Bangladesh to set up 40 new outposts on India border

Agartala, June 22 (IANS) Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) have agreed to construct at least 40 new border outposts (BOPs) facing Tripura and Mizoram along the India-Bangladesh border to check militant activities and trafficking, a BSF official said here on Monday.

“BGB officials informed us on the proposed construction of least 40 new BOPs along the India-Bangladesh frontier facing Tripura and Mizoram,” Border Security Force’s (BSF) Tripura Frontier Inspector General Bhola Nath Sharma told IANS.

The proposed BOPs in the mountainous Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) will help in containing terrorism in the northeastern states since most camps of Indian insurgent groups, including Tripura militant outfits, are located in southeast Bangladesh’s CHT, he pointed out.

During a meeting of BSF and BGB officials in Meghalaya capital Shillong on June 8-11, apart from strategies to further reinforce security along the border, other cross-border problems too were discussed.

Sharma, also present in the Shillong meeting, said: “Since roads along the hilly Bangladeshi frontiers are absent or in poor shape, BGB officials sought permission to use Indian roads for setting up these new BOPs in the CHT. BSF officials assured the BGB of full cooperation.”

The BSF official said that during the meeting, increasing border security was stressed on to curb cross-border crimes and movement of terrorists belonging to northeast groups.

“Both sides agreed to increase vigil along the border areas to foil attempt by militants and other anti-national elements to disrupt internal peace. Besides, emphasis was also given to curb trans-border smuggling,” the BSF officer said.

Meanwhile, district magistrates of Tripura’s four border districts and deputy commissioners of four Bangladesh border districts are likely to meet in Chittagong in Bangladesh on June 24.

The officials would discuss and finalise strategies to deal with border crimes, border fencing and better border management, besides issues relating to terrorism.

“District magistrates and superintendents of police of south Tripura, Gomati, Sepahijala and Dhalai districts along with BSF officials will meet their Bangladeshi counterparts in the one-day meet,” a Tripura home department official told IANS.

He said that to iron out minor border-related problems, these officials from both India and Bangladesh have resumed meetings since 2014 after a gap of many years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina discussed the border issues, including curbing of border crimes and terror activities, during the former’s visit to Dhaka on June 6-7.

Four Indian northeastern states of Tripura 856 km), Meghalaya (443 km), Mizoram (318 km) and Assam (263 km) share an 1,880-km border with Bangladesh.

The mountainous terrain, dense forests and other hindrances make the borders porous and vulnerable, enabling illegal immigrants and intruders cross over without any hurdles

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