Bangladesh mutiny: Tripura border guards on alert

February 26th, 2009 - 7:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala, Feb 26 (IANS) Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar Thursday expressed concern over the bloody mutiny by Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) while Indian border guards strengthened security along the 4,095-km long border with that country.
“Such revolt by paramilitary troopers in a neighbouring country is a cause of concern. Our border guards - Border Security Force (BSF) are on vigil along the border,” Sarkar told reporters here Thursday.

Some reports from Dhaka said that the BDR troopers’ rebellion had spread out in 12 border districts, including Chottagram and Sylhet (bordering India’s Tripura and Meghalaya), Jessore and Rajshahi along West Bengal.

“Hundreds of border out posts (BOPs) along the India-Bangladesh border have remained on highest alert and all battalion commanders have been asked to stay on the borders to supervise the security measures,” said BSF spokesman A.K. Singh.

Heavy gunfire broke out in paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles headquarters in Peelkhana area in Dhaka Wednesday morning. At least 50 people including army officers on deputation to the paramilitary force are feared killed. The revolt erupted over pay and perks.

Singh told IANS: “There are reports of firing in the BDR camps along India. The BSF is monitoring the situation very closely.”

“We have asked the troopers to maintain a strict vigil along the border with Bangladesh and send reports to the headquarters about any kind of incident or infiltration,” the official added.

The BDR had been guarding the country’s 4095 km border with India, including 2216 km with West Bengal, 856 km with Tripura, 443 km with Meghalaya, 318 km with Mizoram and 262 km with Assam.

Of the 4095-km India-Bangladesh border, 2,979 kms cover land and 1,116 km are riverine.

Meanwhile, the India-Bangladesh border trades and Agartala-Dhaka and Dhaka-Kolkata bus services were suspended from Thursday.

Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) and its Indian counterparts in Tripura and Kolkata had been operating the bus services between the two countries.

“In view of the BDR troopers’ mutiny, the bus service would remain suspended for indefinite period,” a BRTC official told IANS.

Tripura capital Agartala’s Bangladesh Mission, only mission of that country in the northeastern region, are issuing less number of visas to Bangladesh bound Indians.

“Normally we had been issuing 45 to 50 visa everyday. But since Wednesday less number of Indians are coming to us for visa,” said Mohammad Mosharraf Hossain, deputy head of the Bangladesh mission in Agartala.

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