Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) will band together with its Indian counterpart Border Security Force (BSF) to investigate criminal activities taking place in Bangladesh-India border areas.
The decision was made at a director-level conference between the two border forces at the BGB headquarters in Dhaka on Monday morning.
The conference, focused on border coordination between the BGB and the BSF, ended yesterday with the signing of the Joint Record of Discussion, sources said.
“From now, we [the BGB and the BSF] will jointly investigate all the crimes taking place in the border areas,” said Maj Gen Aziz Ahmed, director general of the BGB, during a press briefing after the conference.
“We will invite Indian journalists to visit our territory and observe our activities. Similarly, Bangladeshi journalists will be invited across the border to observe how the BSF functions,” he said.
BSF Director General Shri KK Sharma expressed condolence regarding the killing of a teenager by the BSF in Chuadanga on Saturday.
“We have formed a probe team regarding the matter and have already suspended seven people, including one of our officials. If found guilty, they will be punished as per the law,” he said.
However, he did not make any comment regarding the Felani murder as the case is still under trial at the Supreme Court of India.
Responding to a question, BSF chief KK Sharma said the BSF focused on preventing cattle and drug smuggling, and shooting at sight was not their first reaction. “We shoot at people as a defensive measure, when we feel our personal security is at risk. Otherwise, we don't shoot at people.”
In this regard, both the forces emphasised bringing the number of shootings and killings at the border down to zero.
Speaking of the conference, the BGB chief said the discussion focused on Bangladeshi civilians getting shot and killed by the BSF and the Bangladeshi nationals who were detained for illegally crossing the border.
They also discussed how to prevent the smuggling to alcohol, drugs, firearms and explosives from India to Bangladesh.
Developmental work in the 150 yards near the border and the importance of conserving the banks of the rivers in the border area also came up in the discussion.
The two parties also discussed ways to increase the mutual confidence between the two forces, the BGB chief added.
The five-day conference began on Thursday in Dhaka. A 20-member BSF delegation, led by KK Sharma took part in the conference representing India, while a 23-member team led by Aziz Ahmed represented Bangladesh.