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India gives wanted insurgents’ list to Bangladesh, BSF to get non-lethal weapon

Saturday, 12 March 2011 - 8:59pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

'The list that which we have handed over basically relates to the Indian insurgents who are reportedly in Bangladesh and details of their camps in Bangladesh,' BSF director general Raman Srivastava told reporters in New Delhi.

India on Saturday handed over a list of insurgents to Bangladesh who have taken shelter on its soil and people involved in pumping fake Indian currency and trafficking while announcing arming of BSF with 'non-lethal' weapons on trial basis to reduce causalities along the border.

"The list that which we have handed over basically relates to the Indian insurgents who are reportedly in Bangladesh and details of their camps in Bangladesh," BSF director general (BSF DG) Raman Srivastava told reporters in New Delhi on the conclusion of the five-day talks with Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB).

"I would not like to mention the numbers but I can add that there are some known racketeers in fake Indian currency notes (FICN) who reside in Bangladesh their list has also been given and a list of touts who indulge in trafficking their list has also been given," Srivastava said.

The BSF DG said Bangladesh is mainly a transit destination of the fake notes.

"These notes are coming from somewhere else and they transit through Bangladesh. There are people in Bangladesh who are handling these FICN and assisting in their transit to India. We are concerned...such elements who live in Bangladesh and who help in transit of such currency into India," Srivastava said.

BGB chief major general Rafiqul Islam raised the issue of 'killing' of Bangladeshi nationals along the borders and requested the BSF to use non-lethal weapons.

"We have also decided to induct non-lethal weaponry along the Bangladesh border in certain selected vulnerable areas as an experiment. If it works, if it contributes to the lessening of causalities and more effective border controls, we will expand this to cover the entire border," Srivastava said, after signing the memorandum of discussion with his counterparts at the force headquarters here.

Srivastava also said that BGB has agreed to intensify patrolling on their side of the border and to examine other possible measures to restrict the movements of criminals during night hours.

He said, "I have assured to the director general BGB that we will continue to maintain the utmost restraint on Bangladesh border to extent possible to avoid firing causalities".

The BSF chief said the proposed non-lethal weapons will be in addition to the regular weapons carried by BSF jawans at the border-- INSAS rifles and SLRs.

Srivastava said India has expressed concern over the increase in the number of fence breaching cases and the attacks on BSF personnel.

"DG BGB has been kind enough to assure that he would see that whatever is possible is done from his side," he said.

Srivastava described the five-day meeting between BSF and BGB as the 'most cordial meeting ever had so far' and said both forces have agreed to have a weekly meeting of commanding officers and quick sharing of actionable information.

"We have agreed on major aspects of the border management plan. As soon as the Bangladesh government approves it will be implemented on the ground for effective management of the border," he said.

"We have decided to complete the inspection of remaining 20 patches which are unfenced (along the border) and status quo (will be maintained) in cases of a adverse possession," the BSF DG said.

Srivastava said that BGB has shown an 'extremely cooperative attitude' and that BSF has invited the force to study the training facilities under its command to train their personnel.

BGB chief Islam said internationally followed Rules of Engagement (RoE) should be adhered to along the border.

"Every individual, be it smuggler, drug trafficker... has a right to survive till he or she is found guilty in the court of law. That is why we have been urging the Indian government and the BSF...please avoid firing that kills people. You arrest them for illegally crossing the border," Islam said.

Srivastava said his force also does not want to kill anyone and hence they have proposed to use non-lethal weapons.

Islam said that both the forces' want that the border "must remain peaceful at any cost."

"From May 2010, there have been no firing incidents (along the border). Bangladesh would get 24 hours access in Teen Bigha area on non-paper accord basis," Islam said while thanking the BSF.

"We have provided the BSF the locations, photographs and addresses of drug bottling centres and want that these things should be curbed," Islam said.

"There are people who are wanted in the list of criminals from Bangladesh..the other group is anti-state elements like Bang Bhoomi Andolan particularly...others (on the list) are smugglers, absconding criminals and others," Islam said.

BSF and BGB guard the 4,096-kilometre long Indo-bangla border.

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