Agartala, Indi — Malaria poses a bigger threat than insurgents and smugglers to Border Security Force (BSF) men posted along India’s northeastern border with Bangladesh, with many dying of the disease every year, say security officials.
“On an average, five to six BSF personnel died of malaria every year on the Tripura border alone. No one was killed by insurgents during the past three years,” said a senior BSF officer.
Comprising eight states, northeast India is a malaria prone zone, with the vector-borne disease claiming an estimated 500 civilian lives annually. Most parts of the borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar are mountainous, densely forested and unfenced. According to the officer, more than 2,360 BSF troopers posted along the 856-km-long Tripura-Bangladesh border were hit by malaria last year. The number of such cases since 2008 was a staggering 11,580.