Chandigarh, July 24 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday suggested a shorter tenure for Border Security Force (BSF) personnel at the border to break the alleged nexus between them and drug smugglers.
In order to check smuggling of narcotics from across the border, the Chief Minister also ordered setting up of Wi-Fi CCTVs at all ‘nakas’ (check posts) at the border.
Punjab shares a 553 km-long international border with Pakistan.
The entire border has electrified barbed wire fencing but smugglers from both countries take advantage of gaps along the border due to riverine areas and agricultural land. The drugs are also smuggled by throwing packets over the fence or pushing them through plastic pipes.
Amarinder, who reviewed the Punjab government’s anti-drug campaign here on Tuesday with senior officers, underlined the need for effective exchange of information with neighbouring states, as well as the Central agencies, to coordinate the fight against drugs.
The Chief Minister, who is under fire from the opposition parties for diluting the powers of the Special Task Force (STF) set up to fight against the drug mafia, said the decision to bring the STF under the purview of the Punjab Police was necessary for better coordination among various agencies.
“The STF will now work directly under the control of DGP, Punjab Police, as in the case of the Intelligence and Vigilance departments. The STF had done excellent work under my office but, like the armed forces, the need was now felt to bring the agency under the leadership of the DGP for more cohesive functioning,” the Chief Minister said.