Eastern Zone Council meet: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday held a meeting of the Eastern Zone Council (EZC) in West Bengal. During the meeting, he urged Chief Ministers of states to share the responsibility along with the Border Security Force (BSF) for security in India’s border areas.
Shah, who is the chairman of the council, was accompanied by five home ministry officials at the meeting that began around 11 am and lasted for a little over two hours. According to a senior official, several issues including illegal infiltration, trans-border smuggling and the vulnerable India-Bangladesh boundary were discussed at the 25th EZC meeting.
“Chaired the 25th Eastern Zonal Council meeting today in Kolkata. In the last 8 years, under PM @narendramodi Ji’s leadership, more than 1,000 issues were discussed in the Zonal Councils meeting and 93% of them were resolved with mutual consent in a positive atmosphere (sic),” Shah wrote on Twitter.
The official said that talks on transportation facilities and water-sharing among the states were also held. Apart from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, Bihar deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav and Odisha minister Pradeep Amat were in attendance at the meeting.
The role of BSF was discussed during the meeting
The role of BSF was discussed, in light of the increase in the operational area of the border force earlier this year. In response, according to sources, the home minister is believed to have indicated that the state governments too have a role to play in border security, according to sources.
The meeting also discussed the resurgence of Maoist activities in Jharkhand-Odisha and Bengal. It was decided that states and centre will pool real-time information on Maoist activities in the red zone in order to coordinate steps to neutralize the movement, officials said.
Mamata Banerjee raises issues of arms smuggling
West Bengal Chief Minister also highlighted that arms are being smuggled into Bengal from neighbouring states and coordinated steps are needed to check this menace.
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and Odisha’s Naveen Patnai skipped Saturday’s session. Shah later met the Bengal CM at her chamber on the 14th floor of the secretariat, the official said.
(With PTI inputs)
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