Rohingya crisis: Security tightened along India-Myanmar border

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Aizawl/Agartala, Sep 15: Security has been further tightened along the borders of northeastern states with Myanmar and Bangladesh to foil any attempt by the Rohingyas fleeing the Rakhine state in Myanmar from entering India, officials said on Friday.

Top Assam Rifles and Border Security Force (BSF) officials in Aizawl and Agartala, however, confirmed that no illegal immigrant has been detected or intercepted in the bordering areas of the northeastern states.

Four states — Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Manipur (398 km), Nagaland (215 km) and Mizoram (510 km) — share 1,643-km of mountainous and unfenced border with Myanmar.

Counter-insurgency trained Assam Rifles are guarding the India-Myanmar border.

There is a 16-km-wide free zone (8 km on either side of the frontier) along this 1,643-km unfenced border.

“Eight additional companies of Assam Rifles are being relocated at the India-Myanmar border to further strengthen security along the frontiers,” Inspector General of Assam Rifles Major General Upendra Dwivedi told the media in Aizawl.

Deputy Inspector General of 23 Sector Assam Rifles Brigadier M.S. Mokha also said in Aizawl that there was no influx of Rohingyas to Mizoram yet.

In view of the apprehension of influx, a high level meeting of various security officials was held at 23 Assam Rifles Headquarters in Aizawl on Thursday.

“Since Mizoram and other northeastern states are sharing a porous border with Myanmar, security forces are keeping round-the-clock land and air surveillance on the influx of illegal Rohingyas along the borders,” Dwivedi said.

The meeting was attended by senior officials of Assam Rifles, BSF, Central Reserve Police Force, state police and various intelligence agencies.

A BSF official in Agartala said that there is no specific report of any possibility of influx of illegal Rohingyas into Tripura and other northeastern states through Bangladesh.

“Our commanders are taking suitable steps to thwart any attempt by the Rohingyas who are fleeing Myanmar from entering Indian territories. The BSF is also prepared to deal with any eventuality,” the official said adding that no special alert communication has been received yet from the headquarters.

Earlier on many occasions, Rohingyas had entered Tripura and few other northeastern states via Bangladesh illegally in search of jobs.

Subsequently, they were pushed back to Bangladesh after following the legal and security formalities.

India shares a 4,096-km long border with Bangladesh in the states of West Bengal (2,216 km), Tripura (856 km), Meghalaya (443 km), Mizoram (318 km) and Assam (263 km).

Large parts of this border are riverine, mountainous and unfenced, thereby helping illegal immigrants, intruders and smugglers to cross over without much problem.

Thousands of Muslims under the banner of Tripura State unit of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind on Thursday took out a massive protest rally in Agartala to protest the reported atrocities on Rohingyas in Myanmar.

The protesters criticised the State Counselor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi for “allowing oppression and persecution against the religious minority”.

The protesters held placards with photographs showing the plight of the men, women and children refugees, who according to the UN are now 380,000 in numbers who have moved to southeast Bangladesh.

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