The Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) has officially protested a news published in the Indian newspaper Anandabazar on July 7, under the headline “Bangladeshis stepping into unprotected land”.
A statement signed by BGB Public Relation Officer Md Shariful Islam said the news published in Anandabazar was “baseless, fabricated and motivated”.
The BGB statement reads: “The newspaper mentioned the Raninagar border as the place of the incident but in fact, no incident happened there. The area is under the jurisdiction of Rajshahi BGB and it extends from Charghat BOP (Border Outpost) to Talaimari BOP. The zero line crosses along the river Padma and there are vast chars on both sides.”
In the protest letter, the BGB said, “The news says that Bangladeshis are cultivating freely in Raninagar 1 and 2 blocks of the border and about 22,000 acres of unprotected land across Jalangi.
“In this context, the real picture is completely different. Far from cultivating inside India, it is now almost impossible to cultivate along international borders. BGB members are patrolling the border day and night along the zero line,” it said.
“But, the reality is quite the opposite and the published news is motivated,” said BGB.
On July 2, two incidents took place at the Jalangi border, which contradicted the report published by the newspaper, reads the statement.
BGB said that two residents of Jalangi border—Nayan Sheikh and Shahidul Sheikh—illegally crossed the international border around 11:30am on July 2. They trespassed into Yousufpur village inside Bangladesh territory over narcotics dealing and financial transaction.
“Locals did not take the matter lightly and surrounded them. Subsequently, the Yusufpur BGB camp took the two Indians into their custody out of concern for their safety,” BGB said.
On the other hand, around 12:00 noon on the same day, the BSF patrol team illegally crossed the international border and entered 300 metres inside Bangladesh (along Pillar 72/4-S) and captured three innocent farmers from Yusufpur area who were returning home after cultivating in the char area, reads the BGB statement.
“A BGB-BSF flag meeting was held on the same day in the aftermath of both the incidents. Later, on July 3, the matter was settled amicably through peaceful transfer of citizens of both the countries,” BGB said in their statement.
The BGB further said, “The hostile relations of BSF with local people in the Muslim-dominated areas, the inability of the local cattle smugglers to do any work in this season, toll collection from the fishermen by BSF and above all, to cover up the failure of the local BSF battalion, the news may have been provided by a quarter with vested interest in India to the media.”