Thursday, January 2nd, 2020

BGB demands BSF steps to prevent border killing

Published 11:00 pm | January 02, 2020

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) today said it demanded Indian Border Security Force’s (BSF) effective steps to prevent
killings of Bangladeshis on frontiers as casualty figures sharply rose in 2019, three days after the two paramilitary forces wrapped up their talks in New Delhi.

“The number of border killing in the outgoing year (2019) was highest in the last four years. As per our calculation, the number of such unexpected deaths was 35,” BGB Director General (DG) Major General Md Shafeenul Islam told a media briefing on his return home after the talks in the Indian capital.

Shafeenul said he urged his BSF counterpart Vivek Kumar Johri to minimize the border killing to zero level as agreed earlier by the two border forces. The BGB chief said the BSF estimate of the casualty figure, however, was much lower than the Bangladesh side calculations.

During the talks, he said, Johri claimed to be following the policy of maintaining maximum restraint and minimal use of force even after being attacked by “armed border offenders”. Shafeenul led an 11-member delegation in the five-day talks while his counterpart led a 19-member team as the biannual conference was held in Delhi from December 25-30, 2019.

The BGB chief said both the border forces, however, agreed to take punitive actions against criminals in frontier areas and trespassing. He said the conference agreed that trespassers would be handed over to concerned law enforcement agencies on each side and take effective steps to prevent cross-border human trafficking, smuggling of weapon and explosives and drug.

The BGB chief said Johri appreciated BGB and other Bangladeshi law enforcement agencies cooperation in tracking down Indian separatist elements while he told him Bangladesh never allow foreign separatists or criminal gangs to use its soil. Shafeenul said he conveyed the BSF chef the Bangladesh plan to construct 277 kilometers border road along the Bangladesh-India border when Johri assured if extending required assistance towards that end.

According to the Joint Record of Discussions (JRD) served to the media, the BGB and BSF also agreed to pursue and share real time information extracted from persons detained with smuggled items.

Asked if India’s contentious NRC or citizenship law featured their talks, the BGB chief answered in the negative but said since the law was passed 1,101 people entered into Bangladesh without papers but all of them were eventually found to be Bangladeshi nationals. The next DG level conference will be held in Dhaka in April 2020.

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