'Prevention of infiltration of Pakistanis in Meghalaya compromised'

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Shillong, Nov 11 (UNI) The Meghalaya government has ''compromised'' its anti-infiltration posts along the Indo-Bangla border by converting them into police stations and outposts to check illegal Bangladeshi migrants entering the state, an official said today.

Thirty-two anti-infiltration posts under the centrally funded scheme, Prevention of Infiltration of Foreigners (PIF), were converted into police stations and outposts over the years.

PIF is a renamed scheme of Prevention of Infiltration of Pakistanis (PIP). The centre introduced PIP in 1960 to check influx of Bangladeshis. After civil war broke out in Bangladesh in 1974, it was renamed PIF in 1964.

''The conversion of these infiltration check-posts into police outposts and stations has made the state vulnerable to infiltration of illegal Bangladeshi migrants,'' a senior police official told UNI here on condition of annonymity.

Under the PIF scheme, watch posts, patrol posts, passport check posts, additional check posts, finger print and photo posts and inter-state check posts and gates were set up to check infiltration of foreigners.

These anti-infiltration posts were all stationed along the 442 km stretch of the international border the state shares with Bangladesh and inter-state boundaries.

The infiltration branch was also directed, under the central scheme, to conduct enumeration of border village inhabitants and register them in the National Register of Residence of 1951.

''The police officer and constables, whose prime duty was to identify illegal Bangladeshi migrants also have additional duties to tackle crime cases thus compromising on checking infiltration,'' the police official stated.

Not just the anti-infiltration posts but also passport check posts in Baghmara and Bholaganj were converted into police stations and outposts respectively, sources added.

Out of five inter-state infiltration check posts, only one was functional at Sibbari, Garo Hills, the sources said adding Khliehriat, Pynursla, Cherrapunjee and Mawsynram were all attached to police stations in their respective areas and were handling law and order.

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