New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today that anti-national elements have been trying to foment tension in the society by posting unverified information on social media and asked people not to forward such messages without verification. Singh said information and news, that was completely wrong or having no basis, was being regularly circulated on social media such as WhatsApp and many people consider it to to be true.
“I want to tell SSB jawans not to believe such messages and forward to anyone without verification as anti-national elements have been trying to foment trouble in the society. We all have to be careful before believing or forwarding them,” he said after launching the intelligence wing of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) here.
Lauding the role of the SSB, which guards the 1,751 km-long Indo-Nepal and the 699 km-long Indo-Bhutan borders, Singh said it is very tough to guard such open borders, which allow visa-free movement of people, then fenced borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
“In an open border, the security-men do not know who is anti-national, which way a criminal is coming or who is carrying fake currency or fake drugs,” he said.
Referring to his earlier announcement that the family of each martyred paramilitary solider will get at least Rs one crore as compensation, the home minister said he was contemplating to “do something” for that serving personnel who face an emergency situation but are unable to cope up with it and need help.
“I am also thinking to do something and I will certainly do it,” he said amidst applause from about 1,000 guests, mostly serving and retired personnel from different paramilitary forces.
Earlier, the home minister launched the SSB’s first-ever intelligence wing, which will gather information along the borders with Bhutan and Nepal, which are often used by criminals and Kashmiri militants returning from Pakistan. The intelligence wing will have 650 field and staff agents to gather actionable information.
Due to the visa-free regime, India has with Nepal and Bhutan, there is a trans-border movement of criminals and anti-national elements which pose a major challenge, a home ministry official said. As many as 230 former Kashmiri militants, based in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, have returned home through the Indo-Nepal border since 2010.
The Indo-Bhutan border is known to be frequented by the Assam-based insurgent group National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), which has even attacked Bhutanese nationals in the past.
The SSB has also been declared as the lead intelligence agency for both the borders. Thus, the central government felt that a well-knit intelligence network of the highest capability that can function and deliver would be the prime requirement for comprehensive border management. This was essential as the SSB’s operations are based on intelligence to prevent criminals and smugglers from taking advantage of the friendly borders with Nepal and Bhutan, the official said.