Mainamati Maitree Exercise 2019
India, Bangladesh hold joint exercise to boost confidence on Tripura border
A series of joint exercises and exchanges are being held in the Tripura-Bangla frontier since a four-day standoff between the two forces centring 31 Rohingya people who were found crossing the international border into Bangladesh in January this year.
Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) concluded a three-day ‘Mainamati Maitree Exercise 2019’ as a part of ‘Confidence Building Measures’ between the two border guards.
BSF issued a press statement that, BSF and BGB have achieved yet another milestone in ‘ever-increasing friendly relationship’ through the joint exercise held in general area of BSF’s Srimantapur border outpost.
The exercise was named after a hill range situated 8 km west of Comilla township in Bangladesh, which is home to an ancient Buddhist archaeological site in the region.
During the joint exercise held here, troops from both border guarding forces participated in joint patrolling, anti-smuggling drills on contraband goods through riverine border of River Gomati, simulated raids on suspected places of concealment inside territories of both countries, effective checking of goods and identity control of passengers at respective International Check-Posts (ICPs), holding flag meetings and other information sharing mechanism.
ICP- Integarted Check Post
- An ICP not only provides various services under one roof but is also equipped with cargo process building, cargo inspection sheds, warehouse, cold storage, currency exchange counters, Internet hubs, clearing agents, banks, vehicle scanners, isolation bay and parking.
- The new ICPs are able to interdict such elements while facilitating legitimate trade and communication
- The setting up of new ICPs was first proposed by the UPA government, which set up a separate body, Land Port Authority of India (LPAI), in 2011 for their management.
- The borders need to be secured against interests hostile to the country.
- It is therefore necessary to undertake integrated development of infrastructure at the entry points on our land borders.
- The Ministry of External Affairs was the first to recommend the four ICPs on the India-Nepal border, and the cost of ICPs on the Nepalese side will be funded by the ministry.
- Following the constitution of LPAI, an Empowered Steering Committee headed by the Secretary, Border Management (MHA) and secretaries or senior representatives from the Ministries of Finance (Expenditure & Revenue), External Affairs, Commerce, Defence, Road Transport and Highways, Planning Commission and Railways were involved to expedite the projects.
- However, after nearly 10 years, only seven ICPs have been set up,of which five are operational. One is expected to start functioning this year and another by next year.
As part of the ongoing India Bangladesh defence cooperation, a joint military exercise Sampriti-2019 will be conducted at Tangail, Bangladesh from 02 March to 15 March 2019. In 2017,India and Bangladesh held the field training exercise – ‘SAMPRITI 2017’ at the Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Vairengte in Mizoram to strengthen interoperability and cooperation between the armies of the two countries.