Sashastra Seema Bal

During Jan to Mid December 2017, the frontier has recovered items including currency, antiques, narcotics or forest produces worth Rs 553 crore....

by Debasis Sarkar

RANIDANGA: To ensure better operational efficiency border guarding force Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) has got its new intelligence section installed at its Siliguri Frontier. The frontier guards 315 km stretch of 1751 km long Indo Nepal border and 215 km of 699 km long Indo-Bhutan border.

"Our frontier has recently got its own intelligence wing fully operational. That has substantially strengthened our eye and ear at the border. Being open borders, these are highly porous and demand strong intelligence network presence," said S Bandopadhyay, IG SSB Siliguri Frontier.

Commonly known as 'G' section in the security forces, the intelligence wing has come into SSB Siliguri frontier as a part of Ministry of Home Affairs initiative to augment the forces surveillance power. The MHA has already declared the force as a Lead Intelligence Agency and subsequently approved creation of 650 combatised posts for intelligence setup in various ranks from Batallion HQ to Frontier HQ.

In these borders, people from these three countries do not need any visa to cross. This open border structure has developed strong socio cultural tie up. But also there is high level trans-border movement of criminals and anti- national elements making the borders challenging. Most of the stretches are infested with ISI activists, Indian Insurgent Groups (IIGs), Left Wing Extremism (LWE), fundamentalists, smugglers and human traffickers and anti India forces. The border area under SSB jurisdiction comprises densely populated foot hills, thick jungles, under developed regions and inhospitable hilly terrains to make it more critical to keep under watch.

During Jan to Mid December 2017, the frontier has recovered items including currency, antiques, narcotics or forest produces worth Rs 553 crore and arrested 1011 smugglers. It has also recovered 39 arms with huge cache of ammunitions.