The Director General (DG) of Border Security Force (BSF), K K Sharma, on Sunday attended a conference on border issues organised in Kolkata by an RSS-affiliate — Seemanta Chetana Mancha — sparking protests by the Trinamool Congress (TMC).
“What is the serving BSF DG, KK Sharma, doing in uniform at the ‘RSS-backed NGO’s function in Kolkata’? Will take the issue to the Home Minister,” TMC MP Derek O Brien tweeted in the evening.
Sharma was present on the last day of the two-day conference that saw 300 delegates from Assam, Tripura and West Bengal, according to The Indian Express.
“DG BSF attended our programme and spoke on border issues for an hour. What is wrong in that? We are an NGO and not a political party. We have always served the country and worked in border areas. It is the duty of the BSF to liaison with organisations working for border development,” said Jagannath Senapati, the NGO’s (Bengal) organising secretary.
Meanwhile, BSF headquarters stated that “the event was an interaction on border management practices”. “The presentation from BSF entailed the role and task of BSF in the field of border management, the challenges thereof and the welfare activities undertaken by the force for the border population. It was emphasised that border management cannot be done without active participation of the border population. The exercise was to showcase BSF as a people-friendly force and it was exhorted that people living on the border areas are the eyes and ears of the force to face the multi dimensional challenges of border management,” said a statement by the BSF.
Quoting sources, The Indian Express reported that Sharma shared the stage with the outfit’s national co-ordinator Gopal Krishnan, joint-national co-ordinator Murlidhar, member of BJP’s intellectual cell Mohit Roy and Rantideb Sengupta, former journalist and trustee of various RSS-backed NGOs.