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India, Bangladesh to step up joint border patrolling

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  12 Jan 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Agartala, January 11: Border guards of India and Bangladesh would intensify their joint patrolling, officials said here on Sunday following a two–day district–level border meet.

“The BSF (Border Security Force) and the BGB (Border Guards Bangladesh) have been conducting their mutual patrolling along the frontiers of either side. This patrolling would be further intensified to curb border crimes and other inimical activities,” Sepahijala district magistrate and collector Parshant Kumar Goyal told reporters.

“In the border conference, we have asked the Bangladesh officials to destroy the militants’ camps set up by the Tripura extremists and to take measures to stop smuggling of various goods, including drugs, human trafficking and cattle lifting,” he added.

District magistrates and other officials of Tripura’s four districts — Sipahijala, Gomti, South Tripura and Dhalai — met the deputy commissioners of Bangladesh’s five districts of Comilla, Feni, Rangamati, Khagrachari and Chittagong, and discussed border crimes, water sharing of common rivers, setting up of more ‘border haats’ (markets), border fencing, and better coordition between the district administrations of both sides.

The concerned Tripura district magistrate and collectors have signed separate memorandum of understanding (MoU) with their Bangladeshi counterparts to execute the decisions taken during the two–day meet.

Senior officials of the BSF, BGB, Bangladesh and Tripura Police and customs were also present in the meet.

“To curb the border crimes and to intensify the vigil along the borders by the border guards of the two countries, setting up of more border outposts (BOPs) is required. Both sides agreed upon on this issue,” said Goyal, who was accompanied by other officials.

The Tripura government has been asking the central government to build fences at the actual border (zero line) with Bangladesh to keep border markets, human habitats, roads and government set–ups within the fencing.

The Bangladeshi officials have asked their Indian counterparts to erect the fence 150 yards from the zero line of the borders as per the intertiol norms.

Similar district level border conferences would be held in other northeastern states of Assam, Mizoram and Meghalaya to sort out the border issues.

India is erecting a barbed wire fence and putting up floodlights along the 4,096–km India–Bangladesh border in West Bengal (2,216 km), Tripura (856 km), Assam (263 km), Meghalaya (443 km) and Mizoram (318 km) to check trans–border movement of militants, and curb border crimes.

The mountainous terrain, dense forests and other hindrances make the unfenced borders between India’s northeastern states and Bangladesh porous and vulnerable, letting illegal immigrants and intruders cross over without any hurdle. India and Bangladesh, as neighbours, share 2,979 km of land border and 1,116 km of riverine boundaries. (IANS)

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