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2 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 2 March, 2018 01:41:50 AM
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Myanmar amasses BGP, troops along border

Special Correspondent with Toufiqul Islam from Naikhongchhari
Myanmar amasses BGP, troops along border
Violating border norms, members of Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP) patrol areas within 150 yards inside their territory along Tumru border yesterday. A group of BGP men, inset, stands next to the border fencing. Photos: Toufiqul Islam

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) members were put on high alert as additional forces of Myanmar Border Police (BGP) and army took position along the Tumru border at Naikhongchhari in Bandarban with heavy weapons yesterday.

Dhaka has protested the Myanmar deployment along the border summoning the country’s envoy.

Hours after the protest, BGP members fired a shot in the air along the border near no man’s land where over 5,000 Rohingyas are currently living fleeing atrocities by the Myanmar forces in the Rakhine State.

Deputy commanding officer of BGB Battalion-34 Major Iqbal Ahmed said the Myanmar Army men tried to cross the border around 7:50pm.

"As the Rohingyas stranded on the no-man's land started shouting, they returned to the bunker shooting a bullet in the air," he said.

Earlier in the day, BGB Additional Director General (operation and training) Brigadier General Mujibur Rahman addressed a media briefing at the force’s headquarters at Pilkhana in the capital to notify the latest happenings along the Tumru border.

“Members of Myanmar’s BGP and military have been deployed suddenly opposite to the Tumru border areas with heavy weapons since 10am today (Thursday),” Rahman told reporters.

“We have already sent a message to the Myanmar authorities concerned requesting a flag meeting, but they are yet to respond,” he told reporters around 3:30pm. While filing the report around 11:30pm, the BGP was yet to respond to the BGB message.

“We have also sent a note of protest to the Myanmar authorities against the deployment of military along the border areas,” he added.

“We don’t know why Myanmar deployed their military at the border point between pillar 35 and 36 of Tumru border, 150 yards inside the border line,” the BGB senior official said, adding that his force was observing the situation, which was ‘under control’.

Brigadier Rahman said many Myanmar national, known as Rohingyas, were staying inside the no man’s land along the zero point of Bangladesh-Myanmar border at Tumru over last few days.

The Myanmar border police are trying to push the Rohingyas into the Bangladesh mainland, Rahman suspects.

While visiting the area yesterday afternoon, our correspondent found BGP and Myanmar military members posted next to the no man’s land along the Tumru border.  

BGP members were seen patrolling along the no man’s land while members of Myanmar army were in watch staying on hilly slopes along the border.

About six thousand Rohingyas staying on the no man’s land were seen anxious after the Myanmar deployment.

One of these Rohingyas, one Abul Kalam, told this correspondent that a large number of armed troops have been patrolling the border with heavy weapons fitted on 30-40 troops carrier.

This correspondent also saw Myanmar forces, using loud speakers, asking the Rohingyas to move away from the no man’s land.

Md Zahangir Alam, chairman of Ghumdum Union Parishad, told The Independent  that people in his constituency were in fear hearing the news of Myanmar troops deployment.  

Major Iqbal Ahmed of BGB 34 Battalion told The Independent that the BGB is in high alert after the deployment of Myanmar forces along the border. If needed, the Bangladesh side is ready to face any situation, he said.  

Earlier, the foreign ministry summoned the Myanmar Ambassador in Dhaka Lwin Oo to lodge protest against the deployment of troops, adds our Diplomatic Correspondent.

Acting Foreign Secretary Rear Admiral (retd) Khurshed Alam called the envoy to his office and wanted to know about the deployment, said officials concerned.

A note verbale (government to government communication letter) has been handed over to him, they added.

It was stated in the letter that the deployment of troops is not for the bilateral relations and that Dhaka is not finding the development nice, said the officials.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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