Infiltration of militants from Bangladesh not ruled out: BSF

"Some parts of the border are riverine, while only 248 km of the 571 km of fencing in both states have been completed. There are chances that the militants are using these unfenced tracts to sneak into India," BSF Inspector General (Assam-Meghalaya Frontier) R C Saxena said.

Responding to a question that ULFA and NDFB militants were reportedly using the Garo hills in Meghalaya as a shelter after sneaking into India, Saxena said, "These areas are easily assessable to militants.

"There are chances that the militants might sneak into India using boats and through forested areas. But the infiltration level has come down drastically compared to earlier years," the IG said.

Meghalaya Police have encountered groups of militants recently in the Garo hills and seized explosives and arms during raids.

On September 8, commandos of Meghalaya Police had raided a hideout of the banned ULFA in East Garo Hills district and engaged the militants before recovering a huge cache of arms and ammunition from the area.

The BSF IG said operations have been stepped up along the border areas and inputs shared with Bangladeshi counterparts to apprehend militants still hiding in Bangladesh, despite a crackdown on their top leadership.

Stressing on speedy completion of the barbed fencing project, Saxena said of the 571 km of the sanctioned fence work, only 248 km has been completed.

"Work is in progress in 123 km, while there have been objections either from Meghalaya or from Bangladesh in the remaining stretches," he said.

While some villagers in Meghalaya were objecting to the fencing fearing their lands would fall on the other side, Bangladesh was protesting fencing within 150 yards of the border. Bangladesh of late has allowed the fencing project to proceed in some stretches.

In a related development, the BSF caught an ULFA linkman on the Bangladesh border in West Garo Hills district.

Identified as Sailendra Koch of Sherpur district in Bangladesh, the linkman was said to have helped ULFA cadre in crossing over to India from Bangladesh.

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