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Lucky Preet Singh Bajwa asked: Why don’t we strengthen security on the Indo-Nepal border as movement of terrorists and drug traffickers from across pose a major security threat?

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  • Pushpita Das replies: Like all international borders that India shares with its neighbours, its border with Nepal is also vulnerable to cross-border movement of terrorists and criminals, smuggling of consumer items, and trafficking of fake Indian currency notes, drugs and narcotics, country made weapons, etc. Recognising these threats, the Government of India has implemented suitable measures to strengthen the security along the India-Nepal border.

    To begin with, the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) has been deployed to guard the border and over time its strength has been augmented. At present there are 455 border outposts along the India-Nepal border from where regular patrols are sent out to keep a strict vigil along the border. Various electronic surveillance devices such as Global Positioning System or GPS-based patrol management system, cameras, handheld thermal imager, night vision goggles, etc., are used as force multiplier.

    India is constructing Integrated Check Posts at Raxual and Jogbani to enable smooth cross-border flow of goods and also stop any contraband being smuggled across the border. India and Nepal have also started jointly demarcating their shared border so that encroachments and misunderstandings regarding the actual position of the international border are avoided. In addition, officials of both the countries at different levels meet periodically to discuss and resolve border security and management related issues.

    Increasing incidents of cross-border movement of terrorists and traffickers over the past years did compel the concerned agencies to propose the idea of constructing barbed wire fences along the India-Nepal border. However, the proposal has not been accepted by the Government of India as the border with Nepal is an open border and India does not perceive any threat to its security from the people of Nepal. Moreover, fencing of the border could become an obstacle in maintaining the close socio-cultural and economic ties that people of both countries share.

    In short, good intelligence, support of the local people, professional management of the border by the SSB and active cooperation from Nepal are the essential elements for a secure India-Nepal border. The Government of India is working towards achieving these objectives.

    Posted on January 22, 2016