India, Bangladesh border forces collaborate to reduce illegal crossings

India, Bangladesh border forces collaborate to reduce illegal crossings

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The Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Sujoy Lal Thaosen, stated on Wednesday that the border security forces of India and Bangladesh have been working hard to reduce illegal border crossings.

Sujoy Lal Thaosen, who was also temporarily in charge of the Border Security Force (BSF), made these comments during a joint press conference with Major General AKM Nazmul Hasan, the Director General of the Border Guard Bangladesh, in the capital city.

When asked about immigrants, Sujoy Lal Thaosen explained that the India-Bangladesh border passes through various terrains such as mountains, hills, rivers, and land. He mentioned that the border runs through villages, agricultural fields, ponds, and rivers.

Although most of the international border is fenced, there are still gaps in some areas where individuals from the other side cross over for reasons like business, visiting relatives, or engaging in smuggling activities. However, the number of such crossings has significantly decreased. Sujoy Lal Thaosen emphasized that both border guarding forces have worked tirelessly to minimize illegal crossings. There have been cases where people unintentionally crossed the border, and they were sent back after being identified and handed over to the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB).

Sujoy Lal Thaosen also discussed efforts to combat trafficking of women and children near the India-Bangladesh border. He mentioned the excellent relationship and coordination between the border guarding forces of both countries. They exchange real-time information at various levels and work closely with local police, the Railway Protection Force (RPF), and other agencies. Many trafficked women and children have been rescued and reunited with their families. Specific figures can be provided later.

The authorities are also collaborating with NGOs in the area to gather information. It has been observed that children and women sometimes become victims due to promises of money and other enticements. While they may receive relief during the investigation and trial, the law has to take its course.

Regarding incidents of violence at the border, Sujoy Lal Thaosen stated that the BSF does not discriminate among criminals. Such incidents usually occur as a last resort when the lives of BSF personnel on duty are threatened. The BSF believes in using non-lethal weapons, and it is mandatory to follow this policy. However, there have been a few instances where the use of force may have been excessive, and actions are being taken according to the BSF Act.

Sujoy Lal Thaosen expressed concern over these killing incidents and emphasized that no one desires such loss of life. Measures need to be taken to prevent them. Misunderstandings and misinformation at the lower levels should be addressed through proper briefing of the ground-level forces. By working together, the hope is to reduce such incidents.

During the 53rd Border Coordination Conference held in Delhi, the border guarding forces of India and Bangladesh agreed upon five developmental projects that will benefit the people living along the India-Bangladesh border. Major General A.K.M. Nazmul Hasan led the Bangladeshi delegation, and the conference aimed to enhance cooperation between the Border Security Force and the Border Guard Bangladesh.

Additionally, Nitin Agrawal, a senior officer of the Indian Police Service (IPS), took over as the new Director General of the Border Security Force, replacing Sujoy Lal Thaosen, who had been holding the additional charge for the past five months. Thaosen had assumed the role following the retirement of Pankaj Kumar Singh in December 2022.