The DG was responding to reporters’ questions at a press briefing at BGB headquarters in Dhaka on Thursday
Major General Shafeenul Islam, Director General, Border Guard Bangladesh, has said that there were 35 killings in different border areas of Bangladesh last year.
The DG was responding to reporters’ questions at a press briefing at BGB headquarters in Dhaka on Thursday.
The BGB chief said: “The issue of border killings was discussed at the six-day 49th DG level BGB-BSF meeting in New Delhi from December 25 to 30. We expressed our concern about the killing of Bangladeshi people by the Border Security Force (BSF) in the border areas.”
At the meeting, the BSF claimed that it had killed fewer than 35 Bangladeshis last year, an assertion refuted by the BGB, which claimed that 35 people had been killed by the BSF since a number of Bangladeshis were badly injured in BSF firing and later succumbed to their injuries.
However, the rights organization Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) has claimed that 43 Bangladeshis were killed in the border regions in the last one year.
Shafeenul Islam further said: “The number of border killings in 2019 has been the highest in comparison with the last four years. We requested the DG of BSF to take necessary measures to bring down the border killings.”
In reply to the plea, the BFS DG told the BGB DG that even though there were serious attacks by armed border criminals in the border areas, the BSF followed the principle of demonstrating the highest level of tolerance in its response to such activity.
On the question of armed criminals operating in the border areas, both sides agreed to take legal action against them in line with the laws of the two countries.
445 infiltrators in last two months after India’s NRC.
In light of the crisis arising out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in India, around 445 trespassers have been detained by the Bangladesh authorities in the last two months.
BGB DG Shafeenul Islam said that in 2019, a total of 1,002 persons, including women and children, were detained while trying to return to Bangladesh after visiting India illegally. Of them, 606 were men, 258 were women, 235 were children and three were human traffickers. Those who were detained were all Bangladeshis. Altogether 253 cases were filed against them.
Replying to a question, he said: “We did not have any discussion about the NRC and ACC at the conference. It’s their internal matter.”
“It is the BGB’s duty to stop illegal infiltration into the country. It is our routine job and has nothing to do with NRC or CAA,” he told the reporters.
BGB plans to purchase arms and equipment:
“Some modern machinery and equipment are being added to the BGB’s list. We are using a smart surveillance system along the border now. There are plans to install more of it as soon as possible,” said the BGB DG.
He also said that the BGB was planning to buy some modern arms and ammunition to beef up security along the frontier around St Martin’s Island and along the border with Myanmar.
“The force is also planning to purchase high quality speedboats which will patrol the India-Bangladesh and Myanmar-Bangladesh borders along the Padma and Naf rivers and the Sundarbans. Apart from these, two helicopters will also be purchased, one of which will reach the country on January 17,” said the BGB chief.