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BJB-BSF to check illegal extraction of boulders from Umngot

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Press Trust of India Shillong
The Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) on Friday said it will keep a tab on illegal extraction of boulders by Bangladeshis from the Umngot river flowing along the international border causing ecological and environmental problems.
Illegal extraction of boulders and sand from the river is one of the issues discussed during a meeting attended by officials of the BGB and the Border Security Force (BSF) here in Meghalaya.
"We are vigilant and have agreed to jointly work with the BSF to prevent illegal extraction of boulders," BGB Additional Director General and team leader Md Zakir Hussain told reporters here after the four-day meeting concluded here on Friday.
The BSF raised the matter at the meeting after the river's water level at Dawki, a tourist spot in Meghalaya's East Khasi Hills district, went down due to illegal extraction of boulders and sand on the other side of the border, officials said.
"We don't allow crossing of the international border by anyone illegally and extracting boulders (from the river) is out of the question," Hussain said.
The BGB, on the other hand, urged the BSF not to harm illegal intruders from Bangladesh as there were reports that several Bangladeshis have died while sneaking into India.
Hussain said border guards of both the countries have agreed to take measures to check cross-border drug trafficking.
He said the issue of cow smuggling was raised during the meeting and both sides have agreed to step up vigil to prevent smuggling of cattle.
"We have enough cattle in Bangladesh. When illegal cattle heads get through, the price of cattle reared by farmers in Bangladesh goes down. We don't want that," the BGB team leader said.
The BGB also denied the presence of any Indian insurgent group in Bangladesh but admitted that extremist elements and others sometimes attempt to cross the border.

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First Published: Sep 27 2019 | 7:46 PM IST

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