Dhaka, Dec 20 : In a bid to stop border killings, Border Guard Bangladesh Director General, Major General Md Shafeenul Islam on Sunday called on residents of frontier areas not to trespass into Indian territory.
“It is possible to bring down the number of border killings to zero through diplomatic activities, along with public awareness and economic development of the border areas’ people,” he said while responding about a question about border killings after inaugurating the BGB Day 2020 programmes by hoisting the force’s regimental flags atop its headquarters here.
The BGB Day 2020 is being celebrated on Sunday through various programmes at its headquarters Pilkhana in Dhaka and all its battalions across the country.
Earlier, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr A.K. Abdul Momen also mentioned this issue, saying that his government never supports any criminal activity in the border areas.
The BGB chief also said that the Bangladesh side will raise the issue at the forthcoming 51st round of Director General Level Talks (DGLT) between Indian Border Security Force (BSF) and the BGB, to be held from December 22 to 26 in India’s Guwahati.
According to a BGB press release, the BGB will protest the incidents of opening fire on unarmed Bangladeshis, injuring and killing them and discuss ways for stopping such incidents.
Asked what the major challenge before the force are, Maj Gen Islam said one key area is to update BGB technologically to keep pace with the world.
To set up BOP (border outposts) in unprotected border areas is also another challenge, he said.
He also said that as part of economic development activities among the people living in the border areas, boats have been distributed among 100 fishermen and more will be distributed.
Maj Gen Islam will lead an 11-member delegation to the DGLT while his BSF counterpart Rakesh Asthana will lead a 12-member delegation.
Officials from Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Home Ministry, Foreign Affairs Ministry and senior BGB officials will comprise the Bangladesh delegation in the conference while senior officials of BSF headquarters, frontier IGs and officials of the Indian Home Affairs Ministry and External Affairs Ministry will comprise the Indian side.
The talks would hold discussions on preventing cross boarder smuggling, particularly drug smuggling from India to Bangladesh, sharing information on drug factories or warehouses inside India, as well as on arms traders to prevent arms and ammunition smuggling from India to Bangladesh.
Prevention of trespassing by Indian personnel and also Indian nationals’ construction of different unapproved development structures within 150 yards of the border and completing the other development works of Bangladesh in the border areas, which remain stopped, as soon as possible are other issues to be discussed in the meeting.
Protection of river banks in the border areas of the both countries, effective implementation of the Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP) for border management and quickest resolution of frontier related issues and undertaking steps for further strengthening the mutual trust and friendship between both border forces will also be discussed in the conference.
The conference will conclude with the signing of a Joint Record of Discussions (JRD) on December 25 and the Bangladesh delegation will return home on December 26, the BGB press note said.