: Kokrajhar (3 out of 8); Kamrup (4 out of 11); Barpeta (5 out of 9); Cachar (1 out of 8); and Baksa (1 out of 3).
It would be in the fitness of things that the authorities concerned initiate measures to reinforce and fortify the border watch-posts so that the entry of foreigners are checked at the identified entry locales. It further needs to be examined as to why the Watch Posts have become non-functional.