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India plans barbed wire fence along West Bengal border

India will erect a barbed wire fence along West Bengal’s border with Bangladesh to prevent cross-border infiltration by Bangladeshi nationals. “India has noticed infiltration of Bangladesh nationals through the border of West Bengal. This matter has created a kind of concern. So they have decided to erect a barbed wire fence along the border to prevent such infiltration,” home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said yesterday (Friday).

He said this to The Independent soon after his arrival in Dhaka after his three-day official visit to Delhi. The home minister held talks with his Indian counterpart, Amit Shah, on various issues like counter-terrorism, trans-border security, increased cooperation between security agencies and cross-border security, among others.
He said both sides discussed the killing of Bangladeshi nationals at the border on different occasions.
Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said: “We spoke about border killings. It’s a sensitive issue. The Indian side told us that the
Border Security Force would remain alert in this regard in future. Border killings happen when illegal despatches take place.” Killing of Bangladeshi nationals by the Indian BSF has always been a concern. On many occasions, both countries have held meetings to find out a solution.
The home minister placed statistics before Parliament on July 11 that the BSF had killed 294 Bangladeshis since 2009. According to statistics placed by the minister, at least 66 Bangladeshis were killed on the Bangladesh-India border in 2009, 55 in 2010, 24 each in 2011 and 2012, 18 in 2013, 24 in 2014, 38 in 2015, 25 in 2016, 17 in 2017 and three in 2018.
Asked about the longstanding dispute with India over Muhurir Char in Feni, the minister said: “A survey will be conducted. We hope during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in October, the matter would be discussed. A solution is expected at that time.”
According to the Border Guard Bangladesh, Muhurir Char is a land measuring 92.14 acres. Bangladesh has got 71.94 acres and the rest 20.20 acres have gone to India after the area was demarcated with wooden pillars in accordance with the 2011 protocol.
India then demanded a fresh survey of the bordering area along the border river. Bangladesh wants the issue settled according to the 1977-78 survey.
The home minister said both sides held a successful meeting over various issues and further cooperation would continue in future to bolster relations between the two neighbours.
Asked about the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, which has raised concern for many in Bangladesh, he said they did not discuss the issue.

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