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 after a four-day border coordination conference on Wednesday.
“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 Mohammad Zahid Hasan said.
He added, “We have shared our views and adopted strategies to check trans-border crimes. Currently, we are not facing any major challenges along the frontiers.”
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 try to come out from the camps, we will prevent them.”
“Staying of the huge number of Rohingyas (in Bangladesh) is a concern of Bangladesh. It is not a security threat but a socio-economic challenge to manage such a huge population of one million as we have our limitations and capability,” the BGB official said.
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.
IG, BSF Tripura Frontier, H K Lohia said that there was no problem in the erection of fencing along the India-Bangladesh borders and also there was no problem in the management of fencing gates through which Indian farmers and people are going outside the fencing.
“The BSF has taken all-out efforts to curb drug-related crimes including smuggling and farming of ganja,” he added.
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.
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.