AS India remains divided on proposed nationwide NRC, Director General of Border Guards of Bangladesh says the exercise is India’s internal affair. The National Registrar of Citizenship has been completed in Assam where over 19 lakh people mostly belonging to Hindu and Muslim communities have been affected as their names are not included in the NRC. Home Minister Amit Shah has repeatedly announced in Parliament and other forums that the government is committed to nationwide NRC to throw out the undocumented people sparking agitations in various parts of India. Replying to query on the controversial NRC by reporters after the conclusion of talks between BGB and BSF in New Delhi, BGB DG Major General Shafeenul Islam said on Sunday, December 29: ’This is completely an internal affair of the Indian government’. He avoided answering question on the amended citizenship act saying ‘I would say cooperation and relationship between BSF and BGB are very good. Beyond that, I cannot say anything’. BSF and BGB, guarding 4.0196 km of the international border between India and Bangladesh have agreed to take strong measures to prevent illegal border crossings and intensify simultaneous coordinated patrol in vulnerable areas. This was announced at a joint press conference by BSF Director General Vivek Johri and BGB DG Major General Shafeenul Islam at the end of the DG-level talks and signing of the Joint Record of Discussions. The talks took place from December 26-29, during which a host of issues related to cross-border smuggling and activities of criminals and others along the 4,096-km-long front were discussed. Replying to questions, Islam said the BGB will continue to prevent illegal border crossings as per its mandate.
BGB chief said they have caught over 300 Bangladeshi nationals this year at the border, while they were coming in from India. These were people who had gone to India as they had cultural and family ties or some work on the other side and were apprehended as they did not have proper documents, the BGB chief said. The DG refuted reports that a number of Bangladeshi citizens were being “pushed back” from the Indian side. BSF DG Johri said these were “genuine Bangladeshi nationals but maybe without documents”. He added that the incidents of attacks by criminals on BSF personnel at the Indo-Bangla border had gone down to about 82 from about over 350 in 2015-16.In the last three years, such incidents numbered in the range of 70s, Johri said. “It is due to the efforts of both these forces that these incidents have gone down… but yes, this issue is still there,” the BSF DG said. For injuries or loss of life of BSF personnel on borders while preventing criminal activities, both forces agreed to make all possible efforts to curb the menace of cattle smuggling or any other criminal activity and to ensure tranquillity on the borders, the two DGs said. For the camps of Indian insurgent groups in Bangladesh, the BGB had informed that Bangladesh does not allow its soil to be used by any entities or elements hostile to any country but agrees to take action against the miscreant, if there are any. For the concerns of BGB of smuggling of drugs, narcotics, arms, both sides reviewed the steps being taken for prevention and agreed for sharing of real-time information, if any, including the relevant information of the apprehended criminals, the DGs said. would be carried out