The BGB DG, at the 51st DG-level border conference, requested that his counterpart destroy the hideouts
The Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) has expressed concerns over the "hideouts" of Chattogram Hill Tracts-based "armed regional separatist groups" in India's Mizoram.
BGB Director General Major General Md Shafeenul Islam raised Dhaka's concerns at the 51st DG-level border conference between the two neighbouring countries in Guwahati, India.
On Friday, a media statement issued by the BGB about the conference said, "The BGB director general expressed concerns over the hideouts of Chittagong Hill Tracts-based armed regional separatist groups inside the Indian state of Mizoram and requested that his counterpart destroy them."
Referring to India's Zero Tolerance Policy against terrorism, India's Border Security Force (BSF) director general said appropriate measures will be taken against those camps if there are any.
The BGB director general led Bangladesh's 11-member delegation to this year's border conference which started in Guwahati on 22 December. Representatives from the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also in the group.
Meanwhile, a 12-member Indian delegation led by BSF Director General Rakesh Asthana took part in the conference.
The joint statement said the two sides agreed upon several points, including strengthening public awareness campaigns at the border, undertaking appropriate socio-economic development programmes in remote areas and conducting joint operations against smugglers.
The statement said, "The BGB director general expressed concern over the killing, wounding and beating of unarmed Bangladeshi citizens by BSF, Indian nationals and miscreants at the border. Both sides agreed to conduct joint night patrols in sensitive areas of the border as a more effective initiative to reduce border killings to zero."
In addition to upholding human rights at the border, the BGB director general called for "all-out efforts" to bring perpetrators under the existing laws of their respective countries instead of killing them, the statement said.
"The BSF director general has assured us that measures will be taken to significantly reduce the number of killings at the border," it said.
The BGB DG also expressed concern over cross-border crimes – like drugs, arms, cattle, counterfeit currency, and gold smuggling – and hoped for BSF's cooperation in curbing these crimes.
"Drug trafficking has led to a sharp rise in drug addiction among the youths of both countries, which is dangerous for both of us and it needs to be tackled effectively," the BSF director general said.
The two sides agreed to exchange immediate and necessary information about the smugglers and to conduct joint operations if required, the statement said.
"Indian nationals and BSF members often enter Bangladesh, which could lead to misunderstandings and untoward situations between the two friendly border forces," BGB director general expressed concern.
He sought the cooperation of BSF in maintaining the existing friendly relations between the two border forces.
The two sides agreed to take various steps to maintain friendly relations and build trust, as well as not to carry out any development work within 150 yards of the border without prior notice, the statement said.
It said the BGB and BSF director general reiterated their respective stance to work together for a peaceful border.
They also agreed to hold the next DG-level border conference in Dhaka in the second week of April next year. After the conference, the Bangladeshi delegation is scheduled to return home Saturday.