'India committed to protecting borders with Bangladesh'

Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Home Minister Rajnath Singh

India's home minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday his government is committed to securing the country's borders with all neighbouring countries, reports PTI. "I have appealed all the states to be vigilant on this issue", Singh said after a high-level meeting here with the chief ministers of the states bordering Bangladesh.

The home minister resolved to check illegal immigrants who have links with extremists groups for further anti- national activities with ulterior motive and posing threat to internal security.

Illegal immigration from Bangladesh has also been a major cause of concern for the north-eastern states and West Bengal for many years now, another home ministry official of India said.

According to an official estimate of India, around 36,000 Rohingyas are now living in various parts of India.

He quoted latest estimates to say that 9-10 lakh Rohingya Muslims have migrated to Bangladesh from Myanmar and the possibility of a spillover to India can not be ruled out.

"The grid will comprise various elements namely physical barriers, non-physical barriers, surveillance, system, Intelligence agencies, state police, BSF and other state and central agencies", he said in his opening remarks.

Of the border with Bangladesh, 2,217 km falls in West Bengal, 262 km in Assam, 443 km in Meghalaya, 856 km in Tripura and 180 km in Mizoram.

This would be the fourth meeting of the chief ministers of states, which share worldwide borders, called by the Indian home minister. Three separate meetings of chief ministers of states, sharing borders with Pakistan, China and Myanmar, was held earlier.

"We have to be cautious so that no form of illegal migration can take place from across the border", he said.

Apart from Singh, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, her Assam counterpart Sarbananda Sonowal and Mirzoram's Lal Thanhawla, along with officials from Meghalaya and Tripura, attended the meeting at the West Bengal state secretariat Nabanna.

Sonowal said the central government should set a deadline - possibly December 2018 - to completely seal the global border with Bangladesh.

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