India, Bangladesh border forces vow to stop attacks on security personnel

Border guarding forces of India and Bangladesh agreed to undertake joint efforts to “bring down to absolute minimum” the incidents of attack on BSF personnel by criminals from the neighbouring country along the 4,096-km-long International Border (IB) shared by them, an official statement said.

The bi-annual Director General (DG) level talks between the Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) ended in Dhaka with the signing of a joint record of discussions.

The Indian delegation led by BSF DG Nitin Agrawal travelled to Bangladesh for the 54th edition of these talks held between March 5-9 at the BGB headquarters at Pilkhana in Dhaka.

BGB DG Maj Gen Mohammad Ashrafuzzaman Siddiqui headed the Bangladeshi delegation.

A BSF spokesperson said in Delhi that the two sides, during this meeting, carried forward the agenda for which the “highest leadership of the two countries had laid the foundation of a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship”.

“On the incidents of assault/attack on BSF personnel by Bangladesh-based trans-border criminals and miscreants, both sides agreed to undertake combined efforts to bring down such incidents to absolute minimum by increasing coordinated patrols especially during late hours of nights to early morning in vulnerable areas and educating bordering population regarding the sanctity of IB.

“Both sides also agreed to aid victims of human trafficking and to facilitate their rescue and rehabilitation as soon as possible as per law of the land,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that both the countries also agreed to share an approved design of six developmental works on Indian side and a similar number of developmental works on thee Bangladesh side.

As a goodwill gesture, he said, the BSF agreed to a BGB proposal of construction for preserving of 18 graves of their martyred freedom fighters of that country at Tamabil and Sylhet, located across the border.

The two forces agreed to pursue and share real-time information and investigation reports of human traffickers and remain extra-vigilant to curb a variety of trans-border crimes like illegal crossing, smuggling of various items and put all out efforts to make India-Bangladesh border crime free, he said.

Incidents of death at the border will be brought down to zero with active mutual cooperation in the near future, the two sides decided.

The BSF also put across certain other points regarding action against Indian insurgent groups in Bangladesh, issues related with border infrastructure, joint efforts for effective implementation of the coordinated border management plan, confidence building measures and other miscellaneous activities.

The BGB agenda included prevention of border crimes, illegal crossing and intrusion into Bangladesh territory by BSF and Indian nationals/miscreants and issues related to border infrastructure within 150 yards of the IB, the spokesperson said.

Both sides expressed their satisfaction over the outcome of the conference and reiterated their commitments to work jointly for maintaining peace and tranquillity at the border, he said.

The DG-level border talks were held annually between 1975 and 1992 but they were made bi-annual in 1993 with either side alternatively travelling to the national capitals of New Delhi and Dhaka.

The last talks were held in Delhi in June, 2023 while he next are being expected to be held here during September-October.