New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah Saturday asserted that unfenced gaps along India’s over 7,500-km-long land border will be sealed by the end of this year, thus covering areas that lead to infiltration and smuggling of arms and narcotics.
He also asserted that India’s security policy was either “influenced or was overlapping” with the foreign policy and it was only after Narendra Modi became prime minister that the country got an independent security strategy.
Shah was delivering the annual ‘Rustamjimemorial lecture’ instituted by the Border Security Force (BSF) in memory of its first director general (DG) K F Rustamji.
An officer of the 1938 batch of the British-era Imperial Police, Rustamji headed the BSF for nine years. He died in 2003.
Shah also gave away gallantry medals to the serving personnel and to the family members of those who were killed in the line of duty from the country’s largest frontier force.
“I assure that there will be no gap in our fencing from 2022,” he said.
Shah said about three per cent of the unfenced area leaves a “big gap” and makes the border vulnerable for infiltration of terrorists and other border crimes like smuggling of arms, ammunition and narcotics among others.
The Modi government has been plugging these gaps after resolving administrative obstacles and even by talking to neighbouring countries, he said.
“I believe that (ensuring) border security is (ensuring) national security,” Shah said adding they are developing a “new model” of the border fence that cannot be cut or broken.
He also spoke about the security policy of the Modi government.
“I used to think if there is a security policy of this country or not? Till Narendra Modibecame the prime minister we did not have any independent security policy,” Shah said.
“It was either influenced by foreign policy or it was overlapping with the foreign policy,” he said.
After Modi became prime minister, the country got an independent security policy, he said.
“Our idea is to have peaceful relations with all but if someone disturbs our borders, if someone challenges our sovereignty, the priority of our security policy is that such an attempt will be replied in the same language,” Shah said.
He said this security policy was a “big achievement” as the country wanted such a good plan.
“I believe without this (security policy) neither the country can progress nor democracy can prosper,” the home minister said.
“Modiji (PM) has done this big job. I do not want to give examples as it is well known,” he said adding the policy was made operational on the ground by his government.
Shah said India was working to soon develop an indigenous counter-drone technology, which is being carried out by technical organisations like the DRDO and some other agencies.
His comments came in the backdrop of the first-ever drone attack on the IAF station in Jammu last month where two unmanned aerial vehicles dropped bombs injuring two airmen and damaging a portion of a building inside.
He added that the security establishment of the country is preparing a long-drawn project to thwart artificial intelligence and robotic technology enabled attacks from across the borders.