Sealing the Indian border with Pakistan is an immediate "priority" and a smart technology- aided fence will be in place along the Jammu sector by March next year, the BSF chief said.
Border Security Force DG K K Sharma, in the same breath, added that as the country's relations with its eastern neighbour Bangladesh are "very good" at present, a similar plan to make the Indo-Bangla border impregnable would be taken up once the "resources" are available.
"My priority is Pakistan, as anything happens here (along the Indo-Pak border), it has grave consequences. We are working to ensure complete sealing of this border and make it more fortified," the Director General said on sidelines of an event to announce the 'BSF half marathon for martyrs' to be held in October this year.
"We are implementing a comprehensive integrated border management (CBIM) plan and are running a pilot project to make our international border (IB) along Pakistan secure," he said. This project will be in place in the Jammu sector (of the IB) by March next year, Sharma said. Asked if there were any similar plans for the 4,096-km long India-Bangladesh border, the DG replied "it is a question of priority".
Both the governments of India and Bangladesh have good relations and the ties between the BSF and its counterpart Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) are also at an all-time high, the DG said. "We are also conducting simultaneous coordinated patrolling wit the BGB ... once we have the resources (after completing the border sealing task with Pakistan), we will do it on the eastern side," Sharma said. He added that the project to create 'smart fencing' along the Indo-Bangla border has "not started" as of now along the eastern frontier.
The BSF DG's statement comes in variance with that of Union home minister Rajnath Singh who has earlier said that the Assam portion of the Indo-Bangla border (about 200kms) will be completely sealed by the first half of 2018. He added that the challenges of guarding these large borders on the two flanks of the country are very "dynamic" and hence the security requirements keep changing and nothing can be said to be adequate.
"We are modernising our equipments and the Indo-Pak border will be more fortified by the use of advanced technology. What we keep doing, I am sure, will have to be followed by my successor even," he said. Talking about the security situation along the Indo-Pak border, the BSF boss said terror "launch pads are always active to infiltrate terrorists from across the border into India". "We are committed to ensure fool proof security along the border despite all hardships and challenges at these two borders," he said.
Sharma said since the last year, there has been no infiltration from across the IB that is under the absolute control of the force. He added that these instances instead have taken place from the Line of Control (LoC), where the BSF is deployed under the operational command of the Army.
Talking about the half-marathon, the BSF chief said it will be held in the national capital on October 22, a day after the national police commemoration day, in the memory of its martyrs. The families of the martyrs will be invited to witness and participate in it and the trophies of the event will be named after those personnel who laid down their lives in the line of duty, he added. The about 2.5-lakh personnel strong force was raised in December 1965.