NEW DELHI, Feb 23 � With growing incidents of breach of fencing along the India-Bangladesh border sending alarm bells ringing, India is planning to raise the issue with Bangladesh Home Minister Sahara Khatun on Friday.
The second Home Minister level talks between India and Bangladesh will be held in New Delhi tomorrow. Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Bangladesh Home Minister Shahara Khatun will hold one-on-one meeting before the delegation-level talks.
Issues concerning security, border management and enhanced cooperation between the police and law-enforcement agencies of the countries will be high on agenda. National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon, Union Home Secretary R.K.Singh and Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai will be among Indian delegates, whereas on the Bangladesh side, Dr. Gowher Rizvi, Adviser to the Prime Minister, Bangladesh High Commissioner Tariq A Karim and Senior Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, C.Q.K. Mustaq Ahmed, will be among the delegates.
Meanwhile, incidents of border firing along the international border are likely to dominate the formal dialogue between the Home Ministers of the two countries, when they meet tomorrow. Dhaka has been blaming Border Security Force (BSF) for the incidents of firing but available figures suggest that such firing incidents have actually come down.
Contrary to claims made by Bangladesh, the number of incidents of firing along the border has come down from 722 in 2006 to 94 in 2011, according to available figures.
What has alarmed New Delhi though is the sharp rise in incidents of breach of fences along the international border.
In 2007, 231 incidents of breachof fences were reported and the figure reached 1069 last year. In the first two months of the year, at least 169 incidents of fence breach have been reported, said sources.
According to figures, in 2008, 293 such incidents had taken place, which rose to 489 the next year and in 2010, 850 incidents of fence breach were reported from Indo-Bangladesh border.
While unfenced gaps are usually used by the illegal infiltrators and smugglers, the fence breach has become a new headache for the border guards.