Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and India’s Border Security Force (BSF) today agreed on different measures against criminal activities at the border between the two countries.
The two border security forces also pledged to work together to curb crimes including human trafficking and smuggling of drugs and narcotics, gold, and weapons at the border, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
A 14-member BGB delegation led by its Director General Maj Gen Shafeenul Islam and a 20-member BSF team led by its Director General KK Sharma are participating in the six-day 47th biannual summit at the BSF’s Chhawla camp in New Delhi.
The summit was inaugurated on September 3 and will end on September 8.
During the DG-level conference, the BGB delegation flagged the issues of killing, abduction or detention of innocent Bangladeshi citizens at the border.
The BGB chief, however, said the number of killings of Bangladeshi nationals at the hands of BSF along the 4,096-km border has come down.
“Bangladesh has more concern about the border killings and this is mostly happening with those who were associated with cattle smuggling. Having understood that, both the forces have worked together on this front...we were able to take it (the figure of border killing) down to only one,” Maj Gen Shafeenul said.
The BGB DG also said there is no large-scale migration of people into India as the people of Bangladesh now “enjoy a very good quality of life” and the few who cross-over do so due to their old cultural and family ties.
“There is no large-scale infiltration from Bangladesh. As you know that the development curve in Bangladesh...we are having a GDP of 7.1 and the people enjoy a very good quality life now in Bangladesh. So, there is hardly any migration in an organised way or in large-scale,” Shafeenul said at a press conference with his Indian counterpart today.
He said that many of those who cross-over illegally do so to visit their relatives across the border in India. But it has been found that they mostly come back after visiting their friends and family who are still living across the border.
BSF DG KK Sharma said they have so far apprehended a total of 1,522 illegal Bangladeshi migrants this year and they were subsequently handed over to the local police.
Out of these, 166 were inadvertent crossers while some were victims of human trafficking, he said.
“Cattle smuggling (incidents), off late, has come down. There are many reasons for this, one being that we are more vigilant. Another is that there is less demand on the other side (Bangladesh) as they have started dairy farming, and animal husbandry is a very important economic activity now and lots of loans are being given in Bangladesh (to people who want to rear cattle),” Sharma said.
The BSF director general said casualties at the border can be brought down to zero by enforcing the existing laws in the countries against the criminals to prevent illegal trespassing at the border.
He also said BSF has been using non-lethal weapons alongside minimal use of force against armed criminals at the border in a bid to prevent casualties.
The BSF DG thanked his Bangladesh counterpart for cooperation in drives against Indian insurgent groups who are active along the border, and urged him to continue the joint efforts between the two border security forces.
The BGB chief conveyed that Bangladesh never allows any terrorist group to use the country’s land for their subversive activities, and the BGB will continue to collaborate with BSF in curbing such criminal activities in the border regions.
The two forces also agreed to take actions as per existing laws in the countries against those who trespass at the border intentionally, and to exchange the detained citizens who are held for trespassing unknowingly.
They also agreed to take necessary steps to curb human trafficking at the border as per the existing laws and for the exchange and rehabilitation of the trafficking victims rescued by the two forces.
The BGB and BSF chiefs hailed the success and effectiveness of the crime-free zone at Jessore border, and agreed to set up similar crime-free zones at all the other borders between the two countries.
The BSF DG appreciated the efforts of the BGB and other security forces of Bangladesh against smuggling of fake Indian currency notes and sought further cooperation in detection and legal prosecution of the defaulters.
To this, the BGB chief replied that law enforcement agencies of Bangladesh are taking actions against fake currency note racketeers and the government has already placed fake currency note detecting machines in all Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) and many other places across the country.
Both the sides appreciated each other’s efforts to curb the smuggling of phensedyl syrup and other psychotropic substances into Bangladesh and pledged to continue efforts in this regard.
The two border security forces' chiefs also expressed satisfaction in approval of almost all pending development works along the border, and appreciated the efforts made to improve mutual relations through various confidence-building measures.
The “meaningful and cordial” deliberations in the biannual conference reflected the friendly bilateral relations between the two countries, they said.
Both the sides also agreed for expeditious implementation of the decisions taken in the conference and decided that the 48th biannual BGB-BSF DG-level conference will be held at Dhaka in March or April next year.