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BGB personnel deployed in St Martin’s Island

  • Published at 12:49 am September 25th, 2019
BGB Director General Maj Gen Md Shafeenul Islam speaks to reporters during his visit to Saint Martin’s Island on Wednesday, September 25, 2019Dhaka Tribune

'I can assure that the BGB personnel currently deployed here are sufficient to ensure law and order'

Additional Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) personnel have been deployed in Saint Martin’s Island, the southernmost border of Bangladesh. The security forces will prevent drugs and human trafficking, and will ensure overall law and order, said BGB Director General Maj Gen Md Shafinul Islam. 

“From a geographical standpoint the Saint Martin’s Island is of critical importance to Bangladesh. So, the government has stressed the need to prevent drugs and human trafficking as well as the illegal entry of Rohingyas from Myanmar.

“I can assure that the BGB personnel currently deployed here are sufficient to ensure law and order.”

The BGB chief said this while talking to reporters after visiting the lone coral island in the Bay of Bengal yesterday. 

He directly visited BGB’s temporary border outpost (BOP) and selected a new location for the construction of its permanent location.

On April 7, the government, after 22 years, had deployed BGB personnel to Saint Martin’s Island. Earlier, the then Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) were stationed there for security purposes until 1997. 

Since then, a number of Rohingya refugees were detained by the coast guards, police and RAB, while trying to illegally enter Bangladesh. The locals here are often victims to pirate attacks from time to time. So, the government has decided to strengthen the security here.

In October 2018, a map on a Myanmar government website showed the island as part of their territory. The map was removed after strong protests by the Bangladesh government.

Saint Martin’s Island UP Chairman Nur Ahmad said: “The overall security measures here in the island have been strengthened after additional BGB personnel were deployed. Locals and tourists can now feel safe with the presence of the border guards.”