BSF, BGB agree to share info on trans-border crime; solidify ties between two border guarding forces
The Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) have agreed to strengthen the existing preventive measures against insurgency, smuggling and other trans-border crimes along the Indo-Bangladesh border.
The decision was taken on the concluding day of the three-day Inspector General (IG) level Border Co-ordination Conference, on November 29.
Leaders of both the delegations - Inspector General, BSF Tripura Frontier, Susanta Kumar Nath and Tanveer Gani Chowdhury, additional Director General, Region Commander, South East Region Chattogram (BGB) – also signed a Joint Record of Discussion (JRD).
Addressing a joint press conference, Chowdhury stated that in-depth discussions were held on important border-related issues in order to curb the trans-border crimes. Adding that they have zero tolerance for criminal activities, he stressed on the urgency to strengthen the existing preventive measures to counter insurgency, human trafficking and smuggling.
“BSF, BGB have also agreed to take necessary actions to further sensitise the bordering population and increase vigilance in the vulnerable areas. We need to share valuable information on issues involving narcotics and arms. This will yield a better result for us as a team,” he said, adding that through careful planning both the border forces would strive to build good relations and trust between the two.
“We firmly believe that such conferences will work in our favour and solidify the existing and traditional ties between our two forces,” Chowdhury said.
From the BSF’s side, emphasis was laid on issues such as assaults on BSF personnel and unarmed Indian civilians along the border and Indian Insurgents groups (IIGs) taking shelter in Bangladesh.
The Border Security Forces also provided statistics containing details of IIG hideout camps in Bangladesh, list of Bangladeshi criminals involved in fence breaching, cattle smugglers, fake Indian currency notes (FICN) racketeers, Bangladeshis involved in drugs and human trafficking, among others.
The Inspector General (IG), BSF requested the Region Commander, BGB to look into the said issues and take effective action against perpetrators.
In response, the BGB delegation stressed on how Indian nationals/BSF hit back on Bangladeshi nationals. These include the kidnapping of Bangladeshi nationals, illegal trespassing by Indian nationals into Bangladesh territory, and smuggling of various types of contraband to Bangladesh.
To that, the BSF said that they are exercising maximum restraint, adding that firing is a last option for self-defence and claimed that they use non-lethal weapons like pump-action guns in the border.
Both delegations agreed to keep an open mind and share information on actionable intelligence to curb trans-border crimes and maintain a peaceful atmosphere along the International Border.
Inderjit Singh Rana, Inspector General, BSF Meghalaya Frontier and Mridul Sonowal, Inspector General Designated, M&C Frontier, were also present at the conference. The next co-ordination conference will be held at Bangladesh.
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