India, Bangladesh to hold DG-level border talks

India and Bangladesh will hold their bi-annual DG-level border talks in Dhaka this week to seek each other’s cooperation in curbing a variety of crimes taking place on their respective sides of the frontier.

Further, they will also decide on measures to be taken to create better coordination between security forces and other agencies of the two countries.

Officials said a delegation led by Border Security Force (BSF) Director General Nitin Agrawal is scheduled to travel to Dhaka for the meeting, which will take place between March 5 and 9, 2024.

Notably, this would be the 54th edition of the talks between the two border guarding forces.

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) DG Maj Gen Mohammad Ashrafuzzaman Siddiqui will lead the Bangladeshi delegation.

Officials from the home and external affairs ministries, anti-narcotics and other agencies of the two countries will also be present during the five-day deliberations, they said.

According to the officials, the two sides are expected to discuss a number of issues related to border management including steps to be taken to stop incidents of assault and attacks on BSF personnel and civilians by Bangladeshi criminals, jointly checking crimes like smuggling of goods and fake Indian currency, improving the coordinated border management plan (CBMP) and checking illegal construction activities along the border fence, among other things.

The BSF guards the 4,096-km-long Indian border with Bangladesh.

The DG-level border talks were an annual feature between 1975 and 1992, but were later made bi-annual and since 1993 both sides have alternatively been travelling to each other’s national capitals. Last time the talks were held in Delhi.

According to the data available with the force, more than 3,342 Bangladeshi nationals were apprehended by the BSF along the border in 2023, the highest number in the last six years.

A total of 77 BSF personnel were injured in attacks by Bangladeshi and Indian miscreants last year as compared to 43 and 64 such incidents in 2022 and 2021 respectively, it showed.