State govts owe Rs 216 cr to ITBP

National

It is not just the Maharashtra government that owes money to the Indo-Tibetan Border Police force. Other states together are yet to pay the force Rs 190 crore. ITBP officials said the Maharashtra government owes Rs 26 crore to the force as they have deployed around 250 commandos at the special cell in Arthur Road Jail where Ajmal Kasab is lodged.

The Maharashtra government has contested the claims of the ITBP saying that the duty of providing security to Kasab was the nation's responsibility as the Mumbai attacks had far reaching implications.

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on Friday that the money issue is an administrative matter. "We will discuss it with the state government," he said. He added that there was no question of leniency to Kasab.

Apart from securing the 3,488-km-long India-China border from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, ITBP also provides its commandos for securing vital installations and the VIPs.

"Collectively the other state governments also owe Rs 190 crore for various duties that ITBP personnel have performed. We have written to all the concerned departments but are yet to get any reply," said an official.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 50th Raising Day parade of ITBP, Shinde said though infiltration from Pakistan was on the rise, the situation was peaceful on the Chinese border. "There is some sort of infiltration from Pakistan side. But we are very alert on this. There is no intrusion (from the Chinese side). I have studied it very minutely. They come and go. They stay there (near border) for an hour or so... But we have got our people (troops) there. They are all prepared. There is no war-like situation along the border with China," said Shinde.

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