BSF, BDR discuss steps to tackle cattle smuggling, infiltration (Lead)

August 25th, 2008 - 11:02 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 25 (IANS) The border security forces of India and Bangladesh at a meeting in Dhaka have taken several decisions to deal with contentious issues, including cattle smuggling across the border and infiltration, an Indian official said here Monday.The Border Security Force (BSF) and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) met during the 28th India-Bangladesh Border Coordination Conference that concluded in Dhaka Sunday.

“The joint meeting was very cordial and positive,“ BSF Director General A.K. Mitra said here.

The meeting helped the BSF and BDR in evolving a professional and coordinated approach towards resolving and dealing with bilateral issues, Mitra added.

“Some of the decisions taken at the meeting include assessment of vulnerability of sensitive areas in designated sectors, joint anti-cattle smuggling drive as a pilot project, immediate communication on the event of firing and informal meetings even in the absence of issues,” he said.

“Cattle smuggling across the border has literally turned into an industry. On an average 8,500 cattle are seized every month,” Mitra said, adding that the Bangladesh government is planning to send a proposal for cattle import.

The other important decisions on which both sides agreed were permission for execution of developmental works on both sides which are outside the purview of the Joint River Commission, identification of patches for fencing, maintenance of boundary pillars by BSF and BDR instead of other agencies.

“The Indian government has handed over unilaterally seven Bangladeshi criminals and a similar response is expected from The BDR,” Mitra said.

“They have handed us eight people, but they are all petty criminals,” he added.

The BSF also handed over a list of 110 terror camps, against 117 last year, operating on the Bangladeshi territory and a list of 263 criminals wanted in various cases.

“Regarding the terror camps, for the first time the BDR has given us a proposal for joint action, during which some of our representatives may accompany their forces. But before any such thing, the proposal needs to get clearance from respective governments,” Mitra said.

He said that seven militants and 800 illegal migrants had been caught at the border so far this year.

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