The 50th biannual conference between Bangladesh and Indian border forces began on Thursday in Dhaka, with the host side highlighting border killing, drug smuggling and "push ins" from other side of the border as major issues of concern.
"The conference discussed issues of shooting dead and wounding of unarmed Bangladeshi nationals on the frontier, smuggling of drugs like phensidyl, cannabis, hooch, viagra/senegra tablets from the other side of the border, weapon, ammunitions and explosives trafficking," said a statement issued by the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), reports BSS.
It said abduction and detention of Bangladeshis from border areas, push-ins of mentally imbalanced Indians were other two issues of concerns highlighted on the opening day of the formal meeting led by directors general of the BGB and India's Border Security Force (BSF).
Major General Md Shafeenul Islam, director general of the BGB, led a 13-member team in the conference while his BSF counterpart Rakesh Asthana led a six-member delegation on their respective sides at the conference being held at BGB headquarters in the capital's Peelkhana.
According to the BGB statement, the two sides also discussed issues relating to construction of different structures within 150 yards of the border, embankment protection of common rivers in bordering areas and construction of gallery at Banglabandha Integrated Check Post (ICP).
The ICP gallery is meant to allow people to witness joint retreat marking ceremonial lowering of national flags of the two countries.
The two sides also discussed the routine issues of joint patrol as part of Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP), regular meetings between regional and frontier level officers, hill flying trainings and carrying out operations in hilly areas and increased BGB-BSF communications.
The BGB described the talks as a four-day conference, beginning on Wednesday, but said the formal talks started on Thursday. The conference is set to be wrapped up on Saturday with the signing of Joint Record of Discussions (JRD), according to the BGB statement.
Additional director generals (DGs) 0f the BGB, officials from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), home ministry, foreign ministry, joint river commission (JRC) and land record and survey department represented Bangladesh alongside the BGB chief in the meeting, while Indian home and external affairs ministry officials accompanied the BSF chief.
The BSF delegation arrived in Dhaka on Wednesday for the deferred conference originally slated for earlier this week. However, the BSF delegation could not reach Dhaka as scheduled on September 13 due to a technical glitch in their aircraft.
The DG-level conference between the two border forces began in 1975, while the talks are generally held twice a year – once in Dhaka and once in Delhi – for the management of porous 4,096 km long frontiers.
This time, the BGB-BSF director general level conference is being held days ahead of planned foreign minister level Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting using virtual media to be hosted by Dhaka later this month.