The withdrawal of a BSF observation post from Muktapur area in Meghalaya was to avoid confrontation with Bangladesh border guards BDR, Meghalaya Chief Minister D. D. Lapang said on Tuesday.

“It has been agreed by both the governments (India and Bangladesh) that the areas of dispute should be left like that. The BSF was told to withdraw to avoid confrontation. The other side should not see any men in uniform there,” he told the assembly.

Mr. Lapang said he had taken up with the Centre the need to take measures to ensure security in the area, which witnessed four incidents of firing by BDR between February 4 and March 14.

The BSF withdrew its observation post at Noljuri on March 15 following heavy firing between the border guards of the two countries the previous day.

The BSF had later said that its withdrawal of the OP was part of a “re-arranging strategy”.

Asked by member Lakhmen Rymbui whether the BSF had been instructed not to retaliate even if the BDR opened fire, Mr. Lapang said the Union Home Minister had informed him that instructions have been given to both BDR and BSF by the respective governments not to fire at each other.

“BSF has been told not to fire and the same instruction had been given to BDR. But if the BDR does not adhere to the instructions, the BSF cannot remain a mute spectator,” Mr. Lapang said.

Stressing that the growing cordial relation between both the neighbouring countries should not be strained, Mr. Lapang said the Bangladesh government had assured that such incidents of firing would not occur in future.