Siliguri (West Bengal), Sep 25: Security forces of India and Bangladesh have vowed to resolve issues of infiltration, trafficking and smuggling by criminals alongside the border with an aim to enhance bilateral relations between the neighbouring countries.
West Bengal shares a long border with Bangladesh and normally friendly relations between India and Bangladesh have often been marred by border firing, especially after New Delhi began fencing off the frontier to stop illegal migrants, cattle smugglers and militants.
Bangladesh had not opposed India’s border fencing project, but had raised objections where the fence is built too close to a no-man’s land zone along the 4,100-km (2,540-mile) land and river border.
Bangladesh and Indian border guards attended the annual Director General (DG) level meeting which was organised from Sep mber 14 to Sep mber 19 and discussed issues like cattle smuggling and fake currency.
The Inspector General of the paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF) north-Bengal frontier, S K Sood, said on Tuesday (Sep mber 24) that they had received a positive response from the Bangladesh officials in order to resolve border issues.
“When we discussed the border issues with Bangladesh border officials they expressed concern over it. We informed that the incidents are happening as the cattle smugglers from Bangladesh, attack our soldiers and try to take away the cattle. They said that they will pay attention on this issue. We got to know that they have started investigation on this issue. They are making announcements in their villages. They have started visiting the homes and are asking people to not to cross border during night. Therefore, the overall response was positive,” said Sood.
The fight against border crimes has created pressure on the provincial government.
Sood also said that soldiers of India and Bangladesh remained on high alert alongside the border to avert any untoward incident.
“The border security arrangements are in place from Bangladesh side and our soldiers always remain on alert. We have arrested many Indian and Bangladeshi criminals,” he added.
Bangladesh and India in January 2013 signed an extradition treaty and struck a deal to relax business visa restrictions between the neighbouring countries.
The extradition treaty could pave the way for Bangladesh to put on trial several crime bosses who crossed the border into India but are still running their gangs by telephone.
The travel agreement between India and Bangladesh will allow business visas to be valid for up to five years instead of the current one year.
Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, won independence with India’s help in December 1971 following a nine-month war against Pakistan. Around 3 million people were killed and thousands of women raped.
Given the geographical proximity, warm and friendly ties, availability of workforce and investment-supportive atmosphere, the quantum of Indian investment and trade with Bangladesh is further expected to improve for mutual benefit. (ANI)