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Kolkata: CENTRE has decided to set up a Border Protection Grid to secure the country’s international border, Union home minister Rajnath Singh has told a meeting with the chief ministers of Indo-Bangladesh Border states in Kolkata today.

The chief ministers of Bengal, Assam, and Mizoram, Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju, director general of BSF, chief secretary of Meghalaya, the home secretary of Tripura, and others were present in the meeting held in the auditorium of Bengal state secretariat Nabanna this afternoon.

India shares 4,096 km long border with Bangladesh spread over the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, and West Bengal.

Singh said that the proposed Border Protection Grid will be a combination of fencing, non-physical barriers (radars, sensors, etc.), surveillance system, Intelligence agencies, state police, BSF, and other state and Central agencies, who will work in tandem to secure the borders from external threats.

The Grid will be implanted in a phased manner for the entire international border that India shares with Bangladesh, China, Myanmar, and Pakistan. It will be supervised by a state level standing committee that will operate under the chairmanship of the chief secretary of the respective state.

He said that India has friendly relations with Bangladesh and the measures like setting a Grid is to ensure genuine trade and legitimate cross-border travel while curbing radicalisation, illegal migration, rustling, smuggling fake currency notes and drugs, etc.

Singh emphasised on preventing the entry of illegal migrants, some of whom have links with extremist groups. This he said in particular reference to the Rohingya immigrants from Myanmar.

The Union home minister urged the chief ministers to take a personal interest in ensuring that the 1,090 km remaining portion of the Indo-Bangladesh border is secured at the earliest. Of this, while 684 km is to be secured with fence, the balance 406 km, which includes rivers, nullahs, etc., will be secured with non-physical barriers.

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