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Delhi allows Dhaka use of border roads

The Border Security Force, deployed along the Bangladesh border, will monitor the border outposts' construction activities. A file photo of the BSF personnel patrolling along the India-Bangladesh international border fencing.

The Border Security Force, deployed along the Bangladesh border, will monitor the border outposts' construction activities. A file photo of the BSF personnel patrolling along the India-Bangladesh international border fencing.   | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar

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Move will aid construction of outposts

In a rare gesture, India has decided to throw open its border roads to help Bangladesh construct border outposts in Chittagong hill tracts, known for its inhospitable terrain.

Some areas in Chittagong, bordering Tripura and Mizoram, have no motorable roads and India has decided to allow the Border Guard Bangladesh to construct 13 border outposts using the road connectivity available in the two States. The Border Security Force, deployed along the Bangladesh border, will monitor the construction activities.

India has on multiple occasions handed over details of insurgent camps operating from the Bangladesh soil, particularly in the dense Chittagong Hill Tract area. Following the leads, the neighbouring country has acted against these camps and demolished them.

“The BGB will be criss-crossing over 100 km of road distance in India to ferry construction material from Bangladesh to Chittagong area. There are no roads here and since India has a good road network, they will use it,” said a senior BSF official.

The proposal was first mooted during the annual Home Secretary-level talks last year. A 19-member Indian delegation, mainly comprising BSF officials, which concluded its Dhaka visit last week informed the BGB that the proposal had been approved. While six BOPs would come across the Tripura border, another seven would be along the Mizoram border.

“The proposal has initially been accepted for a year and if the need arises then the time-frame might be extended,” said the official.

During talks held in Dhaka last week, the BSF is learnt to have handed over a list identifying 21 insurgent camps to Bangladesh. But the latter denied the presence of any such camp.

A press statement issued by the BSF after the meet said: “DG BSF sought further cooperation from BGB for destruction of reported hideouts of Indian Insurgent Groups in Bangladesh and safe release of Indian Nationals whenever abducted by the insurgents. DG BGB stated that there are no insurgent camps/ hideout in Bangladesh and that it does not allow her soil to be used by any entity or element hostile to any country, which stems from the principle position of the highest leadership of the country.”

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 5:05:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/delhi-allows-dhaka-use-of-border-roads/article17363431.ece

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