Paramilitary Bangladesh and Indian border forces began on Thursday talks in Dhaka with host side highlighting killings of Bangladeshis on the frontier, smuggling of drugs and “push ins” from other side of the border as major issues of concern, a Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) statement said.
“The conference discussed, issues of shooting dead and wounding of unarmed Bangladeshi nationals on the frontier, smuggling of drugs like phensidyl,cannabis, hooch, viagra/senegra tablets from other side of the border, weapon, ammunitions and explosives trafficking,” the statement said.It said abduction and detention of Bangladeshis from border areas, push-ins of mentally imbalanced Indians were other two issues of concerns highlighted in the opening of the formal meeting led by directors general of BGB and India’s Border Security Force (BSF).
BGB chief Major General Md Shafeenul Islam leads a 13-member team in the conference while his BSF counterpart Rakesh Asthana leads a six-member delegation on their respective sides at the conference at Bangladesh border guards Pilkhana headquarters.
According to the statement two sides discussed as well issues relating to construction of different structures within 150 yards of the border, embankment protection of common rivers in bordering areas and construction of gallery at Banglabandha Integrated Check Post (ICP).
The ICP gallery is meant to allow people to witness joint retreat marking ceremonial lowering of national flags of the two countries.
It said the two sides also discussed the routine issues of joint patrol as part of Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP), regular meetings between regional and frontier level officers, hill flying trainings and carrying out operations in hilly areas and increased BGB-BSF communications.
BGB described the talks as a four-day conference, beginning yesterday, but said the formal talks started today and added that it is set to be wrapped up on Saturday with signing of Joint Record of Discussions (JRD).BGB’s additional DGs, officials from Prime Minister’s office (PMO), home ministry, foreign ministry, joint river commission (JRC) and land record and survey department were on Bangladesh side in the discussions while Indian home and external affairs ministry officials accompanied the BSF chief.
The BSF delegation arrived in Dhaka on Wednesday for the deferred conference originally scheduled to be started earlier this week. But the BSF delegation could not reach Dhaka as scheduled on September 13 due to a technical glitch in their aircraft.
The DG-level conference between the two border forces began in 1975, while the talks are generally held twice a year, once in Dhaka and once in Delhi for management of porous 4,096 km long frontiers.
This time, the BGB-BSF director general level talks is being held days ahead of planned foreign minister level Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting using virtual media to be hosted by Dhaka later this month.