While illegal immigration from Bangladesh continues to remain a political issue in India, the Bangladesh border force chief told his Indian counterpart that the country’s economy is growing steadily and that there is no need for its citizens to go to India to earn a living. He also asked India to ensure that Bangladeshi citizens are not harmed at the border and to curb the smuggling of arms and ammunition from India to Bangladesh.
The issues were discussed during the three-day Director General (DG)-level talks between the Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) that concluded on Thursday in Dhaka.
“The 52nd Director General level coordination conference focused on curbing trans-border crimes and taking all necessary measures to ensure peace and tranquility along the border, while building upon the mutual trust and harmony among both Border guarding forces and countries…both sides appreciated each other’s concerns and committed to settling different border issues amicably through continued, constructive and positive engagements at all levels,” the BSF said in a statement.
The BSF delegation was led by Director General Pankaj Singh and the BGB delegation was led by Major General Shakil Ahmed.
BSF sources said that during the discussions, Singh expressed his concern regarding illegal immigration, human trafficking and numerous border violations by Bangladeshi nationals. He informed the gathering that the BSF had raised 15 anti-human trafficking units recently to combat illegal immigration.
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In response, Ahmed said that Bangladesh was enjoying steady economic growth and thus illegal migration to India was only a remote possibility. He also expressed concern over the increasing arrests of Bangladeshi nationals by the BSF and asked it to bring down the killings of Bangladeshi nationals at the border to zero.
The BSF’s DG, in response, told Ahmed that India did not discriminate between criminals on the basis of nationality.
In 2020-2021, Bangladesh had a per capita income of $1,962 — higher than India’s, which was $1,935.