8 December 2022

Kishanganj: Union home minister Amit Shah praised Saturday the para military Sashastra Seema Bal ( SSB ) for protecting the narrow strip of land -figuratively called the Chicken’s Neck for its shape that connects the Northeast with the rest of India and which is surrounded by Bhutan , Nepal and China to the north and Bangladesh to the south . He also appreciated the force for checking illegal border cross ings and fighting Maoist insurgents .

Chicken's Neck , fighting Reds
Chicken’s Neck , fighting Reds

” SSB’s jurisdiction is close to the Siliguri corridor , which is highly sensitive for our country . This corridor shares borders with Nepal , Bhutan and Bangladesh . As you have been deployed close to the highly sensitive Siliguri corridor , thus you have to work with more alertness , ” Shah said after inaugurating five border chowkis of SSB in Kishanganj , close to the Bangladesh border .

The Siliguri corridor is around 200km long and 60km wide , and gets as narrow as 22km in some places . It is close to Doklam , a Bhutanese area where India and China had a military standoff in 2017 after Beijing pushed its troops to claim that territory .

The road and rail network to the NE runs through Chicken’s Neck and it is also vital for movement of troops and supplies to the Line of Actual Control
( LAC ) on the India – Tibet border . Kishangunj in northeast Bihar is located west of the corridor.

” Sitting in Delhi , one thinks you ( SSB ) have the easiest duty among all border security forces as we’ve friendly relations with both countries ( Nepal and Bhutan ) . But when one comes to the border , herealises that you have the toughest duty as it’s an open border , ” Shah said .

Shah underscored the heightened responsibility attested to an open border ” Even if the neighbouring nations have no ill intentions , there are a few elements in society who use open borders for smuggling and infiltration , ” he said , pointing out that people sneak into India through Bangladesh and Nepal .

Besides securing the borders ,SSB troopers were often deployed to battle Maoist insurgents . ” SSB jawans have fought a tough fight against Maoists in east India . As a result Naxalism is on the brink in Bihar and Jharkhand. We can say it is finished , ” Shah said , praising the force .

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