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Bangladesh to set up 40 border outposts along India-Bangladesh border

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Agartala: Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) have agreed to construct at least 40 new border outposts (BOPs) facing Tripura and Mizoram along the India-Bangladesh border to check militant activities and trafficking, a BSF official said on Monday.

“BGB officials informed us on the proposed construction of least 40 new BOPs along the India-Bangladesh frontier facing Tripura and Mizoram,” Border Security Force’s (BSF) Tripura Frontier Inspector General Bhola Nath Sharma told IANS.

The proposed BOPs in the mountainous Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) will help in containing terrorism in the northeastern states since most camps of Indian insurgent groups, including Tripura militant outfits, are located in southeast Bangladesh’s CHT, he pointed out.

During a meeting of BSF and BGB officials in Meghalaya capital Shillong on June 8-11, apart from strategies to further reinforce security along the border, other cross-border problems too were discussed.

Sharma, also present in the Shillong meeting, said: “Since roads along the hilly Bangladeshi frontiers are absent or in poor shape, BGB officials sought permission to use Indian roads for setting up these new BOPs in the CHT. BSF officials assured the BGB of full cooperation.”

The BSF official said that during the meeting, increasing border security was stressed on to curb cross-border crimes and movement of terrorists belonging to northeast groups.

“Both sides agreed to increase vigil along the border areas to foil attempt by militants and other anti-national elements to disrupt internal peace. Besides, emphasis was also given to curb trans-border smuggling,” the BSF officer said.

Meanwhile, district magistrates of Tripura’s four border districts and deputy commissioners of four Bangladesh border districts are likely to meet in Chittagong in Bangladesh on June 24.

The officials would discuss and finalize strategies to deal with border crimes, border fencing and better border management, besides issues relating to terrorism.

“District magistrates and superintendents of police of south Tripura, Gomati, Sepahijala and Dhalai districts along with BSF officials will meet their Bangladeshi counterparts in the one-day meet,” a Tripura home department official told IANS.

He said that to iron out minor border-related problems, the officials from both India and Bangladesh have resumed meetings since 2014 after a gap of many years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina discussed the border issues, including curbing of border crimes and terror activities, during the former’s visit to Dhaka on June 6-7.

Four Indian northeastern states of Tripura 856 km), Meghalaya (443 km), Mizoram (318 km) and Assam (263 km) share an 1,880-km border with Bangladesh.

The mountainous terrain, dense forests and other hindrances make the borders porous and vulnerable, enabling illegal immigrants and intruders cross over without any hurdles. (IANS)

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Pakistan releases 78 Indians imprisoned in Karachi Jail

Seventy-seven Indian fishermen and a person from Bihar, who were imprisoned in a Karachi jail, returned to India after being released by Pakistan

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India and Pakistan
India and Pakistan. Wikimedia.
  • Pakistan released seventy-seven Indian fishermen and a person from Bihar, who were imprisoned in a Karachi jail
  • Yesterday the 78 prisoners were handed over by Pakistan to the Border Security Force (BSF) at a joint check post at Attari/Wagah border in a goodwill gesture
  • The Indian fishermen were arrested when their boats ended up in Pakistan’s waters in an area of the Arabian Sea where they were surrounded and later caught by the coast guards

Amritsar, July 11, 2017: Pakistan released seventy-seven Indian fishermen and a person from Bihar, who were imprisoned in a Karachi jail and allowed them to return to India.

Yesterday the 78 prisoners were handed over by Pakistan to the Border Security Force (BSF) at a joint check post at Attari/Wagah border in a goodwill gesture. They crossed over to India using the land transit route on the basis of Emergency Travel Certificates issued by the Indian High Commission based at Islamabad.

Last year in May, the Indian fishermen were arrested when their boats ended up in Pakistan’s waters in an area of the Arabian Sea where they were surrounded and later caught by the coast guards, mentioned PTI report.

A team of Indian doctors conducted medical check-ups immediately after the repatriation of the released civilians, officials posted at Attari Border on the Indian side stated yesterday.

ALSO READ: Growing Nuclear Weapons Increase Concerns About Possible Pakistan-India War

It was an emotional homecoming for the group. The moment they crossed over to their motherland, they expressed happiness and gratitude by bowing their heads and kissing the Indian soil.

However, an expression of anxiety was reflected by the faces of the fishermen when they talked about their uncertain future as their boats still remain in the custody of Pakistan, mentioned the PTI report.

The cost of a boat usually varies from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 10 lakh, depending on its size and quality. Most of the fishermen added that they were already debt-ridden before their arrest as they purchased the boats with the help of loans. Now their current situation would make them jobless.

According to the fishermen, identifying the territorial waters and borders during fishing in the Arabian sea was difficult.

There have been frequent cases where Fishermen have been taken under arrest along with their boats by both India and Pakistan. The reasons behind that are nothing but the poorly defined maritime border in the Arabian Sea and the lack of needed technology to ascertain their precise location in the boats used.

prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang