December 29, 2008

Govt to demand centralised system to identify fishermen

Kolkata, 28 December: The state government will demand a centralised system for all the coastal states to confirm the identity of those fishermen, whose boat is intercepted by the police on the basis of suspicion. The demand will be raised in a meeting of home secretaries and DGPs of all the coastal states convened by Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta in Delhi on Monday.

The meeting will make an assessment of the progress made by the state governments in securing coastal areas of their respective states. “If a boat from Andhra Pradesh or Orissa is intercepted in Bengal, we may like to check the identity of the fishermen. But unless we have access to a centralised system, we cannot ascertain their identity. Similar situation may arise if a boat registered with us is intercepted in other states,” said Asok Mohan Chakrabarti, state Home Secretary, who will attend the meeting as well as the tripartite talks on Gorkhaland.

He added that if he could not make it on time for the coastal security meeting it will be DGP A B Vohra who will attend it. The West Bengal government is going to set up six coastal police stations and 17 outposts along its 269-km-long shore with Bangladesh. It is also going to get buy boats, sophisticated weapons and other equipment for coastal security.

According to Chakrabarti, besides these measures, the state government will furnish another plan to the Central government to ensure security along the state’s coast line.

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