Senior officials of the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) and the Border Security Force (BSF) of India will start a four-day regional conference in Sylhet today (Monday) to review border management and issues of terrorism and cross-border crimes.
The issues like gun running and drug trade, cross-border terrorism, circulation of fake currency notes and border crimes are expected to be discussed in the conference, a top BGB official said on Sunday.
The four-day border talks will be held at the BGB conference hall at Tamabil in Sylhet. A joint statement is likely to be issued at the end of the talks, BGB Sector Commander Lt. Col Jamal Mahmud told The Daily Observer.
The delegation of BGB will be led by its Additional Director General (north-eastern region) Brigadier General Mohammad Latiful Haider, while the BSF will be led by its Meghalaya frontier Inspector General Sudhesh Kumar.
Inspector General of three frontiers of BSF of the northeast India - Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram,Cachar- are expected to attend the border management meeting.
Four Indian north-eastern states of Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Assam share 1,880 km porous border with Bangladesh.
Director General of Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) Major General Aziz Ahmed told this correspondent that the border officials of two countries would take stock of the progress and review needs to implement the decisions agreed at talks to be held in capitals of two neighbouring countries.
Bangladesh is expected to raise the issue of border killings and remind BSF chief Subhash Joshi of his commitment to reduce causalities on the border during the Director General-level talks in Dhaka.
However, the DG, BGB claimed the number of killings and that of critical injuries were going down for the use of non-lethal guns.
"There were 150 killings three years back which came down to 22 in the last year and this year only seven killings took place on this border," he said.
Bangladesh and India share 4,096-kilometre porous international border, the fifth-longest land border in the world, including
262 km in Assam, 856 km in Tripura, 18 km in Mizoram, 443 km in Meghalaya, and 2,217 km in West Bengal, according to official documents.
In the meeting, the BSF is likely to propose the conduct of cultural and sports events on both sides of the border and adjoining cities and villages as part of a confidence building measure, according to sources.
The BSF will also ask the BGB authorities to take effective measures to prevent alleged attacks on BSF troopers and Indian villagers by the bordering people of Bangladesh.