Kolkata/Agartala: A high alert has been sounded on the Indo-Bangla border in the five states of West Bengal, Tripura, Meghalaya, Assam and Mizoram in the wake of the terror attack in Dhaka with the Border Security Force(BSF) stepping up its vigil.
India and Bangladesh share a 4,096 km-long international border, the fifth-longest land border in the world, with West Bengal having the highest length with 2,217km.
The length of the border in the other four states is Tripura(856km), Meghalaya(443km), Assam(262km) and Mizoram(180km). The administration of the east Indian state of West Bengal has asked the state police to be on high alert and take serious note of any suspicious movement in the border districts.
"All police stations along the Indo-Bangla border have been alerted and all border districts have been told to keep a close eye on any suspicious movement," a senior police official of the West Bengal Police said.
Vehicles are being checked at various entry and exit points in the districts bordering Bangladesh, which has declared a two-day state mourning after the attack on a cafe in Dhaka's diplomatic zone on Friday night resulting in the killing of 20 persons, all foreigners, who were taken hostage.
As it was a festival season with Eid and Ratha yatra to be celebrated, a strict vigil was being maintained on the border. But after the attack in Bangladesh, the Border Security Force (BSF) had further intensified the vigil and special operations were on, IG BSF Sandeep Salunke had said on Saturday.
Salunke also said that the BSF was in touch with Border Guard Bangladesh and keeping a close eye on the situation. A top police official in Agartala said that as soon as the attack broke out BSF and all other security forces including Tripura police, were alerted so that no unwanted elements could cross the border to enter Indian territory.
BSF Inspector General (Meghalaya Frontier) P. K. Dubey said the force has been put on "very high alert" along the Indo- Bangladesh border in Meghalaya. "The force has been put on very high alert along the Indo-Bangladesh border following the armed attack in Dhaka.
Security has been tightened," Dubey said. Dubey said he had spoken to officials of Meghalaya Police for coordination and sharing of information as soon as news of the killings came in. Meghalaya has over 100 "gaps" consisting of streams, rivers and drains apart from the unfenced 90-km stretch along its 443-km border with Bangladesh.
Accordingly, the BSF has sought cooperation of all state and central intelligence units to ensure that no illegal cross-border movement takes place, he said. Police personnel posted close to the border have been alerted and asked to keep strict vigil in close coordination with the BSF, a senior police officer said.
The Assam police said it had instructed SPs of all districts, especially the border ones, to keep a strict vigil for any possible IS activity in the state.
According to a press release by the Assam Police, all the SPs have been instructed to gear up their intelligence machinery and keep a close watch on the situation. Although authorities have not perceived any footprint of IS in the north-east Indian state of Assam in the recent past, considering the gravity of the situation in the neighbouring country the alert has been issued, it explained. "The SPs of Cachar, Karimganj and Dhubri, and BSF along the Assam-Bangladesh border have also been cautioned to be on maximum alert," the statement said. Several modules of JMB in Assam were busted in the aftermath of Khagragarh blast in Burdwan district of West Bengal on October 2, 2014.