The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Glare on BSF after rebel sneak-in

Malda, Dec. 24: The BSF today began investigating into the details of the movement of Ghulam Farid and two Jaish-e-Mohammed militants who had infiltrated into India allegedly through the border here before being arrested by Jammu and Kashmir police on Sunday.

Malda district magistrate Sridhar Ghosh said the infiltration by militants through the border was an alarming development. “I have called the BSF, police superintendent and the officials of the Central Public Works Department on Friday to discuss the problems in getting the 174km border with Bangladesh in our district fenced.”

The deputy-inspector-general of the BSF, Malda range, P.S. Tomar, said 84km of the border in the district was fenced with barbed wire. In the Habibpur and Bamungola areas, only 20km of the 72km stretch of the border had been fenced. “Of the unfenced area, rivers and large water bodies comprise 32km.”

Tomar has been camping in the Habibpur and Bamungola since yesterday after the militants were picked up from a Jammu hotel. “We are investigating how they entered India through the Malda border. Even though we do not have any clues as yet, we are not sitting idle.”

The absence of fencing is not the only problem in Malda and other border areas. The location of human settlement on the zero line is a major cause of worry. “The Pakistan’s ISI is taking full advantage of this situation by helping militant organisations in smuggling arms and counterfeit notes and even their members into India,” a BSF officer said. Infiltrators also took advantage of the darkness and fog to sneak into the country.

In the past six months, the BSF arrested 54 Bangladeshi infiltrators from along the border in Malda.

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