Cachar deputy commissioner S. Viswanathan, who led the delegation from India, told reporters here this evening that they had discussed thoroughly about the commencement of railway service from Shahbazpur in Bangladesh to Mohisasan in Karimganj district of Assam.
Deputy commissioners of the two bordering districts of Cachar and Karimganj, Viswanathan and Sanjib Gohain Baruah respectively, and superintendents of police Rajveer Singh (Cachar) and Pradip Ranjan Kar (Karimganj), along with other district officials, held a meeting with their counterparts from two Bangladesh districts, Moulavi Bazar and Sylhet, from November 28 to 30 in the neighbouring country.
“Bangladesh officials said a railway line is being constructed from Kulaura to Shahbazpur. A proposal has been made in the meeting to connect Shahbazpur with Karimganj via railway line,” Viswanathan added.
He said there was a discussion on opening of two border haats, one at Sutarkandi in Karimganj district and Nij Lepurputa in Cachar district, soon. “The border haat near Sutarkandi integrated checkpost will materialise soon, while some time is required to implement the Nij Lepurputa one,” he said.
A host of issues, including cross-border crimes, drugs, smuggling, cattle-lifting, trafficking, integrated checkposts to improve import-export facilities, flood control measures, border haats, cultural and sports exchange, border pillars, protection of migratory elephants and river dolphins, commencement of railway service, among others were discussed.
The commanding officers of the BSF and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) were also present at the meeting. Repatriation of Bangladeshi nationals from India was one of the main issues discussed in the meeting. Viswanathan said they had handed over information to the Bangladesh officials of all the 35 Bangladeshi nationals who are lodged in Silchar Central Jail even after the completion of their sentences. In reply to a question, Viswanathan said two Indian nationals were also lodged in a Bangladesh jail. “Bangladeshi citizens, who have completed their sentences, can be easily repatriated with efforts from both sides. We have taken the initiative to bring back Indian nationals who are in Bangladesh jail,” he added. The Indian delegation comprised eight members, while its Bangladeshi counterparts comprised 11 members, including deputy commissioners of Moulavi Bazar and Sylhet – Md Kamal Hassan and Joynal Abedin respectively.