Plans to set up over 125 BOPs in Indian border; 12 more BOPs along China border
KATHMANDU, Nov 24: In view of checking possible infiltration of criminal elements and curbing cross-border crimes, Nepal has geared up preparation to bolster security presence along its international border with India and China.
While preparations are underway to significantly increase the number of Border Observation Posts (BoPs) along the border with India, the government has already started doing homework to establish BoPs at all border points that have fallen in national priority with China. The BOPs are manned by at least 35 Armed Police Force (APF) personnel.
Officials at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) said the government plans to increase the number of BOPs to around 125, up from existing 87 along the border with India. Currently, various 21 districts bordering with India have minimum one to maximum eight BOPs.
The number of BOPs will be increased in each of these districts based on security sensitivity. Since it is possible sneak across the border literally from any points owing to open border regime that exists between the two countries, discussions are underway to station BoPs in certain distance interval so that they can keep close vigil on cross-border movement and other activities.
Similarly, government plans to set up additional 12 BOPs along the Chinese border in the north. Currently, there are only two APF outposts — Tatopani and Rasuwagadhi.
Home Ministry spokesman Ram Krishna Subedi said the BOPs along the northern border are being established as per the decision taken by the cabinet on the organizational restructuring of the APF in federal setup.
Officials said the decision to set up BOPs along the Chinese border was taken, in view of weak security presence there. Except for the operational activities of the Nepal Army, various major border points with China remain largely unmanned, thereby giving rise to the possibility of infiltration by anti-national elements and cross-border crimes.
Nepal is also under pressure to establish BOPs due to increasing development activities and growing presence of Chinese government units along the border as per the agreement reached earlier between Nepal and China to open more border points and enhance connectivity between the two countries.
According to APF Spokesperson Deputy Inspector General Suraj Shrestha, they have already started homework to set up BOPs in Olangchunggola (Taplejung), Kimathanka (Sankhuwasabha), Narphu (Manang), Lomanthang (Mustang), Jhangru (Darchula), Kadadhuli (Bajhang), Namkha Hilsa (Humla), Namche Nangla (Mugu) and Buddha Tingle (Dolpa). Preparations are also underway to set up BOPs in Misyang Chanki (Manang) and Lapchi (Dolakha).
The actual deployment of APF personnel in these border outposts may take some time as they need to be provided with necessary trainings. A team of APF is currently visiting these districts to determine location for setting up the BOPs.
The APF, according to Spokesperson Shrestha, plans to set up a separate Mountaineering Rescue Academy in Manang in future to impart necessary training to its personnel before deploying them to the BOPs.
APF, which is mandated to secure national border and curb cross-border crimes, has a total strength of about 37,000. Preparations are underway to deploy around 15,000 APF personnel in various 21 districts along the southern border and a few thousands on the northern border. With cabinet decision to restructure its units, the APF, which had its presence limited in 45 tarai and hill districts, has already expanded its presence in all 77 districts.