By Kevin Heath
India has deployed plain-clothes commandoes along the Uttarakhand and Nepalese border to improve security against smugglers and wildlife traders. The news was made public today by SSB Additional Director General Somesh Goyal. he also confirmed that operations have already started.
Goyal explained that teams of specially trained plain-clothes commandoes were patrolling the border in order to work better with local communities and to be more effective at intercepting smugglers. He said, “The force wants to get maximum cooperation from locals residing near these transit and trade routes to keep a tab on smugglers and wildlife traders.”
Operations are being undertaken along all 22 trade routes between India and Nepal. Patrol routes will cover most of the 1,700km border.
India will also look at boosting the number of border posts along the border. Goyal said the local government were aiming to increase the number of border posts from 81 to 100.
Goyal said that it is hoped that local mountain residents will be more willing to work with and provide information to the soldiers if they are not wearing a uniform.
The mountain tracks that cross the Himalayas bordering Uttarakhand and Nepal are well know for being an important route for transporting wildlife arts between India and china. the tracks are one of the main supply routs for tiger parts and rhino parts that have been poached from across the whole of India.
Dharchula in Uttarakhand is a known wildlife trading city which sees Indian suppliers and Chinese customers come together to trade in wildlife products.