Myanmar's Border Guard Police (BGP) yesterday returned the sub-machine gun (SMG) of slain Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Nayek Mizanur Rahman along with 120 bullets and four magazines following a flag meeting between the two forces.
In an unprovoked attack, BGP shot at BGB patrols at Naikkhangchhari border in Bandarban on May 28, leaving Mizan dead. The Myanmar force then intruded into Bangladesh and took away his body, his firearm and ammunition, creating huge tension at the border.
Col Khandker Farid Hasan, BGB's sector commander of Cox's Bazar, led a 23-member delegation, while Director Police Brig Thin Ko Ko led a team of 15 members during the four-hour meeting from 10:00am at Maungdaw in Myanmar, which is 11km off Teaknaf.
As Bangladesh strongly protested Mizan's killing at the meeting, the Myanmar force said they mistook the patrol team for members of Myanmar-based separatist group Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO), who also use dark uniform like BGB's.
When asked why they did not contact BGB officials at that time, the Myanmar side said they did not have mobile phone tower there and that they would build one in a couple of months, BGB Director General Maj Gen Aziz Ahmed told The Daily Star last night.
The Myanmar side regretted the killing and assured Bangladesh of more cautiousness in future to prevent recurrence.
The BGB chief said when Bangladeshi officials asked BGP to withdraw army from their border, they said they needed army deployment to prevent attack by RSO separatists.
The Myanmar team then inquired about whether Bangladesh wanted to deploy army at the border but the Bangladesh side said it was not required, said Maj Gen Aziz.
He said they never gave shelter to RSO separatists and asked for specific information about RSO operatives from BGP, if any, so that Bangladesh could take action against them.
During the meeting, amid tension at Bandarban border, both sides discussed issues including border patrol by the two forces in a coordinated way and stopping intrusion.