India plans to seal international borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh, home minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday, turning his attention to frontiers that many say has become a hotbed of infiltration and smuggling.
Addressing the passing out parade of the Border Security Force Assistant Commandants at the BSF Academy in Madhya Pradesh, Singh said: "India is planning to seal the international boundaries with Pakistan and Bangladesh as soon as possible. This could be India's major step against terrorism and the problem of refugees.”
The minister added that the border with Pakistan would be sealed by 2018. The decision has been taken in the wake of an increase in infiltration attempts, said Singh.
"The project will be periodically monitored by the Home Secretary at the Central level, the BSF from the security forces' perspective and the Chief Secretaries at the state-level," Singh said, adding that the government would apply technological solutions for sealing the border in difficult terrains.
Singh also spoke about the planning for an effective grievances redressal mechanism in the forces which will be implemented soon. "We are planning for an effective grievances redressal mechanism in the forces. The forces are coming forward with such mechanism," said Singh.
He also praised the BSF for "changing the rules of engagement”. "Now BSF is a known entity even in the neighbouring countries,” the minister said.
Rajnath has previously said New Delhi wants to completely seal the Pakistan border by 2018 by employing a mix of physical barriers and technological tools such as surveillance.