India-B’desh for joint efforts to prevent border illegalities

The two-day bilateral meeting of deputy commissioners/ district magistrates of Meghalaya (India) and Bangladesh in progress in the city on Monday. (ST)

SHILLONG: India and Bangladesh have agreed to work in close coordination to check illegal activities, trade and infiltration taking place across the international border.
The decision was taken at the bilateral conference of deputy commissioners/ district magistrates of the bordering districts of Meghalaya (India) and Bangladesh here on Monday.
The Bangladesh delegation comprising of deputy commissioners, superintendents of police and other officials was led by Sylhet Deputy Commissioner, Shahidul Islam, while the Indian delegation was led by East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner Sanjay Goyal.
Senior BSF officials of Meghalaya Frontier, Customs officials, BGB officials and officers from the land records and revenue department, also attended the conference.
“We have decided to closely associate with each other to ensure that the border is free from illegal activities. To achieve this objective, we have decided to have better exchange of information at all levels,” Goyal told newsmen on the sideline of the meeting.
He said that it has been observed that certain information which is given in time can act beneficial to both sides whether it is related to certain events or follow up of certain crimes.
Goyal also observed that this kind of exercise will act as a confidence building measure along the border.
Echoing similar views, the Sylhet Deputy Commissioner said there was a need to work together to save the borders between Meghalaya and Bangladesh from all illegalities.
Speaking on the meeting, Goyal informed that border crimes, illegal trespass, smuggling of contrabands, border pillars, their repairs and maintenance, exchange of information related to border fencing, developmental works along border areas, exchange of cultural and sports teams as well as events were taken up for discussion during the meeting.
Both sides also discussed possibilities of opening  those border haats where primary works including preparation of DPRs have been completed and sent to the concerned ministries in both countries.
“We also discussed measures to curb illegal trade whether it is smuggling of narcotic or other contraband substances like Phensedyl and others,” Goyal said.
Officials from both sides observed that timely sharing of certain information would be beneficial with regards to various issues. “We have worked out some strategies on how to share information that can yield positive results.”
The Sylhet Deputy Commissioner expressed hope that the bilateral meeting would cement the friendship and relationship between the two countries and the border districts.
“Bangladesh is equally concerned about all the border issues. Together we can prevent all illegal activities in the borders of both India and Bangladesh,” Islam said.
Officials of all the participating districts hoped that they can build on the discussion and underlined the need for similar conferences in future, especially holding the next conference in Bangladesh, to carry forward issues of common interests.