People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
June 18, 2006
UPA Govt’s Apathetic Attitude To The Border Fencing
THE disillusioned rank and file of the two-outlawed extremist organisations of Tripura, NLFT and ATTF are surrendering to the state administration to return to the mainstream. This is helping in containing the trans-border terrorism in Tripura. But the apathetic attitude of the UPA government to the on going border fencing along the 856 km Indo-Bangladesh border of Tripura is posing a new threat to this most vital deterrence and defence against such militants sheltered in a neighbouring country.
The decade-long ceaseless counter insurgency measures of the Left Front and the Left Front government in Tripura, which involves administrative, ideological and development measures, have been inflicting heavy damage on the NLFT and the ATTF. Series of surrender and laying down of arms as well as killing and capturing of the militants in encounter with the security forces is taking place with excellent and exemplary cooperation and coordination among the peace-loving democratic-minded patriotic people, police and para-military.
Tripura PWD minister Badal Chowdhury expressed state government’s intense resentment on the sub-standard quality of the barbed wire fencing under construction in Tripura with enormous expenditure. The construction is carried out under the over all supervision and management of the union government’s Border Management Directorate. The resentment and concern is also due to the danger of a threat to the life and livelihood of the people and in particular women, posed by the nonchalant placing of the fences upto 150 metre from the point of the border at several places, politically causing the animosity to the project itself on the part of a minimum of 35,000 families of Tripura whose landed properly has fallen outside the fences.
Badal Chowdhury informed the press that although the state government had sent to the centre six months ago a Rs. 94 crores worth project for rehabilitation of the affected families within the barbed wire boundaries with 90:10 ratio of financial liability of the centre and state, the centre has been sleeping over this burning issue of security and rehabilitation of the hapless people of Tripura, even after repeated requests from the chief minister. Besides, an all-party delegation from the state had spoken to the centre on the issue, while the state MPs had vociferously raised the issue in parliament time and again, he pointed out.
The PWD minister also referred to another glaring lapse of security that arises out of the centre’s step-motherly attitude to Tripura. While maintenance of adequate border security necessitates the existence of 25 ft. wide border road beside 1.5 feet wide barbed-wire-fences to facilitate vehicular patrolling by BSF Jawans, such roads are few and far between. Besides, a mere 13 battalions of BSF are entrusted with the huge task of securing the 856 km porous border of Tripura while the optimum requirement was 22 battalions, he stated.