The five-day director general-level conference between the BGB and BSF ended in Dhaka yesterday with Bangladesh yet again expressing concern over the deaths of its civilians along the border.
Death of any unarmed civilian on the border is a worry for Bangladesh, Maj Gen Anwar Hussain, director general of Border Guard Bangladesh, told newsmen during a joint briefing at the Pilkhana headquarters.
“This kind of death is not desirable as it affects the friendly relations between the two countries,” mentioned Anwar.
His counterpart UK Bansal, however, claimed that the BSF personnel use minimum necessary force to save their lives.
India has assured Bangladesh of bringing down to “zero level” the killings along the border, he added.
According to rights watchdog Odhikar, 19 Bangladeshis were killed along the border between January 1 and July 31 this year.
Last year, said rights groups, the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) killed 39 Bangladeshis, while the figure was 60 and 67 respectively in the previous two years.
About the sensational murder of Felani, UK Bansal said BSF members suspected for killing the Bangladeshi girl have been suspended and a trial in this connection is underway in a judicial court. The trial would be completed soon.
India had provided Bangladesh with specific information about the camps of Indian criminals in Bangladesh territory and the Bangladesh authorities have demolished some of those, he maintained.
Maj Gen Anwar, however, said they received information in this regard and carried out operations accordingly, but did not find any such camps.
Bansal said they have requested the BGB to take measures to stop making fake Indian currencies inside Bangladesh.
At the meeting, the BGB placed a list of 18 border points through which Indian phensidyl syrup enters Bangladesh. The Bangladesh border guards sought remedial measures from the BSF.
“We have also urged India to take steps so that no Bangladeshi terrorists are able to take shelter in India,” said the BGB chief.
He also mentioned that a joint patrol will be introduced at some vulnerable points of the border.
In the conference, the two sides discussed border management, prevention of cross-border illegal activities like smuggling of cattle, narcotics and other psychotropic drugs and exchange of information.
The DG-level conference began on September 25. Maj Gen Anwar led a 25-member BGB delegation, while UK Bansal led a 22-member BSF team to the meeting.
Before the joint briefing, the two DGs signed a Joint Record of Discussions.
On January 7 last year, BSF members shot dead 15-year-old girl Felani at the Fulbari frontier of Kurigram while she was returning to Bangladesh with her father.