How we helped BSF manage border movements on Assam-Bangladesh Border

The Border Security Force (BSF) of India is responsible for safeguarding more than 4000km of international border between India and Bangladesh. That border passes over a wide variety of terrain including mountains, rainforests, plains and rivers. In some areas there are border fences erected to deter intruders and other areas have more sophisticated tech solutions like ground sensors, laser walls etc to detect and intrusion in real-time. These sensors are mostly installed in riverine areas like Bramhaputra which permanent physical presence of BSF is not possible due to frequent flooding.

In the Dhubri district of Assam, a peculiar problem exists. Even though it’s a riverine area which gets flooded during the monsoon season, there’s a lot of farmland for the local farmers that they need to maintain during the non-monsoon months. There exists an elevated stretch of border fence (shown in the picture below) at a few 10s of kms of stretch in the Dhubri district 200 meters inside the International Border (IB). Which means that there exists farmland between the border fence and the IB which needs to be farmed by the local farmers. When the farmer wants to cross the border fence to get to his farmland he has to be let through by the border guards of the BSF. The farmer would also typically take some farming tools (handtools, sometimes vehicles like tractors, and animals) and a few labourers to help work the fields. Since there are multiple gates in the border fence, the farmers are free to exit and enter from different gates.

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What the guards and the officers started noticing was that in some cases the farmers where bringing back more labourers than they were taking with them. This aroused the suspicions that some of the labourers coming back were Bangladeshi nationals that were entering illegally. Now as guarding the borders is the only job BSF has, this raised quite a few alarms in local command and even Delhi and there were solutions needed to combat this. Even more alarming is the fact that illegal immigration has been a politically charged issue not only in the local politics of Assam, but also in the central govt with the National Register of Citizens of India (NRC) bill being introduced.

Adding the Gate Management System to the CIBMS system, has the potential to track each and every farmer no matter which gate he goes in or out. This will free up a lot of paperwork from our soldiers hands and enable them to do the more important duties of patrolling and responding to threats and/or alerts.

AK Sharma
Former Addl Director General, BSF

In 2018 in Dhubri district a project was begin named BOLD-QIT ( Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique ) as a part of Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System. Now, the entire span of River Brahmaputra is covered with data network generated by Microwave communication, Optical fibers cable (OFC), Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) Communication, day and night surveillance Cameras, and intrusion detection system, and includes sensors like Thermal Imager, Unattended Ground Sensor(UGS), Fiber Optical Sensors, Radar, Sonar, satellite imagery.

Agrex Technologies as a part of this BOLD-QIT project installed Face Recognition Cameras at all the gates used for crossing by the farmers and their hired labourers. What this achieves is a two fold objective. Now that all the gates are inter-connected by Face Recognition cameras all the farmers have to pass by these cameras and their details are stored automatically. Only the people who have actually exited the gates are allowed to come back. If anyone who hasn’t crossed before tries to come back, an alarm is automatically issued to the guard and a QRT (Quick Reaction Team) via a common Command and Control System, at which point an investigation is undertaken. Among that there are other features like automatic alarms for previously blacklisted people.

This has helped significantly reduce to almost none, the number people crossing the border in this way. And helped BSF effectively record and investigate any abnormalities. It was inaugurated by Shri Rajnath Singh, the then home minister in March 2019.

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Using our state-of-the-art Face Recognition Technology, we’re able to recognise and keep a record of all the people going in and out of the gates along with the time spent. If someone has only crossed in one-direction and not come back at the end of the day, automatic alerts can be issued, to be dealt with accordingly.

Arush Kakkar
CEO, Agrex Technologies