Border Guard Bangladesh director general Major General Shafeenul Islam said on Thursday that they were not concerned over recent border crossings as the people coming from India were Bangladeshis who were already prosecuted.
The BGB chief said that his force in 2019 arrested 1,002 people—606 men, 258 women, 135 children and three brokers—with 445 of them coming in November and December alone. And 253 cases were filed over the crossings-in.
‘It is no matter of concern as these people are citizens of Bangladesh. We have confirmed that they are Bangladeshi citizens. But I am telling you which districts [in Bangladesh] they belong to…At different times, they had crossed over the border [into India] in search of jobs and that is why we have captured them with the brokers,’ he said.
The BGB chief was speaking to reporters at the force’s Peelkhana headquarters in the capital after the completion of the DG-level flag meeting with India’s Border Security Force and before a high-level talk with Myanmar from January 5.
Major General Shafeenul also said that many of the returnees had come back recently as they were afraid of possible detention in India on account of the Indian National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship Amendment Act.
‘They even go to Bangalore in search of jobs,’ said the BGB chief. He further said that as they had crossed the international border, mostly from Moheshpur in Jhenaidah, they were prosecuted.
The 49th DG-level Border Co-ordination Conference between the Border Guard Bangladesh and Border Security Force was held in New Delhi between December 26 and December 29.
In response to a query, Shafeenul said that they did not discuss issues related to NRC and CAA as those were ‘internal affairs’ of the Indian government.
‘We have no concern over those [CAA and NRC] as they are internal issues of India,’ he said.
Shafeenul disclosed that the Indian authorities, during his visit to New Delhi, placed a proposal for introducing temporary travel documents for 48 to 72 hours for their border people.
He said that the Bangladesh side expressed their concern over the 35 border killings in 2019 along the India-Bangladesh border.
In the hour-long press conference, the BGB chief announced that two Russian-made military choppers would be commissioned in the force shortly along with four high-speed boats and 14 anti-tank weapon systems dedicated for Saint Martin Island in Cox’s Bazar.
He said that the upcoming four-day summit between the Myanmar and Bangladesh border forces would be held with an aim to improve the border security situation.
Bangladesh and Myanmar share a 271-kilometre border.
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