India, Bangladesh adopt zero tolerance towards trans-border crimes: Officials

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Agartala, July 25 (IANS) India and Bangladesh border guards have adopted a zero tolerance policy to curb smuggling of arms, explosives and drugs and human trafficking along the frontiers of the two countries, officials said here on Wednesday after a four-day border coordination conference.

“In the border coordination conference, the BSF (Border Security Force) and BGB (Border Guards Bangladesh) have adopted zero tolerance strategies to deal with smuggling of arms, explosives, drugs and human trafficking along the frontiers,” Additional Director General of BGB Mohmmad Zahid Hasan told reporters.

He said: “We have shared our views and taken strategies to check trans-border crimes. Currently we are not facing any major challenges along the frontiers.”

Sector Commanders of BGB’s Sarail and Chittagong regions and Inspector Generals of BSF’s three northeast India frontiers’ — Tripura, Meghalaya, and Mizoram-Cacher — held the four-day border coordination conference at Tripura frontier headquarters in Shalbagan, 12 km north of Agartala.

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Hasan said that so far there were no security related challenges from the Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. “We have confined them within the camps. If the Rohingya refugees tried to come out from the camps, we will prevent them.”

“Staying of huge number of Rohingyas (in Bangladesh) is a security concern of Bangladesh. They are not allowed to go outside the camps and if they do so, we will deal with it firmly,” the BGB official said.

Both BGB and BSF officials said that as of now no major terror threat is visualized from the Rohingya refugees.

“It cannot be ruled out that terror acts involved Rohingya refugees. However, no criminal evidence was so far found in the Rohingya refugees camps and from the individual Rohingya,” BSF’s Tripura frontier Inspector General Hemant Kumar Lohia said.

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The camps in southeast Bangladesh host some 915,000 Rohingyas, including around 700,000 who have sought refuge in the country since August 25, 2017 when the Myanmar military launched an offensive in retaliation to an attack on multiple government outposts by Rohingya rebels in the western state of Rakhine.

Erection of border fencing along the remaining portion of India-Bangladesh territories, reduction of border crime along the borders, improvement of mutual understanding between the BSF and BGB, water sharing and cleanliness of drainage water were discussed in the BSF-BGB border coordination conference.

Lohia said that there was no problem in erection of fencing along the India-Bangladesh borders and also there was no problem in management of fencing gates through which Indian farmers and bordering people are going outside the fencing.

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“The BSF has taken all-out efforts to curb drug related crimes including smuggling and farming of ganja,” he added.

Four northeastern states, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Assam share the 1,880 km international border with Bangladesh.

Most parts of the 1,880 km frontiers are unfenced, mountainous and prone to crime.

–IANS

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