Vol. 5 Num 574 Fri. January 06, 2006  

BDR-BSF meet begins in Sylhet
Smuggling of explosives dominates talks

The three-day meeting between Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Border Security Force (BSF) of India began in Sylhet yesterday.

BDR Deputy Director General Brigadier General Golam Rabbani and Inspector General of Shillong BSF Srivastava led their respective sides at the meeting.

Different trans-border problems including smuggling of explosives from Indian states into Bangladesh, killing of Bangladesh nationals by the Indian border guards and armed civilians and harbouring of miscreants dominated the first day meeting.

The Indian officials in the first session agreed to take effective measures to stop smuggling of high-powered explosives and firearms into Bangladesh as the BDR raised the issue with highest importance and sought necessary assistance from the BSF, said an official.

The BDR also raised the issue of killing Bangladeshi civilians by the Indian BSF and armed people while asking for immediate stopping of such incidents.

The other agendas included smuggling of different contraband items including drugs and liquors, restoration of demolished or stolen border pillars, survey of the disputed lands and construction of barbed wire fences.

In Sylhet region, most of the disputed borderlands had long been under Indian occupation.

During the discussions, the BSF officials showed positive attitude in resolving the disputes, said a BDR official.

The BSF also alleged intrusion into India by BDR members and civilians, unprovoked fire by BDR and mobilisation of troops along the border, fishing in the border river Kushiyara by Bangladeshis during odd hours and stressed for the construction of border fence within 150 yards.

The concluding session of the meeting will be held in Sylhet on Saturday.