BSF for direct communication with Rangers

SHILLONG, June 22:
The Border Security Force is keen to have direct communication over the phone with their counterparts in Pakistan on any matter of concern along the border, as it is the case of Indo-Bangladesh border, BSF Director General U K Bansal said here today.
The BSF would take up the matter during the five-day conference with the Pakistan Rangers scheduled from July 1 in Delhi, Bansal told reporters.
“We have this communication system established in the East but not in the West (Pakistan). We want to have it in there too,” Bansal said.
At the Indo-Bangladesh border in the eastern sector, BSF commanders communicate directly with their counterparts across the border on any issue without having to arrange for a formal ‘flag meeting’.
“We should be able to talk (over the telephone) and this is a routine confidence building measures across the border and between the two border guarding forces,” the BSF Director General said.
The BSF chief was in Meghalaya on a two-day visit to review the security preparedness of the force guarding the 498 km long and porous Indo-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya sector.
Bansal said BSF is set to install state-of-the-art surveillance and communication equipment along the international border in the eastern sector, particularly in Meghalaya.
Refusing to divulge details of the new equipment to be installed, the BSF Director General said the force was acquiring higher quality surveillance and communication systems for early detection of intrusion.
For effective night-domination, force-multipliers like hand held thermal imagers, battlefield radars and night vision devices have already been installed, a BSF statement said.
Bansal said BSF has “excellent relationship” with its Bangladeshi counterpart – Bangladesh Border Guard, and the two forces were working in close coordination to check cross- border crime.
The BSF DG, who met Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, stressed on the need to heighten vigil along the border as Assembly polls would be held in the State in less than a year.
In Meghalaya, there are approximately 10,000 BSF man deployed along the border, which Bansal described as “full of difficult terrain” and riverine in nature.
Champion Sangma, chief of the banned Garo National Liberation Army, is presently lodged in a jail in Bangladesh and he would have to complete his prison term there before being allowed to be extradited to India, Bansal said. (PTI)