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No illegal immigration into India, concern lies over smuggling: B'desh

No illegal immigration into India, concern lies over smuggling: Bdesh
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Guwahati/New Delhi: Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) on Friday claimed that no illegal immigration is taking place into India from the neighbouring country, but expressed concern over rising incidents of smuggling across the border.

Addressing a joint press conference with Border Security Force (BSF) Director-General Rakesh Asthana, BGB Director-General Major General Md Shafeenul Islam said at least 86 Bangladeshi nationals were killed on the Indian side in the last three years for their alleged criminal activities.

Asthana, however, said BSF has apprehended 3,204 persons this year for illegally entering India from Bangladesh and 60 of them, whose nationalities were established, were handed over to the BGB.

Discussing various issues concerning the border during the ongoing five-day 51st DG-level talks between the BSF and BGB that started on December 22, the two forces signed a Joint Accord of Discussion and decided to increase coordinated night patrolling to prevent illegal activities.

"No illegal immigration is going on from Bangladesh to India. The GDP of Bangladesh is on a steady upward trend.

"There is no reason for any citizen to come to India for jobs or any other reason. People have come with valid documents only for medical purposes," Islam said. Many families in border areas have their relatives on the other side and they keep visiting them during festivals or other occasions, but with only valid travel documents, he added.

The BGB DG also denied the reports that some people have crossed over to his nation from Assam as they did not find their names in the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The 'continuous illegal immigration' is a political hotcake for parties in Assam, North-East and also in West Bengal, and promises to deport such immigrants are made in every election.

The top officers of the two forces, however, expressed concerns over the illegal movement of Rohingyas and said BSF and BGB are taking measures to control it by regularly apprehending such people on both sides of the border.

Both of them also accepted that criminal activities, mostly smuggling of various items, are on the rise. "We are concerned about cross-border illegal trade.

"These syndicates are mainly dealing with narcotics and cattle smuggling. We are constantly monitoring them and have increased our vigil along the border," Asthana said.

On rising incidents of cattle smuggling, Islam said it is affecting the local cattle farms in Bangladesh as the country is self-sufficient in cattle production.

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