BGB chopper carries BSF chief from border for border talks

Muktadir Rashid | Published: 00:45, Sep 17,2020


Border Guard Bangladesh used its helicopter to fly in the Indian Border Security Force director general Rakesh Asthana from the eastern border in Akhaura to Dhaka as the Indian delegation arrived in the capital to join border talks set to begin formally today.

BGB and BSF are set to spend the next four days discussing the killing of Bangladeshis by the BSF and trans-boundary crimes on the international boundary.

At the Tejgaon military facilities, BGB director general Major General Md Shafeenul Islam received BSF’s newly-appointed director general Rakesh Asthana, a 1984-batch Indian police service officer from the Gujarat cadre.

Astana was leading a six-member Indian delegation while Shafeenul was leading a 13-member team including his commanders and members from the prime minister’s office and the foreign ministry, among others.

BGB public relations officer Shariful Islam in a statement on Wednesday evening said the BGB received the BSF delegation at Akhaura immigration check post in Brahmanbaria at about 1:15pm and then they were flown to Dhaka on the BGB chopper.

The top-level border conference between the Border Guard Bangladesh and the Indian Border Security Force, which was postponed on Sunday, begin Wednesday today with the arrival of the Indian team. It will now be a four-day meeting till September 19, which was initially planned as a six-day meeting between September 13-18, the officials said.

The conference was postponed in the last minute citing a ‘technical glitch’ in the aircraft that was set to fly the BSF delegation to Dhaka, according to an announcement of the BGB.

The statement read that the formal talks would begin at 10:45am on Thursday at the BGB headquarters at Pilkhana in the capital.

The BGB said that the conference would conclude with the signing of a Joint Record of Discussions at 8:30am on September 19. The BSF delegation would leave Dhaka on the same day.

The Bangladesh side is expected to once again push for a halt to killings of its citizens along the border by the BSF, while both sides are likely to discuss how to contain cross-border smuggling.

Various issues involving border management would also figure in the talks, officials said.     

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