Thursday, April 25, 2024

India, Bangladesh border officials agree to settle issues ‘amicably’


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Dhaka, March 9:  Curbing trans-border crimes, human trafficking, and enhanced joint-patrolling were some of the issues discussed at the 54th India-Bangladesh Director General-level border coordination conference from March 5-9 in Dhaka.

While the Indian delegation was led by Nitin Agrawal, Director General of Border Security Force (BSF), the Bangladesh side was headed by Major General Mohammad Ashrafuzzaman from Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB).

“Both sides appreciated each other’s concerns and committed to settle border issues amicably through continued, constructive, and positive engagements at all levels,” a statement from the BSF said on Saturday.

They also agreed to implement the decisions of the conference at the ground level “in true spirit” during the talks that are held twice every year — once in India and once in Bangladesh.

On the incidents of assaults/attacks on the BSF personnel by Bangladesh-based trans-border miscreants, both sides agreed to increase coordinated patrols, especially during late night hours to early morning in vulnerable areas, and educate people living on either side of the international border.

Reiterating the need for “synergistic efforts” to uphold human rights and curb violence on the border, both sides agreed to enhance joint patrolling and vigilance, intensifying public awareness programmes and undertaking appropriate socio-economic development initiatives.

They also agreed on sharing real-time information to ensure that incidents of deaths at the border will be brought down to zero with active cooperation from both sides.

Highlighting the importance of the Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP) in curbing trans-border crimes, human trafficking, and illegal crossing, both sides agreed to pursue and share real-time information and investigation reports of traffickers (if any).

In addition, they agreed to aid victims of human trafficking and facilitate their rescue and rehabilitation at the earliest as per the law of the land.

Both BSF and BGB have decided to go ahead with six developmental works on the Indian side and the same number on the Bangladesh side.

As a goodwill gesture, BSF agreed to BGB’s proposal of construction for preserving the 18 graves of martyred freedom fighters at Tamabil and Sylhet.

The two sides reiterated their commitments to work jointly to maintain peace and tranquility at the border and provisionally agreed to hold the next DG-level conference in New Delhi at a suitable time in September or October 2024.

The last BSF-BGB conference was held at BSF Camp Chhawala in Delhi from June 11-14, 2023.



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