Union home ministerÂ Rajnath SinghÂ on SaturdayÂ saidÂ India plans to seal international boundariesÂ with neighbouring countries Pakistan and Bangladesh soon.
“India is planning to seal the internationalÂ boundaries with Pakistan and BangladeshÂ as soon as possible. This could be India’s major step against terrorism and the problem of refugees,” Singh said while addressing the passing out parade of the Border Security Force Assistant Commandants at the BSF Academy in Madhya Pradesh’s Tekanpur area.
The home minister assured that the border with Pakistan would be sealed by 2018.
The decision has been taken in the wake of an increase in infiltration attempts, Singh said.
“The project will be periodically monitored by the home secretary at the central level, the BSF from the security forces’ perspective and the chief secretaries at the state-level,” Singh said, adding that the government would apply technological solutions for sealing the border in difficult terrains.
Lauding the BSF personnel, the home minister stated that the force has changed the rules of engagement at international borders which have made it a known entity in the neighbouring countries.
Meanwhile, BSF killing along the borders remains unabated.Â On 9 March this year, Govinda Gautam of Nepal was shot dead by Indian border security personnel in Punarbas of Kanchanpur. The government of Nepal has declared Govinda Gautam a martyr. Killings by BSF along Bangladesh border are worse.Â In 2013, a total of 29 Bangladeshis were killed by BSF personnel along the border. In 2014 this went up to 35 and in 2015 to 44. In 2016 the number of these killings was 29. So far in the first two months of 2017, four have been killed.
Moreover, a recent study within the force shows that,Â more personnel of Indiaâ€™s Border Security Force (BSF) are dying ofÂ mental illness and lifestyle diseases than in the line of duty.
BSF Director General KK Sharma shared details of a study conducted among the force while speaking at a workshop recently.
â€œRecent studies within the force have indicated that number of deaths of force personnel was more due to illness (both physical and mental) than being operational casualties. Our studies through the medical directorate of the BSF have listed out many indicators of lifestyle diseases as well,â€ the Press Trust of India (PTI) quoted him as saying.
The news agency said data it had collected revealed that only 25 of total 774 deaths of BSF officials between January 2015 and September 2016 were battle casualties.
According to the PTI the data had showed only 25 BSF men were killed in action and 316 fell victim to a variety of diseases and illnesses.
In order to prevent the deaths, the DG BSF said, his force has taken some remedial measures to control lifestyle diseases by including yoga in the daily routine of paramilitary troops.
The Home Minister also spoke about the planning for an effective grievances redressal mechanism in the forces which will be implemented soon.
After the passing out parade, the Home Minister signed the visitors’ book at the BSF academy.