BGB DG Major General Md Shafeenul Islam held a meeting with BSF DG Rajni Kant Mishra at the BGB Headquarters in the city on Saturday. -Agency
The border security forces of Bangladesh and India have agreed to make joint efforts to bring down the incidents of killing on borders to 'zero level'.Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Border Security Force (BSF) of India reached the agreement at the Director General-level 48th border conference held in Dhaka from June 12 to 15.
At a joint press conference after the three-day conference at BGB headquarters, chiefs of the border forces of the two neighbors said they also agreed to increase coordinated patrols in the areas vulnerable to smuggling of cattle and narcotics.
According to a joint statement, the two sides agreed to implement the Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP) in positive spirit and take effective steps to prevent human trafficking and illegal crossing borders.
BGB director general Major General Md Shafeenul Islam led the 19-member Bangladesh delegation in the conference while BSF director general Rajni Kant Mishra led the 10-member Indian delegation. Speaking at the press conference, chiefs of both the forces expressed deep concern over border killings.
BGB chief Shafeenul said people of Bangladesh always appreciate the existing excellent relationship between the two border forces and expect they will take necessary measures to bring down border killings and smuggling of narcotics to zero level.
BSF chief Rajni Kant called border killings 'unfortunate deaths' and claimed that India suffered most of the deaths. According to his statement, seven people were killed on borders in the last year, of whom six were Indians and only one was Bangladeshi.
Rajni Kant underscored the need for looking into the reasons behind border killings and urged measures for coordinated BGB-BSF patrols to bring down the killings."Death in the border areas is unexpected. BSF members are directed not to use firearms first. But sometimes the situation turns so ugly that the smugglers attack the BSF members with stones, sticks and sharp weapons," he said.
The BSF chief said "unexpected incidents [death]" take place when border guards are attacked though his force maintains maximum restraint. "Each incident, however, is investigated".He did not give direct reply to questions on the murder of Felani, an adolescent Bangladeshi girl who was shot dead by BSF while crossing the border into Bangladesh in 2011, pleading it is sub judice.
The BSF chief appreciated the cooperation extended by BGB and other security forces of Bangladesh against the Indian insurgent groups and sought further cooperation for the destruction of their hideouts, if any.The BGB chief said in response that Bangladesh does not allow its soil to be used by any element hostile to any country and assured his counterpart of all possible help.
The two sides agreed that all the inadvertent border crossers will be handed over to force concerned immediately as per the provisions of CBMP and agreed to take effective steps for preventing smuggling.They also agreed to declare more areas as crime-free zone in phases, of which proposed area within Sarail Region or Tripura Frontier may be formalized in the first phase.
Both the sides exchanged lists of criminals and smugglers operating in the bordering areas and asked for assistance to address the issues.The next director general-level conference will be held at New Delhi sometime between the last week of October and the first week of November 2019.
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