Killing at Bangladesh-India border and Felani murder trial remain top two matters of dissatisfaction for Maj Gen Aziz Ahmed, director general of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), as he prepares to retire from his post in the paramilitary force.
“Border killing has reduced in number, but it has not come down to zero yet. Governments of both Bangladesh and India are sincere about resolving this issue, and we have raised it during different meetings. But it still remains unresolved,” he told reporters at his last press briefing as the BGB chief at the BGB Headquarters in Pilkhana, Dhaka on Tuesday.
“If cattle smuggling continues and domestic cattle production does not increase, border killing will continue,” he added.
Regarding the trial of Felani murder case, he said the case was in “a grey area.”
“Despite a lot of work, the trial did not result in a satisfactory result for us. Now the trial is out of our hands as it has been transferred to a court now,” he added.
“I am leaving, after four years of service as the director general of BGB, with this dissatisfaction,” he said.
Aziz took charge as the BGB chief on December 5, 2012. He was recently promoted to lieutenant general and will return to Bangladesh Army. He is being succeeded by Maj Gen Abul Hossain, who will start as the new BGB director general on Sunday.
According to human rights watchdog Ain o Salish Kendra, 28 Bangladeshi citizens have been killed by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) in the first nine months of 2016. Of them, 21 were shot dead.
In 2015, 46 Bangladeshis were killed by the BSF, 33 in 2014, 27 in 2013 and 38 in 2012.
Felani Khatun, a 15-year-old girl, was shot dead by the BSF on January 7, 2011 while crossing the border to return home in Bangladesh along with her father and maternal uncle. She used to work as a housemaid in New Delhi.
Aziz said: “Whenever we learn of any killing, we immediately take action and, in some cases, the BSF also takes action against their officials.”
Besides being discontent regarding these two matters, Aziz said he was happy to go back to the army. “I am going back to the army happily as I have full support from my soldiers and officials as well as the news media.”
Speaking of his achievements as the BGB chief, Aziz said: “We have set up 370km fence along the border in Chittagong Hill Tracts area, as well as 55 border outposts. Communication between these outposts will be conducted by BGB air wing, which is also under process, and the proposal of acquiring two new helicopters is pending at the Ministry of Finance.
“During my tenure, I also set up four regional headquarters, 15 battalions and 108 new border outposts. A total of 1,410 motorcycles have been allotted to BGB members at the outposts for patrolling. We have also set up two floating outposts in the Sundarbans.”
A total of 18,000 new soldiers have been recruited in the force, including 100 female recruits, he added.
Regarding drug smuggling, Aziz said: “Although it has not stopped completely, we have brought it down significantly. In the last four years, smuggled drugs worth Tk3,016 crore have been recovered across the country and 1,577 smugglers have been arrested.”