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COVID-19: BSF cancels movement of troops for next fortnight

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Border Security Force (BSF) has cancelled the movement of all its troops and officers, supposed to travel for routine duties, for the next fortnight in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak, officials said on Friday.

The over 2.5-lakh personnel strong border guarding force, primarily tasked to guard the Indian borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh, has said violation of these directives will invite action against those who undertake the journey and their commanders who approve such movements.

Sources said the direction has been issued in order to ensure that a mass outbreak of the deadly coronavirus pandemic can be stopped in the BSF that is an "essential fighting force" of the country.

An order reviewed by PTI in this context stated: "It is categorically clarified that there should not be any movement of manpower with regard to leave, training, courses, temporary duties etc," up to April 5.

The order issued by the BSF Headquarters in Delhi said these directives are for "strict compliance".

The force has also asked all its commanders to extend the leave of off-duty jawans and officers till April 5 "with immediate effect, to avoid unnecessary movement from their home town to place of duty".

The order said such personnel should be informed about the extension of their leaves on their personal telephones so that there is "no communication gap" and the personnel does not begin his journey.

It has also been ordered that officers and sub-officers who are undergoing a training course "should be kept at the respective centres" till April 5 and if required their courses should be extended in order to stop them from travelling to their homes or offices.

They said movement of the BSF personnel, over the next fortnight, will only be allowed in cases of "strict emergency".

The Union Home Ministry has recently directed that all the non-emergency leaves of paramilitary personnel should be "cancelled" in order to minimise the risk of contracting coronavirus during travel and they should get into "battle mode" to combat the pandemic by ensuring personal and public safety.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 20 2020. 19:56 IST