Amit Shah presents medals to officers and personnel of the BSF

The Union Home Minister, Amit Shah presented medals to the brave officers and personnel of the Border Security Force for their indomitable courage, valour, gallantry and outstanding service at the 18th Investiture Ceremony of the BSF in New Delhi today. The Home Minister also delivered the Rustamji Memorial Lecture. A documentary 'Bawa' on Border Security Force was also screened on the occasion. Union Ministers of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai and Ajay Kumar, Union Home Secretary, Director General of Border Security Force and other senior officers also participated in the programme.

Paying tributes to the First Director General of BSF, KF Rustamji, the Union Home Minister said that it is only because of the sacrifices made by martyrs of the Border Security Force and other paramilitary forces of the country that India has been able to make its proud presence on the world map. Praising the Border Security Force, he said that the mere mention of your force strikes chill among the enemy and because of this our democracy is marching ahead on the path of development. Shah said that India is consolidating its place on the world map, and in this endeavour your contribution is very important and in the frontline. The Union Home Minister said that those martyrs, the braves and warriors can never be forgotten who even today, whether the temperature is -45 degrees or the heat of 45 degrees, be it the borders of Ladakh or the heat of the desert, whether it is the riverine territory, streams, forests or mountains on the eastern border, BSF and all our paramilitary forces are devoted to the task of border security. It is due to them, India today is registering its proud place on the world map.

Amit Shah said that late Rustamji raised such a force which has created a great pillar of fame with their sweat, dedication, hard work, vigilant and sacrifice which is evident in the secured borders running across thousands of kilometers. He said that After the 1965 war, the seed sown of the Border Security Force with 25 battalions in states on the border areas, the BSF has today grown into a banyan tree and this force, with a strength of 2.65 lakh soldiers, is providing security to the country.
The Union Home Minister said that BSF has established a tradition of supreme sacrifice. He said that just six years after establishment of the Border Security Force, when all kinds of human rights abuses were happening in the then East Pakistan, unimaginable tortures were being committed, and when the situation became unbearable then in that situation India took the decision and BSF jawans played an important role and today Bangladesh exists on the world map as an independent nation. Shah added that be it in war time or peace,the BSF jawans have always left no stone unturned in the performance of their duty and as a result of this the Border Security Force has been decorated with many gallantry awards.
Shah said that since a long time, we have always been in a critical situation having to secure a coastline of about 7,516 km and a land border of more than 15,000 km and it was the time to pay attention to a structured border security, but for a long time there was no comprehensive policy. The Union Home Minister said that when Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government was formed in the country, this task gained momentum. For the first time in Atal ji's government, the principle of ' One Border, One Force' was approved and a structured blueprint was started and each Force’s responsibility was fixed.

The Union Home Minister said that the Modi government has given priority to the work of infrastructure on the borders. He said that if we make a comparative study, 3,610 km of road length was constructed during the years 2008 to 2014 while 4,764 km road length has been laid during 2014-2020. He added that it is the vision of the Prime Minister that unless the basic infrastructure of the borders is improved, there will be migration from there and eventually it will become very difficult to protect the uninhabited borders.

Shah said that during the year 2008 to 2014, 7,270 meter long bridges were built while it doubled to 14,450 meters during the years 2014 to 2020. During the year 2008-14, only one tunnel was constructed, while between 2014 and 2020, six new tunnels have been built and work is in progress on another 19. Listing out another important data, the Union Home Minister said that to fill the gaps in border fencing, the Modi government removed the bottlenecks by opening lines of communication. He assured that by 2022, there will be no remaining gaps in border fencing. He said that only this three percent gap leaves possibilities for infiltration and renders useless the remaining 97 percent of fenced border.
The Union Home Minister said that the Modi Government has undertaken several schemes, he added that the BSF has done a great job by detecting many tunnels and undertaking their scientific analysis. He said that our campaign against the growing threat of drones is very important today and to check it, the DRDO and other agencies are working on indigenous technology and border deployment will be reinforced soon with the deployment of indigenous anti-drone system.