GUWAHATI: Bangladesh on Friday claimed there was no infiltration of people from the country to India.
“There are no reports of any infiltration to India from Bangladesh. We have a high GDP growth rate. So, there is no reason for our people to cross over in search of jobs or economic opportunities,” Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) Director-General Shafeenul Islam told journalists at a joint press conference with the Border Security Force (BSF) in Guwahati.
According to him, some Bangladeshi nationals visit India for treatment or other purposes but with valid travel documents.
An 11-member BGB delegation was in Assam to attend the 51st DG-level border coordination conference between the two forces. This was for the first time in four decades that the biannual conference in India was held outside Delhi.
Islam played down the issue of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam stating that “Bangladesh is not concerned about the NRC. It is an internal matter of India.”
Groups and organisations in Assam often claim about largescale infiltration of Bangladeshis. But the DG of BSF, Rakesh Asthana, said there was no truth in it.
“We nabbed 3,204 people, including criminals, who had crossed over illegally so far this year. Those proven as Bangladeshi nationals were sent back. The criminals are being legally dealt with,” Asthana said.
Stating that illegal movement is two-way traffic, he said both forces were taking steps to rein in it. He said the infiltration of Rohingya refugees was a major cause of concern. Dozens of refugees were arrested in the Northeast in recent months.
The two forces decided to carry out joint night patrol at vulnerable patches to thwart cross-border crimes including smuggling of narcotic substances, cattle, and human trafficking. The next such conference will be held in Dhaka in April 2021.