Assam govt urges Centre to seal Indo-Bangladesh border


Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday sought the help of the central government in sealing the porous Indo-Bangladesh border in Assam, and said that sealing of the international border must be completed under the supervision of the Indian Army.

“The Indian Army had sealed the 700-km-long Indo-Pak border in Kashmir within six months. It has also turned out to be an effective one. We have already written to the central government to ask the Indian Army to supervise the border fencing works along the Indo-Bangladesh border in Assam,” Mr Sonowal told a press conference here.

The sealing of Indo-Bangladesh border is one of the core issues of Bharatiya Janata Party’s election campaign in Assam.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Assam before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and ahead of the 2016 assembly polls in Assam also assured to effectively seal the border to stop the illegal infiltration in the state from Bangladesh.

While the former Congress government in Assam claims to have sealed effectively 97.75 per cent of the 268-km-long Indo-Bangladesh border in Assam, most of the portion of the international border still remains porous.
“There must be a strong fencing on the border that can not only stop infiltration but also stop smuggling and other illegal cross border activities. The Indian Army has done it in Jammu & Kashmir and I am sure they can do it here in Assam too,” Mr Sonowal said.
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The Assam Chief Minister, who addressed the media for the first time on Thursday since he took charge as Chief Minister in May, also reiterated the government’s commitment to free Assam from illegal Bangladeshi citizens, and said that the government had prioritised the updation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) to make Assam free of illegal Bangladeshi citizens.

He said the NRC will be updated by 2017.

“We have just completed 100 days in office. I along with my colleagues have been working in full swing to fulfil all the aspirations of the people. However, 100 days are not sufficient to fulfil all the aspirations,” he said.

He said his government has been trying to make the system of governance in Assam transparent and corruption free so that all the schemes and programmes can be implemented properly across the state.

“We have adopted a zero tolerance policy against corruption and we are working hard to make the system corruption free,” he said while appealing the people for cooperation.

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