“I used to think whether there is a security policy of this country or not? Till Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, we did not have any independent security policy. It was either influenced by foreign policy or it was overlapping with the foreign policy,” said Shah. He was delivering the annual Rustamji Memorial Lecture, organised by the Border Security Force (BSF) in memory of its first director general, KF Rustamji.
“Our idea is to have peaceful relations with all, but if someone disturbs our borders, if someone challenges our sovereignty, the priority of our security policy is that such an attempt will be replied (to) in the same language,” said Shah. “I believe (that) without this (security policy), neither can the country progress nor can democracy prosper. Modiji has done this big job.”
In the backdrop of the first drone attack on the Indian Air Force station in Jammu last month, he said, “A ‘Make in India’ technology is being developed to counter the threats from drones. Defence Research and Development Organisation is working on developing anti-drone ‘swadeshi’ technology to get over this danger.”
Focus on Border Infra
“All research and development projects have been sanctioned by the government to develop anti-drone technology,” said Shah.
The security and technology development establishment is also working on artificial intelligence and robotic technologies as part of a long-term project, the home minister added
The home minister said the government is working to ensure there “will be no gap in the fencing” along India’s borders by next year. He said about 3% of the border was unfenced and this left a “big space” for infiltration of terrorists and other border crimes such as smuggling of arms, ammunition and narcotics.
Shah said 4,764 km of roads were constructed along the border between 2014 and 2020, up from 3,600 km between 2008-14. The budget for road construction was increased to ₹44,000 crore from ₹23,000 crore between these periods, he said. Similarly, he said, 14,450 metres of bridges were constructed from 2014-20, up from 7,270 metres from 2008-20.
“In six years (of UPA governance), only one tunnel was constructed. We have already inaugurated six tunnels and work on 19 tunnels is going on. Road resurfacing too has increased from 170 km per year to 380 km per year between the two periods,” said Shah.
The home minister gave away gallantry medals to serving BSF personnel and for those killed in the line of duty. About 265,000 BSF personnel guard more than 6,300 km of borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
BSF director general Rakesh Asthana said that in the past year, the force had spotted 61 drones coming in from across the border and found four tunnels. It had killed 22 infiltrators, confiscated 632 kg of drugs and also recovered weapons on the western border, he said.