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Bangladesh to reinforce border to c
- Subject: Bangladesh to reinforce border to c
- From: darnott@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2000 04:26:00
12Jul2000 BANGLADESH: B'desh to reinforce border
to curb trafficking. 09:05 GMT
DHAKA, July 12 (Reuters) - Bangladesh said on Wednesday it plans to
nearly double its frontier force to contain smuggling, drug trafficking and
trade in women and children along its borders with India and Myanmar.
The plan was revealed by a senior security official a day after Indian
border guards shot dead two Bangladeshi farmers in a northern frontier
Major-General Fazlur Rahman, director-general of the Bangladesh Rifles
border force, said the plan was expected to win formal government soon,
adding 33,000 soldiers to a force of 70,000 over the next three years.
"We also expect to raise a helicopter fleet and a riverine battalion to
maintain order along the country's more than 4,000 km (2,500 miles)
border with India and Myanmar," Rahman added.
The BDR would improve vigilance against trafficking of women and
children and cultivation of opium in deep forests, Rahman said.
The Bangladeshi National Women Lawyers' Association says at least
7,000 women and children are smuggled out of the country each year and
many are sold to brothels.
The river battalion was needed to crack down on drug dealers, pirates and
poachers in the Sundarban mangrove forest, which Bangladesh and India
share, he said.
The BDR and Indian Border Security Force often trade shots over a range
of disputes including trespassing from either side, officials said.
On Tuesday, the Indian soldiers shot dead two Bangladeshis working on
their rice farm along the frontier in northern Kurigram district, security