Shillong, Dec 13 (IANS): Bangladesh's border guards on Monday assured firm action against insurgents from India's north-eastern States taking shelter in that country, an Indian officer said.
The commitment was made at the four-day inspector general-level Border Coordination Conference between India's Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guard Bangladesh, which began here at the BSF frontier headquarters.
"They have assured us that they would take firm action against the Indian insurgents if they take shelter in Bangladesh," BSF spokesman Ravi Gandhi told IANS after the first day's meeting.
Though Gandhi refused divulge further details, but a BSF official said that the BSF has prepared a list of 46 camps belonging to several insurgents groups operating from Bangladesh's Chittagong Hill Tracts, Sylhet and Mymensingh districts besides other regions.
BSF Inspector General (Headquarters) SK Mishra, who led the Indian side, appreciated the commitment made by the Bangladesh government not to allow its territory for any activity inimical to India.
Mishra, however, expressed concern on the frequent crimes committed by Bangladeshi nationals inside Indian territory - poaching, illegal migration and smuggling of fake Indian currency notes and cattle.
The BSF troopers have seized 333,520 bottles of cough syrup Phensidyl and a large quantity of ganja (marijuana) during the past 22 months being smuggled to Bangladesh through the India-Bangladesh border with Tripura alone, the paramilitary official said.
India-made Phensidyl is banned in Bangladesh as many people, specially youths, taking it as a recreational narcotic.
Four northeastern Indian states - Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Assam - share a 1,880-km border with Bangladesh. The dense forests, mountainous terrain, unfenced and other hitches make the borders porous and vulnerable.
Bangladesh Guards Deputy Director General (DDG) Brig. Gen. Abu Sayeed Khan, Khan, who was leading a 13-member delegation, also raised the issues like killing, kidnapping and injuring of unarmed Bangladeshi nationals by BSF and Indian nationals in bordering areas, illegal trespassing of Indian nationals and pushing in of Bengali-speaking Indian citizens to Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, both the forces agreed to strengthen joint efforts to prevent trans-border crimes and maintain closer cooperation and better understanding between the two forces with constructive engagement at all levels besides,agreeing to strengthen confidence building measures and institutional linkages between the two forces.
Meanwhile, India has speed up efforts to complete construction of fencing along the frontier with Bangladesh by 2013, and 500 new border outposts would be set up.
Currently, over 70 BSF battalions are deployed for security along the India-Bangladesh border as well as for counter-insurgency operations in the northeast.
To maintain effective vigil along the frontier with Bangladesh, the distance between two border outposts is likely to be reduced from the present 4.5 km to 2.8 km.