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BSF deploys speedboats
Published on 29 Aug. 2010 11:11 PM IST
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The Centre has put into service two rubber moulded speedboats on the Kushiara, a tributary of the Barak in Karimganj district, in an attempt to curb sporadic infiltration and smuggling to and from Bangladesh.
The boats, according to a senior officer of the marine preventive wing of the customs, would be on vigil along the 132-km stretch of the Indo-Bangladesh border in Karimganj and adjacent Cachar districts. He said each of the boats would be manned by nine personnel comprising the pilot and a retinue of security personnel to be inducted from the armed central customs department and the BSF. These would be berthed on the customs check ghat on the Kushiara in Karimganj.
The officer disclosed that when New Delhi had proposed to get these boats sailing in the Kushiasra, Barak and Surma rivers on the porous Indo-Bangladesh border late last year, it had the daring boat ride undertaken by the terrorist Ajmal Kasab and his compatriots in mind. The boats can cruise the river at a maximum speed of 65 km in an hour. It would be equipped with the modern communication gadgets for keeping contacts with both the departments in Cachar and Karimganj districts.
A BSF senior official, however, added that such boats were deployed at a time when the incidence of the cross border infiltration from Bangladesh into Assam’s Cachar and Karimganj districts had substantially tapered off.
According to a confidential document of the BSF’s Cachar and Mizoram Frontier Headquarters at Masimpur cantonment near here, since 2008 155 Bangladeshi infiltrators were apprehended along the two districts border lines while they were trying to cross over from the Sylhet division in Bangladesh.
Sources said the infiltrators in a switch of tactics are now trying to sneak across the border in Tripura’s north district from Bangladesh, which is more vulnerable and porous in comparison to those in Cachar and Karimganj areas. One significant move of these infiltrators is that once landing in these two districts many of them do not choose to stay there, but make an easy safari towards Nagaon , Morigoan and Barpeta districts in lower Assam to settle down there.

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