Cross-frontier crimes: India, B'desh border guarding forces for better synergy
The top brass of border guarding forces of India and Bangladesh will take a close look at a host of issues related to cross-frontier crimes and suggest steps to create better synergy between their security agencies when they meet here Sunday.
The bi-annual border-level talks, beginning June 11, are likely to have a threadbare discussion on a number of issues related to border management, checking crimes on this front, joint initiatives to implement the coordinated border management plan (CBMP), ways to enhance mutual trust between the BGB and BSF and further strengthen the existing bilateral relations, official sources said on Thursday.
The BSF guards the 4,096 km-long international Indian front with Bangladesh on the country's eastern flank.
Tripura is surrounded by Bangladesh from the north, south, and west sides. 84% of its total border area forms the international border.
A 15-member delegation of the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) is led by its director general (DG) Maj Gen AKM Nazmul Hasan while the BSF delegation is headed by DG Sujoy Lal Thaosen.
Representatives from the ministries of home, external affairs and anti-drugs enforcement will also be part of these two delegations.
This will be the 53rd edition of the talks and the last such meeting was held in July last year when the BSF delegation travelled to Dhaka.
Both sides are expected to exchange views on a number of issues related to border management, checking crimes on this front, joint initiatives to implement the coordinated border management plan (CBMP), ways to enhance mutual trust between the BGB and BSF and further strengthen the existing bilateral relations.
These talks were held annually between 1975 and 1992 but they were made bi-annual in 1993 with the either side alternatively travelling to the national capitals of New Delhi and Dhaka.
A senior BSF officer said relations between the two countries and forces are very good and the two sides are working to enhance these ties.
According to official data, the BSF has handed over to the BGB, between mid-June 2022 and April 2023, a total of 407 Bangladeshi nationals in a "goodwill gesture" and without taking any legal action as they were found to have crossed over inadvertently.
The Indian border force will also share data with the BGB about "proactive" measures taken by it to check smuggling of narcotics like Yaba tablets and Phensedyl cough syrups from this side to Bangladesh.
Measures to ensure that no activity takes places within 150 yards of the International Border and that those indulging in smuggling of various goods are stopped at all costs are also expected to be discussed during the meeting which will end with the signing of a 'joint record of discussion' on June 14.
Meanwhile, both Indian and Bangladeshi governments have expressed keenness to reopen more "Border Haats" in the four northeastern states -- Tripura, Meghalaya, Assam and Mizoram, which share 1,880-km border with Bangladesh -- after three years of closure after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and consequent lockdowns, causing immense loss to the people living in the bordering villages.