The border guards of India and Bangladesh will conduct joint patrolling and set up more Border Out Posts (BOPs) along the unfenced borders in Mizoram, a BSF official said on Tuesday.
To further tighten vigil along the borders, last week in Aizawl, the decision was taken at a meeting between the District Magistrates and Deputy Commissioners of Mizoram and Rangamati and Bandarban hill districts of south-east Bangladesh along with the senior officials of Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB).
Both country’s officials from the ministries of Home, External Affairs, Commerce and Industries, and Land Record were also present for the meeting,
Mizoram shares an unfenced international border 318 km with Bangladesh and 404 km with Myanmar. The BSF guards the Bangladesh border, while the border with Myanmar is secured by the Assam Rifles.
A BSF official said, “More BOPs would be set up and the telecommunication networks would be improved in these BOPs and bordering areas to check all types of cross-border crimes, smuggling and trans-border movements of militants and unauthorised people.”
The official further said that both sides also discussed and formulated strategies to prevent trafficking of women and children, smuggling of narcotic substances and forest products to Bangladesh and illegal cross-border trade.
The border trades and setting up of “Border Haats” (markets) between India and Bangladesh, the establishment of deportation centre for illegal migrants and criminals and joint border survey of land along the border area were also discussed in the day-long meeting.
The Indian side of the International Border passes through West Bengal (2,216 km), Assam (263 km), Meghalaya (443 km), Tripura (856 km) and Mizoram (318 km).
India started construction of the fence and floodlights along the 4,096-km India-Bangladesh border around 22 years ago to curb the cross-border movement of terrorists, stop infiltration and check various border crimes, smuggling and illegal trade.
The mountainous terrain, dense forests, riverine and other hindrances make the borders porous and vulnerable, enabling militants, illegal immigrants and intruders cross over without any major hurdles.