Agartala, Feb 21 (IANS) Border guards of India and Bangladesh would further intensify vigil to curb crimes, cross-border movement and other illegal activities, a senior Border Security Force (BSF) official said here on Thursday.
"An Inspector General-level meeting between BSF and BGB (Border Guard Bangladesh) was held in Chittagong (in Bangladesh) last week where it was decided to further strengthen the vigil along the frontiers to control crimes, cross-border movement of inimical elements and unauthorised persons besides other illegal activities," a senior BSF official, who attended the meeting, told IANS.
The official, who did not want to be named, said that both sides have exchanged information relating to trans-border illegal activities and chalked out various strategies to deal with it.
BSF's Mizoram-Cachar frontier Inspector General Kanu Charan Mahali led the Indian team while Tripura frontier Inspector General Soloman Yash Kumar Minz, his Assam-Meghalaya frontier counterpart Kuldeep Saini and officials from the External Affairs Ministry took part in the four day meeting on February 11-14.
"The border guards of the two countries have been adopting a zero tolerance policy to curb smuggling of arms, explosives and drugs and human trafficking along their frontiers," the official added.
According to the BSF official, the next border coordination conference would be held in any of the northeastern states in August.
Four northeastern states - Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Assam - share a 1,880 km international border with Bangladesh with most parts of it unfenced, mountainous and prone to crime.
Meanwhile, 24 school children of BSF families, who as part of the "Adventure Visit of School Children of BSF to Bangladesh", went to different cities of that country, returned here late Thursday evening through the Agartala-Akhaura (Bangladesh) international integrated check-post.
The visit, the first time for school children from northeast India. was part of confidence-building measures between the BSF and BGB.
During the five-day tour, the children were exposed to excursion and mountaineering in rocky and plateau areas of Jaflong in Sylhet district and then went to Dhaka, where they saw various monuments and historical places, a BSF official said.
The school students, comprising 10 girls and 14 boys, also visited the Bangladesh National Museum, the National Martyrs' Memorial, Gazipur Safari Park, Bangladesh Centres for Development Management in Rajendrapur and the Dhaka cantonment area.
The official said that during the school students' stay in Peelkhana (the BGB headquarters), the children of BGB personnel put up a colourful cultural function for them.
The students also visited Ratargul forest area to see mangroves.
"Earlier this month a batch of school children belonging to BGB families visited West Bengal on a similar mission," the BSF official said.
He said that this initiative would not only acquaint the children from both countries with the rich social and cultural heritage of of the other country, but would also go a long way in strengthening the ties and friendly relations between the two border guards.