Less than one per cent of 4,156-kilometre Bangladesh border with India has been declared ‘crime-free zone’ by border guards of the neighbouring countries.
India’s Border Security Force in its official twitter account said, ‘In compliance of DG level talks and subsequent coordination at different levels, the pilot project Crime Free Zone has been launched jointly by BSF and BGB today…’
The announcement came from the inaugural ceremony held on Friday at 64 Border Security Force battalion of Kalyani along Bangaon border of North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal.
New Age correspondent in Jessore reported that Lieutenant Colonel Ariful Hoque, commanding officer at 49 Border Guard Battalion, said that the mission of the crime-free zone was to curb all types of cross-border crimes, including trafficking in persons, smuggling and money laundering.
‘It is an initial step of the two neighbouring frontier forces,’ he said, ‘it will be widened gradually.’
BGB’s outgoing director general Major General Abul Hossain and Border Security Force’s KK Sharma jointly announced 8.3km common
border as ‘crime-free zone’, said a BGB statement.
Bangladeshi lawmaker from Jessore-1 constituency Sheikh Afil Uddin, BGB additional director general Brigadier General Mujibur Rahman, BGB’s South-Western region commander Brigadier General Khaled-Al-Mamun and senior officials of BSF, among others, were present at the function.
BGB public relation officer Mohsin Reza said that the 8.3km crime-free zone covers areas under the jurisdiction of BGB’s Doulatpur border outpost of Putkhali in Jessore and frontier areas under the jurisdiction of Kalyani and Gunarmath BOPs of India.
BGB has already installed surveillance devices such as closed-circuit cameras, search lights and thermal imagers to make border areas crime-free in the true sense of the term, the BGB statement read.
Other common border areas will gradually be announced ‘crime-free’, the statement added.