BSF to secure immigration checkpoints on Kartarpur corridor
Security of immigration checkpoints are usually handled by CISF personnel but BSF has been given charge in this case as the terminals are on the Pakistan border. Apart from BSF, immigration, customs and state police officials will be stationed.
Officials said security of the passenger terminal at Dera Baba Nanak will be the responsibility of the BSF, as per the Land Port Authority of India Act, 2010. BSF is primarily responsible for securing borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
“Security norms at the corridor will be on a par with airport terminals. Pilgrims visiting the shrine will have to undergo frisking and checking upon their travel from the terminal to the religious shrine and on their return to ensure that they are not carrying (Khalistani) propaganda material, contraband or banned items,” an official said on condition of anonymity. Sikh pilgrims will be allowed to carry kirpans.
Apart from BSF, immigration, customs and state police officials will be stationed at the terminal to help pilgrims and passengers. “Five companies of BSF will be deployed at the corridor along with a contingent of Punjab Police. We will impart them soft skills on the lines of CISF to ensure pilgrims are not subjected to harassment or rude behaviour,” an official said when asked if BSF personnel had the set skills needed for the particular task.
Home ministry officials said its approval has been granted to upgrade the border outpost and give more secured accommodation for jawans and officers who will be deployed on the corridor.
As many as 5,000 pilgrims will be visiting the shrine every day. The number may go up to 10,000 on special occasions, as per agreement between India and Pakistan. The first batch of pilgrims comprising Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and other VIPs are likely to visit the shrine on November 12, which will mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
The vice president of Shapoorji Pallonji, which is in charge of the corridor construction, Sailendra Ajri, told ET: “We have tried to complete the project in less than six months. There were risky night and height works to complete the terminal. The complex geometry of the terminal building was completed in a short time.”
Once completed, the terminal will have the facility to host light and sound shows on the life of Guru Nanak. However, the bridge connecting Dera Baba Nanak (Indian side) and Kartarpur (Pakistan side) will be completed in another six months.