India, Bangladesh vow to increase joint border patrolling

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New Delhi, Aug 24: India and Bangladesh on Sunday decided to increase joint patrolling by their border guarding forces even as the neighboring country claimed that instances of border killings have reduced along the frontier they share.

India, during its meeting with top Bangladeshi security officials here, also handed over a list of 71 insurgent camps and those of their cadres which it suspects are based in the neighboring country. "Border killing instances along the Indo-Bangla border have reduced, I would say.

The BSF is very sincere and they have worked in bringing down this figure. It (killings) is coming down but we are working for a situation where these killings come down to zero," Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) chief Maj Gen Aziz Ahmed told reporters after conclusion of the five-day meeting with their counterparts in the BSF.

Directors General of both the forces meet twice every year, with one meeting held at either location. Border Security Force chief D K Pathak said both the forces have decided on a new and improved patrolling plan where troops from both the sides come together for vigil. "It is working well," DG Pathak said.

The BGB DG said he was sure that none of the Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) caught at this border was being produced in Bangladesh and his country was being used as a "transit" route by smugglers.

"We have made adequate measures to seize this type of currency. We will work with BSF to curb it further," Ahmed said while talking to reporters at the BSF headquarters here. Ahmed refuted that any "illegal migration" was taking place at this border and called these cases as only "illegal crossing" instances. 

Both the force chiefs said they have resolved to review issues like illegal construction along 150 metres from the border and those pertaining to border fencing.

"There are about 13 such cases pending while two are being worked for approval," Ahmed said while talking about incidents of construction along the border.

The Directors General said both the forces have found some instances of their personnel being in connivance with some smuggling rackets on the border and these cases are being investigated. "There are a couple of such cases...not many I would say in our force. But we will take strict action against the guilty as per law," Pathak said.

The BGB chief also said they are satisfied by a force court trial being undertaken by the BSF against one its jawan for allegedly killing a teenage Bangla girl Felani in 2011 on this border.

"It (trial in the case) is going the way it is expected. But we will wait till the end result comes," Ahmed said.

The BGB chief said both the forces are taking forward steps in building better relations despite the change in governments in their countries.

"I don't think that (change of governments) will make any change. The border remains the same, the forces remain the same...," he said. The DGs said they have decided to share real-time information amongst its officials along this border to increase coordination between them.

PTI

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