BGB, BSF vow to bring border crimes to zero

Staff Correspondent

20 September, 2020 12:00 AM printer

The Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) have agreed at a four-day conference to bring crimes to zero on the Indo-Bangla border.

During the high-level talks, both sides have discussed various preventive measures to check human trafficking and killings and other border crimes.

BSF Director General Rakesh Asthana said they were working on a strategy to reduce border killings to zero.

“I must say that our policy is to bring down border killings to zero,” he told a joint press briefing soon after the BGB-BSF conference concluded in Dhaka on Saturday.

The BSF DG claimed that his troops have been asked to use nonlethal weapons and instructed to fire as a last resort.

Mentioning that India has very good relations with Bangladesh, he said, “I don’t justify any killing. I repeat we are committed to bringing this (border killing) down to zero. I joined recently and you will see progress in this regard in the future.”

A joint record of discussion was issued on the final day of the conference on Saturday.

Addressing the press briefing, BGB DG Major General Md Shafeenul Islam said, “The BSF DG has assured me that he will do his best to avoid any loss of life on the border.”

 Asked if the BGB’s failure to allow Bangladeshi nationals to enter Indian territory illegally, he said Bangladesh's border is 4,427 kilometres. It includes many rivers, wetlands, hills and plains.

"We’ve border outposts every five kilometres. We’re trying to protect the border with the help of technology,” he added.

Both forces agreed to resume joint patrols on the border, which was suspended due to the corona crisis.

A press release issued by the BGB said the two forces agreed to take effective measures to prevent human trafficking and to share real-time information on integrated border management to prevent Yaba and other drugs, firearms and cattle smuggling.

Both sides mutually agreed not to undertake any development work within 150 yards of International Boarder (IB) without prior information.

Both sides also agreed to expedite concurrence of all pending development works within 150 yards of IB.

Both sides appreciated the efforts made to improve mutual relations through various agreed upon Confidence Building Measures (CBMs).

Both DGs expressed their satisfaction over the outcome of the conference. Both the delegation leaders reiterated their commitments to work jointly for maintaining peace and tranquility at the border.

Both sides agreed to hold the next DG level conference at Guwahati, India preferably within 2nd week of November 2020.

A 13-member BGB delegation, led by its DG Major General Md Shafeenul Islam, and a six-member BSF delegation, led by its Director General Rakesh Asthana, attended the 50th BGB-BSF Director General level talks (DGLT) from September 16 to 19.