Not concerned about India’s CAA, NRC: BGB chief
Between November and December of 2019 alone, 445 people entered Bangladesh illegally through the India-Bangladesh border
The Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) detained a total of 972 people last year for illegally entering Bangladesh territory.
Asked if the influx was caused by the passing of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019, BGB Director General Maj Gen Md Shafeenul Islam said, "The CAA and the NRC are India's internal affairs. We are not concerned about it."
The BGB chief said, "We will not allow anyone to come and go through the border illegally."
He was speaking at a press briefing at the BGB Headquarters in the capital on Thursday.
The BGB chief had held a meeting with the chief of the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) on December 25-30 in Delhi.
According to the BGB, 445 people entered Bangladesh illegally through the India-Bangladesh border between November and December of 2019.
Of all the illegal entrants coming from India, 606 were male, 258 female, 105 children and three were human traffickers.
Indian government published the final updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam on August 31, 2019. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 was passed by the Indian parliament on December 11, 2019.
Recently, the home minister said in parliament that 38 people were killed by the BSF in 2015, 25 people in 2016, 17 people in 2017, three people in 2018 and 35 people in 2019.
However, according to the human rights organisation Ain O Salish Kendra, 43 people were killed by the BSF in 2019.
"We have raised our concerns to the BSF. Its chief said they tackle situations at the border with patience," Maj Gen Shafeenul Islam added.
Commenting on the recent increase in border killings, the BGB chief said, "The situation at the India-Bangladesh border is a complex one. There are cases where a part of a house falls in Indian territory and the other part in Bangladeshi territory. People living in border areas do not understand the concept of the dividing line between the two countries. They often trespass without knowing and get fired upon by the security forces."
Asked if the BGB would fire upon illegal immigrants from India in a scenario similar to the Rohingya influx, the BGB chief said, "The BGB only uses firepower for self-protection."
The border guard agencies of Bangladesh and India have agreed on taking action against trespassers in border areas and tightening their watch against smuggling of arms, explosives and narcotics.
At the Delhi meeting the two parties also discussed a 277km long border road between the two countries.
Meanwhile, a meeting between the border security forces of Bangladesh and Myanmar is set to take place from January 5.