Border Patrol Bangladesh (PGP)
It said on Friday that no illegal immigration had taken place in India from the neighboring country, but expressed concern over incidents of smuggling across the border.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Border Security Force (BSF) Director General Rakesh Asthana, BGP Director General Maj. Gen. M.D. Shabeenul Islam says at least 86 Bangladeshi nationals have been killed on the Indian side in the last three years. .
However, Astana said the BSF had arrested 3,204 people this year for illegally entering India from Bangladesh, 60 of whom had been handed over to the BJP by national ethnic groups.
During the five-day 51st DG-level talks between the BSF and the PGP, which began on December 22, the two forces discussed various issues related to the border and decided to increase joint night patrols to prevent illegal activities.
“There have been no illegal immigrations from Bangladesh to India. Bangladesh’s GDP is on a steady growth. There is no reason for any citizen to come to India for work or any other reason. People have come with proper documents only for medical purposes,” Islam said.
Many families in border areas keep their relatives on the other side and they visit them on festivals or other occasions, but only with proper travel documents, he added.
The PGP DG also denied reports that some people had left Assam for their country as their names were not found in the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
“Continued illegal immigration” is a political hot cake for political parties in Assam, Northeast and West Bengal, and promises to deport such immigrants are made in every election.
However, senior officials of the two forces expressed concern over the illegal movement of the Rohingya and said that the BSF and the BJP were taking steps to curb it by inadvertently arresting such people on both sides of the border.
They both agreed that crime, often the smuggling of various goods, was on the rise.
“We are concerned about cross-border illegal trade. These syndicates mainly deal with drug and animal trafficking. We are constantly monitoring them and raising our awareness at the border,” Astana said.
Islam said it was affecting local livestock farms in Bangladesh as the country became self-sufficient in livestock production as incidents of cattle smuggling increased.
“In fact, we produce more cattle than we need. Also, 400-600 cattle come legally from Myanmar every day. Due to smuggling, many criminals are killed in the operations of the security forces,” he added.
The BJP leader told reporters that three people were killed on the Indian side in 2018 for criminal activities, while the number was 35 and 48 in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
“Border killing is an issue not only for the BJP but also for the people of Bangladesh,” he added.
Astana said Indian people are also being killed for engaging in crimes such as kidnapping, and that at least three Indians have been killed this year.
“This is an issue of concern to both sides. We can ensure that the BSF uses dangerous weapons only as a last resort. These killings take place between 10 pm and 5 am at night. We are trying to resolve this in the most appropriate way,” he said. He said.
The BSF DG said his force had arrested 3,204 people for illegally entering India through various border states like Assam, West Bengal and Tripura and 60 of them were handed over to the BJP after establishing their nationalities.
“People who cannot be identified by the BSF are handed over to the local police because there is a better way to deal with them,” he said.
Astana said both forces agreed to increase “integrated night patrols” in vulnerable areas to prevent trafficking and illegal movement to reduce civilian casualties by security forces.
“We have agreed to initiate confidence-building activities in the border areas. We will also encourage civic activities such as organizing medical camps, having border centers and assisting people to visit, so that people living along the border can benefit,” he said.
Astana added that the BSF had agreed to extend full cooperation to the BSF in its anniversary celebrations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence.
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