49th border co-ordination conference between Director Generals of BSF and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) held in New Delhi

Border guarding forces of India and Bangladesh held Directors General level talks from 25th Dec 2019 to 30th Dec 2019 in New Delhi.  Indian delegation was headed by DG BSF Shri Vivek Johri and BD delegation was headed by DG of BGB Maj Gen Md Shafeenul Islam, BGBM (BAR), ndc, psc.

The items for agenda items for talks related to all issues related to the border including but not limited to smuggling of drugs, gold, fake currency, cattle, action against remnant of Indian Insurgent Groups, construction of fence within 150 yards of IB, developmental works within 150 yards of IB, deaths and injuries to civilians and BSF personnel along the IB, death/injuries to Bangladesh  civilians, human trafficking and illegal immigration.  Discussions were held on each agenda point to make the border guarding more effective despite the difficulties posed by the topography.

After through 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: –

For injuries or loss of life of BSF personnel on borders while preventing criminal activities, both forces agreed to make all possible efforts to curb the menace of cattle smuggling or any other criminal activity and to ensure tranquility on the borders.

For the concerns of BGB for death of Bangladesh Nationals on borders, it was told that non-lethal weapon policy is strictly followed by BSF personnel on border.  Firing is resorted to only in self defence, when BSF patrols are gheraoed and attacked by Dahs etc. It was specified that BSF does not discriminate between criminals based on nationality.

For the camps of Indian insurgent groups in Bangladesh the BGB had informed that Bangladesh does not allow its soil to be used by any entities or elements hostile to any country but agrees to take action against miscreant, if there are any.

Both sides agreed to take strong measures for prevention of illegal border crossing and to intensify the simultaneous coordinated patrol in vulnerable areas.

For the concerns of BGB of smuggling of drugs, narcotics, arms etc, both sides reviewed the steps being taken for prevention and agreed for sharing of real time information, if any, including the relevant information of the apprehended criminals.

Sharing the importance of Coordinated Border Management plan in dealing with issues related to Border Security grid.  It was reiterated that joint vulnerable mapping of area to be carried out keeping in view the crime statistics and trends.

Both sides expressed their satisfaction over the deliberations in the conference, which was meaningful and cordial, reflecting the friendly bilateral relations between the two countries. Both sides agreed for expeditious implementation of the decisions taken in the conference.

DG level talks between India and Bangladesh  has been continuing since long.  The talks are held twice every year – once in India and once in Bangladesh. The talks follow the methodology of border level coordination conferences.  This time the talks were held in New Delhi as per schedule. India and Bangladesh share civilizational heritage and host of factors that span virtually the entire spectrum of interaction that is possible for neighbours to have.

Keeping the above mentioned facts in focus the Border Guarding Forces of both the countries have established robust systems through which co-operation in Border Guarding and Border Management is being ensured.