The Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and the Border Security Force (BSF) of India have agreed to undertake joint efforts to bring down border killings to zero by increasing coordinated patrols in areas vulnerable to cattle and drug smuggling.
They also agreed to take effective steps for preventing smuggling of arms, ammunition, explosives, drugs, gold and fake Indian currency notes across the international boarder.The decision came at the four-day director general (DG)-level conference between the border forces of the two neighbouring countries that ended in the capital on Saturday.
BGB DG Major General Md Shafeenul Islam and BSF DG Rajni Kant Mishra spoke at a joint press briefing at BGB headquarters after signing the ‘Joint Record of Discussion’ (JRD).
The biennial Border Coordination conference between Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) began on Wednesday.
The BGB DG expressed satisfaction over the excellent cooperation and friendly relations between the two border guarding forces and said he firmly believes that the cooperation will continue to grow in future.
He also extended warm welcome to Srimati Gita Mishra for leading the BSF Wives Welfare Association delegation to Bangladesh to interact with Shimanto Poribar Kallayan Shamiti.
At the outset, the BGB chief expressed concern over drug smuggling and killing of Bangladeshi nationals in the bordering areas.He stated that people of Bangladesh always appreciate the existing excellent relationship between the two border forces and expect that BGB and BSF will take necessary measures to bring down border death and drug smuggling.
Expressing satisfaction over the coordinated efforts of BSF and BGB in maintaining peace and tranquility along the border, the BSF chief stressed the need for effective implementation of Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP).
He expressed concern over smuggling of cattle, breaching of fence and attacks on BSF personnel by criminals.
Both the DGs highly appreciated the outcome of existing border management mechanism, various Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) amongst the forces and Chief Nodal Officer’s level meeting.
They also agreed to pursue and share real-time information including preliminary questioning report as applicable about the persons apprehended with smuggled items.
Highlighting the importance of CBMP in curbing the menace of trans-border crimes, the BGB and BSF agreed for the implementation of CBMP in its positive spirit.
They also agreed to take effective steps for prevention of human trafficking and illegal crossing of IB.
The BSF DG appreciated the cooperation extended by BGB and other Security Forces of Bangladesh against Indian Insurgent Groups (IIGs) and sought further cooperation from BGB for destruction of reported hideouts of IIGs in Bangladesh.
The BGB chief mentioned that Bangladesh does not allow her soil to be used by any entity or element hostile to any country and assured all possible help.
He also reiterated the commitment of Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina where she said, “We would not allow any groups/terrorists to use our land against any country and zero tolerance against any kinds of terrorism”.
Both sides agreed that all the inadvertent crossers be handed over to concerned force immediately as per the provisions of CBMP.
They also agreed to solve the pending issues regarding development works including works of Integrated Check Posts, Land Customs Stations and Single Row fence within 150 yards of IB by joint verification/re-verification at appropriate levels as early as possible.
Both the DGs agreed to cooperate with each other and maintain extreme vigilance at the border to prevent illegal cross border movement from either side by nationals of any country especially Forcibly Displaced Nationals from Myanmar.
Both sides agreed to facilitate river bank protection work as approved by Joint River Commission and ensure no unauthorized river bank protection works take place along the bordering common rivers.
BGB and BSF agreed to declare new areas as Crime Free Zone in phases, of which proposed area within Sarail Region/Tripura Frontier may be formalized in 1st phase.
They appreciated the efforts made to improve mutual relations through various agreed upon Confidence Building Measures (CBMs). Both sides also exchanged list of criminals/smugglers operating in the bordering areas and asked assistance to address the issues.
The next DG level conference will be held in New Delhi preferably within last week of October to 1st week of November 2019.