ILAM, Oct 8: The Ilam units of the Armed Police Force (APF) have recognized border security as their biggest challenge. They have focused on increasing and improving the quality of the units of APF in the district as well as installing new Border Observation Posts (BOP) along the border to improve border security in the district.
The newly-appointed chief of APF in Ilam, Superintendent of Police (SP) Bidur Khadka said that the security of the border pillars along the India-Nepal border in the easternmost district is the first priority of the district as a whole.
“We are installing more BOPs along the border in order to ensure the security of the border as well as to monitor the activities along the border,” Khadka told Republica, “We had applied for the installation of BOPs at four points. One of them has been approved by the government while the approval of the remaining three is in the pipeline.” According to the the government's decision, construction of a BOP at Pashupatinagar of Ilam has been approved. The remaining three BOPs will be set up at Manebhanjyang, Chhabbise and Sandakpur.
“APF has been mobilized to check illegal activities that take place at the border,” SP Khadka said, “The units of APF in the district have been improved as well as increased in strength in order to strengthen the chain of command in the district, disaster management and to make everyone realize the importance of APF.”
A cabinet meeting on June 10 had decided to promote the Ilam barracks of APF to a battalion. There are 621 police personnel under the battalion as of now. A team of 35 personnel led by an Inspector will be mobilized at every BOP.
Ilam shares a 52-kilometer long border with India in the east. The Indian Border Security Force (BSF) installed their BOPs three kilometers inside Nepal's territory during the 2007 election claiming that it was being done for security reasons. In addition to that, BSF have set up camps inside Nepal's territory. Meanwhile, Nepal has only been able to deploy six-member teams led by Sub-Inspectors at police posts near the borders. “The government has planned to set up BOPs every 13 kilometers along the border,” Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) of APF, Prem Prasai said, “The BOPs will be set up at most 500 meters from the border.” He added that the BOPs cannot be set closer to the border due to geographic difficulties.