Guwahati, Dec 22 : The five-day Director General (DG) level Border Coordination Conference (BCC) between India’s Border Security Force (BSF) and the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB), which begun here on Tuesday, would deliberate upon the steps being taken to reinforce the security grid in a cohesive manner for the betterment of people living along the borders of both the countries, an official release said.
According to a BSF press statement, the 51st DG level talks (DGLT) between the BSF and the BGB would discuss various aspects and issues related to border management.
This is the first time that the bi-annual DGLT is being held outside the national capital.
A senior BSF official said that in the all important Border Coordination Conference, BSF chief Rakesh Asthana, a senior IPS officer, is leading the 12-member Indian delegation while the 11-member BGB team is headed by Major General Shafeenul Islam.
The Inspector Generals of BSF’s six of the nine frontiers would participate in the BCC.
“The DGLT would conclude with the signing of a joint record of discussions by the DGs of BSF and BGB,” the statement said.
The meeting between the BSF and the BGB, according to an official, would also review the ongoing strategies and further improve them for better coordination between both the border guarding forces deployed along the 4,096 km frontiers, including 1,116 km of riverine boundary, between the two neighbours.
Five Indian states – West Bengal (2,216 km), Tripura (856 km), Meghalaya (443 km), Mizoram (318 km) and Assam (263 km) – share 4,096 km borders with Bangladesh.
BSF sources said that the Joint India-Bangladesh guidelines for border authorities, 1975 envisaged that there should be frequent contacts between the border authorities of the two countries to discuss the matters of immediate administrative concern.
An Indian delegation under the leadership of former BSF DG Ashwani Kumar and a Bangladesh delegation headed by former DG BDR (now BGB) Major General Quazi Golam met in Kolkata on December 2, 1975 for the first time to discuss mutual border problems.
Since 1975, the meetings between the DGs of BSF and BGB were held annually, alternatively in India and Bangladesh till 1993.
“During the discussions held in Dhaka from October 7-9, 1993 between the Home Secretaries of India and Bangladesh, it was agreed that the DG level meetings will be a bi-annual event. In the agreed summary of discussions during the said meeting, it was emphasised that problems in the areas of mutual interests and concerns could be progressively resolved through close contacts and continuing meaningful dialogue at various levels,” sources said.
Accordingly, the DGs of BSF and BGB have been holding BCC twice a year alternatively at Delhi and Dhaka and the joint record of discussions of these meetings are forwarded to the Home Ministries of the two countries after each such meeting.
The last BSF-BGB meeting was held from September 16-19 this year in Dhaka.
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