"India will never provoke conflict by being the first to open fire across the borders but will never back off. Our forces will give a befitting reply to shelling and gunfire from across the border," Home Minister Rajnath Singh said addressing a conference of BSF and security officials here.

Singh was speaking in the context of ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the Line of Control(LoC) andInternational Border, which is guarded by the Border Security Force(BSF).

The Home Minister also said his government's policy of BSF giving a befitting reply to any unprovoked firing by Pakistan has gone down well in the country.

On other issues, Singh said that in order to enhance the vigil and security at India's riverine borders along Pakistan and Bangladesh, the government has sanctioned nine new 'floating' border posts to the force.

While six of the border posts, self-sustained troops and weapon carrying vessels, will be deployed along the Sunderbans area along the Indo-Bangladesh border, three similar floating platforms have been sanctioned for the BSF along the shallow sea and marshy area of Rann of Kutch in Gujarat.

Officials said these new vessels would be made and procured from Indian ship and vessel making firms, hopefully, within this financial year. At present there are about five such vessels at both these border areas.

The BSF is the mandated border guarding force for these two important Indian frontiers. "We have to care about both land and coastal security. It is a fact that only a secure nation can progress and same is true for India.

"I have seen the BSF working very closely in these areas and I felt there was a dearth of floating BOPs (border outposts) here and hence we have sanctioned new ones," Rajnath said while inaugurating the forces' 'Golden Jubilee' seminar here.

The one-day seminar, held to commemorate the forces' 50 years of raising this year, is being held on the theme of "border management in India–challenges and options".

He assured the force of the Home Ministry's commitment to provide the force with latest weaponry and equipment as he lauded the personnel for undertaking welfare activities and development works for the people residing in the vicinity of the borders.

Latest News from India News Desk