The Border Guards of Bangladesh (BGB) has denied allowing Bangladeshis to enter right upto the international boundary and engaged in illegal extraction of sand and boulders.
“We never allowed crossing of the international border by anybody. Extracting boulders from 150 yards within the international border is out of question,” Md Zakir Hossain, additional director general, region commander, BGB told reporters in Shillong on Friday.
“With our knowledge and presence, we don’t allow that to happen. If it happened, it happened in the absence and without the BGB’s knowledge. We are vigilant and we have agreed to jointly guard the border to prevent such illegal extraction,” he said.
Hossain said this during the last day of the inspectors general-region commanders conference between BSF and BGB at BSF Frontier headquarters in Shillong.
There were places along the Indo-Bangla border like Dawki where Bangladeshis came right upto the Indian border and extracted boulders and sand from Umngot river.
Hossain led a 12-member Bangladesh delegation to the conference while BSF inspector general, Meghalaya Frontier, Kuldeep Saini led the Indian delegation.
The conference was held bi-annually between the two border guarding forces and discussed issues related to maintaining peace and tranquillity along the international border.
The problems related to illegal migration, smuggling of drugs and cattle were also discussed.
But cattle smuggling has also taken a toll on the BSF personnel who are guarding the Indo-Bangla borders as they have to keep the seized cattle in their respective border outposts following an order was passed by the Supreme Court.
At present, the BSF is keeping 430 cattle seized from smugglers along the Meghalaya-Bangladesh borders.
“We have identified cattle smuggling as one of the areas for trans-border crime. We have taken adequate measures to prevent cattle smuggling and we also discussed that cattle smuggling was perpetrated by groups from the Indian side. We have jointly identified the areas and agreed to work together. We don’t want cattle from India,” Hossain said.
Earlier, Hossain also expressed concern over smuggling of Yaba tablets from India to Bangladesh.