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India, Bhutan step up border vigil to check movement of ultras

September 16, 2011 17:40 IST

With militants belonging to anti-talks faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland and Kamatapur Liberation Organisation trying to strike fresh routes along the thickly forested and rugged terrain on the India-Bhutan border in North East and North Bengal (West Bengal), both the countries have decided to mount vigil along the border.

Land-locked Bhutan shares a 605 kilometer border with India and out of that a major portion lies along the boundaries of Assam, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh. The anti-talks faction of the NDFB ultras have a strong bastion along the border with Bhutan in North Assam, while the KLO ultras too are active along the border in North Bengal areas.

As there have been inputs about militants making fresh foray into border areas, the seventh India-Bhutan border meeting on border management reviewed issues related to threat from cross-border movement of militants, security to Bhutanese national travelling through Indian terrain in the northeast and north Bengal and border management.

The mechanism of sharing real-time information, Sashatra Seema Bol escorts, coordination at entry-exit points along the border and mounting vigil against misuse of mobile SIM cards in border areas came up for scrutiny in the high-level meeting, a source informed.

The SSB personnel have been deployed along the India-Bhutan border to check cross-border movement of ultras. However, the NDFB ultras have set up strong holds in certain parts of the border in Kokrajhar, Bagsa and Udalguri districts of Assam.

Security forces of both the countries have been coordinating well since the Royal Bhutan Army steamrolled the bases of outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom, NDFB and KLO militants in the Himalayan country in December, 2003 in pperation 'All Clear' launched with coordination from Indian Army.

Bhutan government remains very much concerned about security of its people who have to travel through Indian states of Assam, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh. However, Indian security forces have remained very alert to this particular concern of the friendly neighbour.

K Anurag in Guwahati