Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said that the Centre was not getting much support in West Bengal to stop infiltrations unlike in Assam where an "impenetrable wall" has been created against it.
"I have been watching both the states. Bengal and Assam need to stop infiltration. We are trying to stop infiltration both in Bengal and in Assam. But in Bengal we don't get much support for success against infiltration. But Assam has stood strongly against infiltration and has created an impenetrable wall with the help of the Centre and the central paramilitary forces to prevent infiltration," Shah said while addressing a public rally at the College of Veterinary Science playground in Guwahati organised to mark one year of the Himanta Biswa Sarma-led government.
West Bengal, Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya and Mizoram share the 4,156-km-long India-Bangladesh border. The issue of illegal infiltration from Bangladesh has figured prominently in every elections in Assam and BJP also promised in its election manifestos to stop infiltration.
Shah said that the Centre and Assam were taking steps to stop infiltration as promised in the election manifestos.
"I visited the border areas yesterday and all statistics have suggested that there is a significant reduction in infiltration. We hope that infiltration will be completely stopped once the work to bridge the remaining portion of the border is complete," Shah said. Shah on Monday visited a border out post of the BSF at Mankachar in Western Assam sharing border with Bangladesh. He reviewed the measures being taken to protect the border.
The home minister also visited the India-Bangladesh border areas in Bengal recently.
Talking about the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), Shah said the act was withdrawn from 60 per cent areas in Assam by Narendra Modi-led BJP government after 30 years as peace was established in those areas. "Be it Karbi Accord or the Bodo Accord, both has helped in establishment of peace in Assam. Earlier the security forces were given special powers, but now the special powers are being given for development of the youths," Shah said adding that 9,000 militants have laid down weapons in Assam during the past six years of BJP-led government in Assam.
"During Congress' rule, the AFSPA was extended 60 times but BJP-led government has withdrawn the act from 60 per cent areas now," he said.
Hours before, Shah, while addressing a function to present the President's Colour to Assam Police said that he was confident that the AFSPA would gradually be revoked from entire Assam.
The AFSPA, which gives absolute powers to army, was withdrawn from 23 districts in Assam and parts of Manipur and Nagaland from April 1. But there is a strong demand for complete withdrawal of the act from the Northeast.
Lauding Himanta Biswa Sarma-led government, Shah said it has fulfilled several pre-poll promises such as an act to stop smuggling of cattle to Bangladesh, poaching of rhinos, clearing of Satra (Vaishnavite Monastery) land from encroacher and establishing peace.