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इंडियन आवाज़     29 Oct 2020 10:23:54      انڈین آواز

India, Bangladesh agree to curb border killings

AMN / DHAKA / NEW DELHI

India and Bangladesh on Saturday agreed to launch joint border patrols to curb killings and crimes.

“Both sides have agreed to extend joint border patrolling, mass awareness programs and necessary socio-economic development activities with a view to downing the incidents of murders, injuries and attacks on unarmed civilians of both countries to zero level,” said a joint statement issued after a four-day conference attended by border forces of both countries in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka.

The two sides also agreed to educate citizens living in the border area about international law.

They also agreed to exchange digital photographs of smugglers and other criminals.
They also discussed the management of barbed wire fences on borders and common rivers.

In a press release after the conference, BSF said that both the parties agreed to reduce instances of death at the border. The BGB officials ahead of the meeting had highlighted the rise in the number of deaths on the border, but BSF maintained that it only “fires with non-lethal weapons only in self-defence when they are surrounded by a large number of armed miscreants.”

BSF also stated that the “death or apprehension of criminals on the border are irrespective of nationalities.”

BGB Director General (DG) major general Md Shafeenul Islam also assured BSF DG Rakesh Asthana that both the forces will work together to check the rise and activities of insurgent groups of India and share realtime information on drug trafficking, human trafficking, smuggling of fake Indian currency notes and damaging of the Indo-Bangladesh border.

BGB Director General Islam also took up the issue of mentally challenged persons crossing into Bangladesh. Asthana assured him that a detailed SOP will be released to deal with this issue.

This was the 50th border coordination conference between both nations. During the conference, both sides lauded each other for their efforts to improve mutual relations through Confidence Building Measures (CBMs). These Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) will resume once the situation around the coronavirus pandemic becomes normal.

The next conference between the BSF and the BGB will be held in India, according to the press release.

The conference is being seen by observers as an effort to salvage ties after tensions due to a controversial citizenship register and law that could send thousands of ethnic Bengalis settled in India to Bangladesh, which is already struggling due to a Rohingya refugee wave which started in 2018 from neighboring Myanmar.

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