The Daily Star BD: Tension mounted on Naikhangchhari border of the district as Myanmar restarted erecting barbed wire fence along its border with Bangladesh from Friday and deployed additional army personnel on their side yesterday.
Local sources said erecting fence from pillar No 41 to 45 on their side by Myanmar border security force Nasaka under the supervision of its army and yesterday’s additional deployment of the military forces have escalated the tension in the border area.
Some residents of Ghumdhum area said they saw Myanmar army personnel were patrolling alongside Nasaka members on their side. They apprehend that Myanmar has increased the army deployment to resume exploration of oil and gas in the disputed block No 11 in the Bay of Bengal.
Contacted, Deputy Commissioner Mizanur Rahman said Bangladesh has also taken necessary steps after Myanmar strengthened its military forces on the border.
“The number of BDR personnel has also been increased in Bangladeshi border observatory post (BoP),” he said.
Myanmar started erecting fence along its border with Bangladesh in November last year as its naval ships intruded into Bangladesh maritime boundary for oil and gas exploration.
A fresh tension increased from Friday though it earlier suspended the exploration activities inside Bangladesh maritime territory following an understanding.
Dr Mahmud Ullah, a resident of the area, said he has seen the members of Myanmar army’s engineering corps set up concrete pillars about 100 metres from the zero line.
He told The Daily Star that they completed setting up concrete pillars up to international border pillar No 31 adjacent to proposed Bangladesh-Myanmar link road till yesterday.
Dr Mahmud expressed his apprehension that Myanmar is preparing to resist the attacks of its anti-government guerrillas and lay anti-personnel mines to prevent what they describe as “illegal infiltration of Bangladeshis.”
He said he learnt from different sources that after setting up the barbed wire fences on the pillars Myanmar would plant anti-personnel mines.
Myanmar had planted land mines and anti-personnel mines in its own territory to resist guerrilla movement against the military junta in the 90s.
A Bangladeshi people’s representative preferring anonymity said Myanmar government has a preparation to set up barbed wire on the concrete pillars on about 35 km long border from international pillar No 31 to No 57. After completion of the work, Myanmar could start exploring unilaterally oil and gas in the Bay of Bengal by deploying army members.
BDR did not give any information about the present situation.
Deputy Commissioner Mizanur Rahman told journalists on Friday night that a number of BDR on the BoPs along Bangladesh border has been increased following Myanmar’s additional army deployment. He said Myanmar authorities should not take any step, which might deteriorate relations between the two countries.
Local sources said the Myanmar government has increased mental torture on Rohingya Muslim citizens in the recent times. Sources said Myanmar might have a plan to push a big number of Rohingyas into Bangladesh territory.
A large number of Rohingyas have infiltrated into Bangladesh in last few days. BDR and Naikhhonchhari police have been conducting raids to prevent the infiltration.
According to the security forces, at least 103 Rohingyas, including 17 women and 11 children, have been arrested in last one month.