New Delhi. 21 September 2020. Border Guarding Forces of India and Bangladesh held Directors General Level Talks recently. Indian delegation was headed by DG BSF Rakesh Asthana and Bangladesh delegation was headed by DG BGB Maj GenShafeenul Islam.
DG level talks between India and Bangladesh have been continuing since 1975. The talks are held twice every year – once in India and once in Bangladesh.This 50th talkwas held in Dhaka. India and Bangladesh share a civilizational heritage and host of factors that span virtually the entire spectrum of interaction that is possible for neighbors to have. Border Guarding Forces of both the countries have established robust system through which co-operation in Border Guarding and Border Management is being ensured.
Accordingly, the agenda for talks/conference were related to the border crimes including smuggling of drugs, gold, fake currency, cattle, drugs & narcotics, fence breaching, action against remnant of Indian Insurgent Groups, construction of single row fence within 150 yards of IB, developments of works within 150 yards of IB, human trafficking and illegal immigration. Fruitful discussions were held on these issues to make border guarding more effective despite the difficulties posed by the topography and other challenges.
After thorough discussion on the Agenda Points, both sides agreed to adhere to the conclusions reached. Highlights of the Joint Record of Discussions signed by both D’sG are:
- BSF & BGB agreed to share real time information with each other expeditiously through formal/informal channels regarding smuggling of Drugs and Narcotics, human trafficking, FICN, Cattle, arms/ammunition/explosive, information related to anti-social elements, activities of IIGs (Indian Insurgent groups), breaching/damaging of IBB fence following commonly agreed specific formats for the exchange of all such vital information.
- DG BSF stated that death or apprehension of criminals on the border are irrespective of nationalities. He further stated that BSF personnel fire with non-lethal weapon only in self-defence when they are surrounded by large number of miscreants armed with dah, sticks etc, and their lives are endangered. DG BSF assured that the death incidents in the border will be made to reduce significantly in near future. Reiterating the need for joint efforts to uphold human rights and curbs violence on the border, both sides agreed to take extra precautionary measures along the border including intensifying public awareness program, undertaking appropriate socio-economic development program and real time information sharing.
- The crossing of significant number of mentally challenged Indian nationals to Bangladesh, DG BSF suggested that a SOP could be drawn up early in mutual consultation to address this humane issue which could expedite the disposal of such cases and alleviate the suffering of such people. Both sides agreed to look after the humanitarian aspects of the victim first and then verify the nationality of the mentally challenged persons and thereafter handing/taking over can be expedited with cooperation from one another.
Both sides appreciated the efforts made to improve mutual relations through various agreed upon Confidence Building Measures (CBMs). All the agreed events undertaken earlier in CBMs will be resumed once Covid-19 pandemic situation becomes normal. Both the delegation leaders reiterated their commitments to work jointly for maintaining peace and tranquility at the border. Both sides agreed to hold the next DG level Border Conference in India.