India, B`desh to stop infiltration, casualties

India and Bangladesh on Monday agreed to step up cooperation to combat illegal infiltration, smuggling of narcotics and prevent casualties in cross border firing as they ended a key conference of frontier guards here.

Last Updated: Sep 27, 2010, 21:25 PM IST

Dhaka: India and Bangladesh on Monday agreed
to step up cooperation to combat illegal infiltration,
smuggling of narcotics and prevent casualties in cross border
firing as they ended a key conference of frontier guards here.

The five-day Director General level conference between
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Border Security Force discussed
a series of issues, including combating illegal infiltration
and narcotics smuggling and preventing casualties in cross
border firing along the common porous frontier areas.

BDR chief Maj Gen Rafiqul Islam, who was head of the
22-member delegation at the talks, said the discussions
focused on two precise issues - smuggling, particularly drugs
which spoils the young generation, and deaths of Bangladeshi
people along the border.

He said a list of smuggling points with pictures was
handed over to his Indian counterpart and the BSF assured him
that they would take steps against it.

BSF chief Raman Srivastava, who was leading a
20-member Indian delegation, assured that steps would be taken
to minimize the problems along the common border without loss
of lives.

"We are trying our best to minimise the problems
without loss of lives," he told a press briefing at the end of
conference at the BDR Headquarters in the capital.

The BSF chief said they are exploring alternatives to
minimise the firing at the border.

On the outcome of the conference, Srivastava said: "We
are going back with positive impression and this meeting will
remain as landmark."

Islam said the outcome of the meeting was
satisfactory.

The conference, which began on September 22, ended
today with the signing of a joint record of discussion.
Both sides agreed to strengthen border patrol on their
respective side and exchange information to check cross-border
crimes.

Asked about the alleged killing of Bangladeshi
civilians along the border, Srivastava said "it should not be
called `killing,` a better term is death."

"All these people are dying inside the Indian
territory, not in Bangladesh territory," the BSF chief said,
adding almost half of the dead are "Indian criminals."

He underlined that these people trespass the border by
cutting fences or by other means at dead of the night with
intention of smuggling.

"We`ve no desire to kill people. We`re doing our best
to reduce such incidents," Srivastava said.

He said the Indian side imposes curfew at night along
the border and Bangladesh side may also do the same to avoid
these incidents.

Asked about the BSF proposal to impose night curfew
along the border, the BDR chief said it is not possible at
this point of time.

However, Islam said restrictions on movement along the
border have already been imposed to avoid unpleasant
incidents.

PTI