Retreats after 19 hours following border talks
Staff Correspondent, Sylhet
Indian Border Security Force dug 25 bunkers following an overnight intrusion into Bangladesh territory through Padua-Protappur border in Gowainghat upazila of Sylhet and retreated yesterday afternoon after 19 hours.
The BSF's retreat from about 100-yard inside the international border came after an emergency flag meeting with Bangladesh Rifles from 1:30pm to 3:30pm on 'no man's land' at Padua-Protappur amidst tension prevailing since Friday night.
Lt Colonel Zahirul Alam, commanding officer of 21 Battalion of BDR, Sylhet, who led the BDR team at the meeting, told The Daily Star at 5:40pm yesterday, "BSF started retreating from the position they took inside Bangladesh territory on Friday. They had already left the bunkers."
BSF commanding officer of Battalion-1, Shillong, S Shekhor led the Indian side at the meeting.
A sector commander-level flag meeting between the BDR and BSF would be held soon to settle the ongoing trouble on Jaintapur, Tamabil and Padua borders, Zahirul said.
Earlier, around 9:00pm on Friday BSF trespassed into Bangladesh territory through border pillars No 1270 and 1271 and dug 25 bunkers while BDR took position in the nearby area and dug eight bunkers.
"We raised strong protests in the meeting and asked them to retreat to their previous position in line with the decision taken in September 2009", said Zahirul Alam adding that the BSF agreed to leave.
Colonel Alam also said that according to a joint decision taken in September 2009, the BSF and BDR had kept themselves at a distance of 200 yards from Padua-Protappur border.
Meanwhile, BDR on Thursday handed over an Indian to BSF, who intruded into Bangladesh through Padua border on the previous day. The BSF also returned a Bangladeshi, held by them from zero line along the same border the same day.