Chinese centres in Nepal not a threat to India as of now SSBNEW DELHI: India is keeping an eye on growing number of Chinese cultural centres in neighbouring Nepal, but their activity has not reached the threshold where it impinges on the country’s security, outgoing chief of border guarding force SSB said here today.

“We do not need to bother about these centres as such.

But we need to be aware about them and we are aware about them. Their activity has not reached the threshold where it starts to impinge on our security,” outgoing Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) chief Arun Chaudhary told PTI.

Set up in 2008, the centres, according to reports, teach Chinese language to locals and even disseminate cultural information about China and its various art forms.

The SSB is the mandated paramilitary force to guard the 1,751-km long porous Indo-Nepal border which is prone to smuggling of arms, ammunition and illegal crossover of anti-national elements.

A 1977-batch IPS officer from Bihar cadre, Chaudhary, who has served in key posts at Intelligence Bureau, CISF and Bihar Police, said keeping in view the challenges faced by the force on this border and also the Bhutan border that it secures, the SSB has revamped and re-energised its intelligence gathering setup.

“We have now brought out a new intelligence setup. Our emphasis is that each one of our personnel in the border areas should dovetail their human resource. Apart from our exclusive intelligence gathering setup in these border areas, henceforth, our troops will be motivated to report and share all that they pickup during their regular tasks and while patrolling,” he said. Chaudhary, who headed a 50,000-strong force, said both the combated and non-combated units of the paramilitary working in border areas will work in close coordination to generate more refined and better intelligence.

One of the emphasis for the troops is to gain confidence of the local population so that they act as eyes and ears for the border guarding force, he said.

Chaudhary, who retires today, lauded the role of his counterparts in Nepal and Bhutan who are taking on the challenges that pose a risk to the country’s security. CISF Director General Arvind Ranjan has been given the additional charge of SSB till a formal appointment is made.

“We have been getting a lot of support from both the countries,” he said. SSB also guards the 699-km long Indo-Bhutan border.

Chaudhary also said the force has recently been inducted for rendering security duties in Jammu and Kashmir and for conducting anti-Naxal operations in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

During the last review of parade at the forces’ camp in south Delhi, he had issued commendation to a special contingent of non-combated officers of the force who arm shoulder-to-shoulder with the combat troops in operational areas.–PTI