'India committed to protecting borders with Bangladesh'

Union home minister Rajnath Singh at the Hornbill festival in Kisama village Kohima on Friday. PTI

Union home minister Rajnath Singh at the Hornbill festival in Kisama village Kohima on Friday. PTI

"The grid will be supervised by a state-level standing committee which would function under the chairmanship of the government's working chief secretary", he said.

The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh chaired a meeting with the Chief Ministers of the Indo-Bangladesh Border (IBB) States, in Kolkata on Friday.

Mr Singh will hold a crucial meeting in Kolkata on Thursday where issues like infiltration of illegal Rohingya migrants and Bangladeshis would be discussed in detail.

After a two-hour meeting at Nabanna, the state secretariat, which, Singh described as "very fruitful", the Union Home minister told reporters: "West Bengal chief minister has assured me of all necessary cooperation on making land available both for setting up new border outposts (BOPs) as well as for raising barbed fence at the unfenced borders".

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India shares a 4,096 km-long border with Bangladesh of which 2,217 km falls in West Bengal, 262 km in Assam, 443 km in Meghalaya, 856 km in Tripura and 180 km in Mizoram.

In the past, the home minister has had similar meeting with chief ministers of states having borders with Pakistan, China and Myanmar.

As of now an estimated 36,000 Rohingyas are suspected to be living in different parts of India.

Senior officers of MHA and other Ministries of Government of India besides State Governments also attended.

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The minister "stressed on the need to prevent entry, at global borders, of illegal immigrants some of whom have links with extremist groups for furthering anti-national activities with ulterior motives and posing threat to internal security", said a home ministry press release issued after the meeting.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Mizoram's chief minister Lal Thanhawla along with officials from Meghalaya and Tripura were present in the meeting.

Almost 9-10 lakh Rohingya Muslims are estimated to have migrated to Bangladesh from Myanmar due to alleged persecution by the military, and the possibility of a spillover into India can not be ruled out, he had said.

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