DG-level talks with BDR begin in Dhaka | Staff Correspondent
Bangladesh and India kicked off a border conference at the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) headquarters yesterday morning, while two Bangladeshis were shot dead by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) at Chuadanga and Dinajpur frontiers.
At the three-day director general level conference between BDR and BSF, Dhaka will raise the issue of killings, wounding, and torture of unarmed Bangladeshi nationals by BSF and Indian civilians at the border.
"Once again we will request our counterpart to take measures and stop such killings and the firings," a senior BDR official told The Daily Star last night.
Four other Bangladeshis were also killed on Thursday in separate incidents of BSF firings at the border.
According to Odhikar, a human rights organisation, 50 Bangladeshis were killed by BSF firings at the border in the past six months.
An 18-member Indian delegation led by BSF Director General ML Kumawat arrived in Dhaka on Saturday afternoon for the conference, where a 22-member Bangladeshi delegation is being led by BDR DG Maj Gen Md Mainul Islam.
Discussions on strengthening joint patrols and preventing trans-border smuggling, especially of narcotics, will figure prominently at the conference. Both sides will try to strengthen the relationship through various programmes.
Bangladesh will also raise the issue of pushing in Bangla speaking Indians into Bangladesh.
Erection of fences, road construction, and excavations within 150 yards of the border line by India in the name of defence strategy, will also come into discussion, according to the discussion agenda of BDR.
Facilitating development works for prevention of land erosion by rivers is also included in the agenda.
The BSF agenda sent to BDR, emphasise on joint efforts for preventing human trafficking, and extended cooperation in curbing trans-border crimes.
India will also seek Bangladesh's cooperation in construction of its border fence, and in facilitating development works along the border.
"Joint efforts to prevent trans-border crimes like smuggling of narcotics, and formulation of a joint border management plan will also be featured in the discussion," added the BSF agenda.
A statement issued by BDR also said a joint records of discussion (JRD) will be signed by both sides on July 14.