DG SSB talks about new developments within the force
Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), the lead intelligence agency along the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders, celebrated its 49th Raising day in New Delhi on December 20. Addressing the media few days before the raising day, the newly appointed director general, Arun Choudhary, updated the initiatives that the SSB is undertaking along these border areas. He also spoke about the new internal security duties given to the force.
The DG told that SSB would deploy some of its troops in Jammu and Kashmir next year for the internal security operations. The ministry of home affairs apparently approved the matter and the troops would be deployed next year. “We are ready to go in J&K. This will be a new work in the next year, when we send 8-10 battalions to these areas. We will work with Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Border Security Force (BSF) there and extend internal security related duties,” said DG Arun Chaudhary.
The most challenging aspect for SSB, according to Choudhary, is to identify the anti-national elements that are entering India from the open border with Nepal and Bhutan. There were allegations that the terrorists often crossed the border from Nepal to enter India. There were also reports suggesting the nexus between Maoists and the militants based in Northeast region along the Indo-Bhutan border. “As of now, we have very generic information on the nexus between the Maoists and the Northeast based militants along the Indo-Bhutan border. We will act as soon as we receive any specific information,” said Choudhary.
In order to step up the vigilance throughout the border, SSB is planning to form its own water wing. “Even if the land border is dominated through patrolling, water bodies leave a big gap on the border which can be easily exploited by anti-national/anti-social elements,” said Chaudhary while talking about the forces’ water wing. Both India and Nepal have large water bodies along the borders such as river Mahakali, Shardam Ghagra, Gandaki, Koshi and Mechi. “In order to plug these gaps, SSB is creating ‘water wing’ which will be equipped with fast moving boats, water scooters, inflatable boats, etc,” he added.
Giving the details on the water wing, he said, “This financial year we will be categorising the rivers. Rivers which have perennial water supply throughout the year will get preference as far as patrolling is concerned. Then the priority will go to dry nullahs and other water resources which do not have sufficient water during the year. This year, we will ensure that at least two places like east and west Champaran (Bihar) and other places where you have broad river length, is covered for patrolling.”
SSB also deployed the IP based surveillance systems at some important transit points of Indo-Nepal and the Indo-Bhutan borders. “Sunauli, Barnhi and Rupediha are the three areas where IP based cameras are installed to watch and record the movements of the people crossing the border,” said Choudhary. “SSB has further identified some more important points on Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan border where process for installation of IP based surveillance cameras is under way,” he added.
Global Positioning System (GPS) based Patrol Management System (PMS) is in the process of implementation along the Nepal border. “More than 1,700 km long open border between two countries can be used by unwanted elements….The force will mainly control terrorist activities, supply of fake currency and smuggling of prohibited goods. We are also doing some joint work with Armed Police Force of Nepal,” added Choudhary. Earlier, this system became operational in some UP districts bordering Nepal, such as Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Sidharth Nagar, Bahraich, Lakhimpur Kheri and Shrawasti. The PMS was also inducted in Lucknow by the SSB.