The Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) is going to build permanent structures and encampments for its deployed personnel in St Martin’s Island to ensure security. Sources said members of the paramilitary force are now staying in temporary camps after their deployment on Sunday, and are making preparations for building permanent camps and defensive structures.
Heavily armed personnel of the BGB are continuing their patrol round the clock to ensure security of the Saint Martin’s Island, located in the north-eastern part of the Bay of Bengal.
Sources said the encampment of the BGB at the coral island is mainly for giving priority to some major areas, like preventing drug dealings, infiltration of Rohingyas and ensuring security of tourists.
Local government representatives and general people expressed their satisfaction for the presence of the BGB after 22 years and said they feel secured now.
BGB taskforce commander, Major GM Sirajul Islam, told The Independent: “We are continuing our patrol across the island to ensure its security. We are putting stress on curbing drug dealings, preventing Rohingya infiltration and ensuring security of tourists.”
He said they are vigilant enough to prevent any kind of threat to the island.
On the other hand, local representatives said they heaved a sigh of relief after the encampment of the BGB on the island.
Teknaf Union Parishad member, Habibullah, said: “We want
deployment comes just two months after Bangladesh’s foreign ministry summoned Myanmar’s ambassador in Dhaka to protest the inclusion of Saint Martin’s inside their territory in some maps printed inside the Southeast Asian country.
He was also summoned in October last year, after a Myanmar government website depicted the island as within Myanmar’s territory.
Ties between the neighbours have soured since the Myanmar military launched a crackdown on the Rohingya minority in Rakhine, a troubled western state bordering Bangladesh.
The brutal operation has forced some 740,000 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh since August 2017, transforming parts near the border into the world’s largest refugee camp.
Muslim-majority Bangladesh has accused Myanmar of perpetrating genocide against the Rohingya, who share some cultural and linguistic similarities with Bangladeshis in the country’s southeast.