52 BSF personnel have come under attacks by the criminals on the border, he says
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) has said their policy is to bring down the killings along the border to zero.
BSF Director General (DG) Rakesh Asthana made the remark while talking to reporters, about their strategy to reduce border killings, at a joint press conference on Saturday morning after concluding the four-day DG-level talks between BSF and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) at the BGB headquarters in Dhaka.
Asthana said most of the incidents (killings or attacks on border forces) take place due to the criminal activities along the border areas.
When asked about the use of non-lethal weapons, he said the BSF uses non-lethal weapons at first and only opens fire at last, when compelled.
"The criminals have no nationality. Seventy percent of the crimes usually take place between 10pm and 5:30am which poses a challenge for us," he said.
This year, 52 BSF personnel have come under attacks by the criminals, he said, adding, "We are concerned about it."
The BSF DG said they are also committed to bringing the cross-border narcotics smuggling to zero level.
"We will curb smuggling along the border area through joint patrolling."
At the press conference, BGB Director General (DG) Major General Md Shafeenul Islam said both BGB and BSF have agreed to stop border killings through discussions such as killings create a psychological impact on people.
He, however, urged the people of Bangladesh not to approach the zero line or trespass on Indian territory.
"We will soon start joint patrolling along the borders for the purpose."
About the wastewater that made its way to bordering Akhaura upazila from India through a cross-border canal, the BGB chief said:"This is not our issue. However, we are requesting our ministries concerned to talk to their Indian counterparts over the use of water treatment plants in this connection."
The top-level border conference between BGB and BSF began on September 16 and concluded Saturday with the signing of a Joint Record of Discussions (JRD).
BGB chief Shafeenul Islam led a 13-member team while his BSF counterpart led a six-member delegation in the talks.
In the conference, both the border forces took decisions to reduce the cross-border crimes and strengthen their security cooperation.
Both BGB and BSF agreed to increase joint patrolling along with holding public awareness campaigns in the vulnerable border areas aiming to bring down the killings, injuries, and assaults to zero.
Both the forces have taken decision to implement the Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP).
It was also decided that the forces will share intelligence to stop human trafficking and smuggling of arms, narcotics, gold, and counterfeit money.
The border forces expressed concern about the recent intrusion or push in of mentally-challenged individuals in the border areas. Both sides agreed to verify the nationality of such individuals and expedite the handover/receiving process with each other's cooperation.
Both the border forces said they will refrain from construction work within 150 yards of the border without prior approval.
The forces agreed to cooperate in completing all riverbank protection works in the bordering areas as per approval of Joint River Commission.
The BSF chief expected a continuous cooperation from Bangladesh to annihilate the possible hideouts of Indian insurgent groups, while the BGB DG assured that there is no camp or hideout of the groups inside Bangladesh.
He mentioned that Bangladesh does not allow her soil to be used by any entity or element hostile to any country particularly India and assured all possible help in this regard.