People’s welfare along border must for security: Kashmir Governor

New Delhi : The welfare of people along the borders is crucial to effective border security, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra said on Tuesday.

“Today external and internal security challenges are intricately intertwined. It will be untrue and misplaced to attribute the responsibility of maintaining peace only to the centre,” Vohra said.

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He was giving the inaugural address to a conference organised by FICCI in association with India Foundation on Homeland Security and Smart Border Mangement.

Vohra called for a national security policy that gives focused attention to the welfare of border communities and dictates the constitution of specially trained forces to guard India’s vast land and maritime borders.

He said his years of experience had convinced him that managing India’s borders can neither be effective nor smart unless there was involvement of the whole country.

“It is significantly important that security and welfare of the people along the border area are well attended.

“If you look after people along the border, it goes a long way in helping providing border security and bringing about overall improvement in the situation in the border state.”

Referring to the infiltration of “well trained terrorists” into India, Vohra said the role of state forces and local police had assumed paramount importance.

“In the state where I am working, infiltration attempts are made throughout the year across the high and snow-clad mountains, across the planes, riverbeds and nallahs,” he said.

“We have certain deficiencies along the borders on the nature of communication, the nature of facilities, equipment and other gadgetries,” he said, referring to the suicide attacks at the Dina Nagar police station and the IAF base in Pathankot in Punjab.

The Governor stressed the need to maintain “public order in the hinterland” and called it the “most important element for better guarding of our borders”.

“If you are guarding the borders, hinterland is important. If hinterland is burning, border management becomes difficult.”

He said in the Constitution security management was assigned exclusively to the Centre and that the centre shall “protect states in case of war and internal disturbances.

But in today’s situation, there was a need for constant improvement in the coordination between the states and the centre. This is, however, not happening.

Vohra underlined the need to create dedicated forces trained specially for national security management.

Such a force should comprise technologists, IIT, IIM-graduates, not just IAS officers, to tackle and prevent illegal cross-overs.

Lt. Gen. (Retd) K.T. Parnaik, GOC-in-C, Northern Command, said there was an urgent need to modernize and optimize border management.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju are expected to address the conference on Wednesday.