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Indian and Bangladeshi Officials Discuss Cross-Border Crimes and other irritants in a one-day meet

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hand with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina, VOA
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Agartala, May 24, 2017: Administrative and police officials of border districts in India’s Tripura have finalized strategies to deal with cross-border crimes and deal with other irritants in a one-day meet with their counterparts of contiguous Bangladeshi districts, an official said here on Wednesday.

The District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police of Tripura’s Sepahijala, West Tripura, and Khowai districts held a day-long meeting in Comilla in eastern Bangladesh on Monday with their counterparts from Comilla, Brahmanbaria, Habiganj, and Moulvibazar, Sepahijala District Magistrate Pradip Chakraborty told IANS.

“During the joint border conference, discussions about cross-border smuggling, drug trafficking, terrorism, management of anti-sabotage activities, drainage water treatment, problems relating to border residents have been discussed and some strategies were finalized to deal with these issues,” he said.

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Chakraborty, who was the team leader of the Indian delegation, said that sports and cultural festivals in the border districts were also discussed.

“The joint border conferences between India and Bangladesh are being held in a regular interval for positive solutions of different issues between the two countries. There were also discussions on the aim of establishing border peace through the cooperation of the district administrations of the two neighbouring countries,” he added.

Strategies to deal with border crimes, border fencing and better border management, besides issues relating to terrorism are also some times discussed in the joint conference.

Chakraborty said that in response to the demand of the Bangladesh, West Tripura district administration has initiated a process to set up a sewerage treatment plant to treat the dirty water of Howrah canal, which flows into Bangladesh.

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He also said that as part of their steps against the drug menace, Sepahijala district administration along destroyed 17 lakh ganja (cannabis) trees last year. “We have told the Bangladeshi officials to make social awareness against the use of drugs by the youth,” he said.

The Comilla meeting also discussed about land acquisition for the proposed Agartala-Akhaura 15-km rail link.

He said that the district level border conferences involving other districts of Tripura and the adjoining districts of Bangladesh were already held earlier this year and last year.

A Tripura Home Department official said that to resolve border-related problems, district-level officials from both India and Bangladesh have resumed meetings since 2015 after a gap of many years. (IANS)

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Why security was beefed up along Tripura border?

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Government decided to beef up security in Tripura. Wikimedia commons
Government decided to beef up security in Tripura. Wikimedia commons

Security along Tripura’s inter-state borders with Assam and Mizoram and international boundaries with Bangladesh has been tightened in view of publication of a part draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and ensuing assembly polls, officials said here on Monday.

“We have deployed additional security forces along Tripura’s inter-state borders with Assam and Mizoram. Border Security Force (BSF) also further strengthened their vigil along the India-Bangladesh borders with Tripura,” a top police officer said.

He said that to thwart any adverse eventuality, all the borders were guarded round-the-clock specially in the odd hours after the publication of part draft NRC in Assam on Sunday mid-night.

“The Election Commission also earlier asked the BSF and the state government to seal the international and inter-state borders in view of the ensuing assembly elections in February,” the officer said, refusing to be named.

According to the officer, surveillance in Tripura’s two check posts along southern Assam was also enhanced through various means.

He said that the Union Home Ministry also asked all the Northeastern states and airport authorities in the region to intensify the security in view of Republic Day celebrations.

Tripura has 856 km international borders with Bangladesh and 109 km and 53 km inter-state borders with Mizoram and and Assam, respectively.

Except for some 20 km, most of the 856-km long borders with Bangladesh are fenced.

According to an official of the state’s Elections Department, the Election Commission would likely announce the assembly polls in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland next week and the elections in these states were likely to be held in third week of February.

Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland all have 60-seat assemblies. (IANS)