The Indo-Bangladesh border is infamous for cattle-smuggling and illegal immigration into India from Bangladesh that leads to greater crime in India. It is estimated that around 2 crore illegal Bangladeshis live in India, many of whom even have tacit support from certain political leaders. Fencing this border is of great importance to India and the Modi government is very close to fulfilling its promise of doing so.

Almost 95% of the work on a new single-layer fence aimed at curbing cross-border crime has been completed by the government. This will secure over 250 villages that fall between the international border and a barbed wire fence 150 metres away. Majority of these villages are in West Bengal.

“At 95 per cent places it (single-row new fence) has come up. Work is ongoing at remaining few locations,”BSF director general said. Along with aiming to reduce crime, this fencing work will also mean lowering of border killings.The plan has been executed in most places except for a few along the International Border which are riverine like Karimganj in Assam.

The concerted efforts of the Modi government and the BSF have resulted in a rapid fall in cattle smuggling to 5-6 lakh per year from 23 lakh. This decision to construct a new fence was taken by both sides during the bi-annual director general-level talks between the BSF and the Border Guard Bangladesh in October last year.

“Relations between India and Bangladesh and the two border guarding forces are at their best right now. Such incidents, when they occur, create irritation in the ties. We are committed to ensuring the sanctity of the border and well-being of the population on both the sides,” BSF Director General said.

“We will ensure that there are no objections from our side when the fence is erected. We need a humanitarian approach and it (the new fence) could be done as the present positive relation between India and Bangladesh is an example that is nowhere to be seen in the world,” BGB chief Major General Aziz Ahmed said.

Once the border fencing is completed hopefully illegal immigration and cattle smuggling will fall drastically. This will also make the job of BSF easier.


Vinayak Jain