New Delhi : On the 6th of December 2022, the 18th meeting of the India-Bangladesh Working Group (JWG) was held in New Delhi. The Additional Secretary of the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs), Piyush Goyal, heading the Indian delegation, met with A K Mukhlesur Rahman, his Bangladeshi counterpart, to discuss a plethora of issues related to border fencing, illegal crossing, bilateral cooperation in checking insurgency and combating terrorism and organised crime.
India has 4096.7 km of land border with Bangladesh. It is the longest of all India’s walls with neighbouring South Asian Nations in the Indian subcontinent. But this border needs to be more attentively managed.
The India-Bangladesh edge is called the “problem area of tomorrow.” The paramilitary force of India manning and guarding this border is the Border Security Force (BSF).
The entire stretch includes plain, riverine, hilly and jungle tracts. The cultivation is carried out till the last inch of the border in many areas.
There are very complicated issues associated with the border. The first challenge comes from Illegal Migration. The illegal movement of people from Bangladesh into India, especially in West Bengal, Tripura and Assam, is a perennial problem. There are two crore illegal migrants spread in India.
The porous nature of the border has made the task for Indian Insurgent Groups to cross over into Bangladesh, where they have set up training camps and safe houses. The third problem comes from smuggling and illegal human, arms and narcotics trafficking. Additionally, the counterfeiting of Indian Currency occurs here.
The illicit trade of Yaba Tablets is considered a menace in India and Bangladesh. They are a mixture of methamphetamines and caffeine sold as cheap red and pink tablets. Most of them are sourced from Myanmar.
Cattle Smuggling and the illegal business of readymade garments and food grains aggravate the problem toa great extent. The border has witnessed several cross-border firings from the BSF (India) and the Bangladesh Border Guards.
A controversial shoot-on-sight policy has been enforced by Indian Border Patrols keeping in mind the entry of terrorists in the garb of traders and refugees.
There are several irritants to India-Bangladesh Border Management. The rugged terrain and physical barriers like the Brahmaputra River limit the fencing project. The delays in fencing due to clashes. Bangladesh
Border security troops (BDR) clashed with the Indian Border Security Force when the fence was built beyond the no man’s land.