In the space of five days, Myanmar’s shell came again in Bangladesh. Earlier, the shells came from the ground, but this time they came from warplanes and helicopters. In these incidents, there is panic in the Naikshyongchari border of Bandarban. Intelligence surveillance has been increased along with the strengthening of border security patrols. BGB members are on alert.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has summoned the Myanmar Ambassador in Dhaka on Sunday seeking an explanation about the firing of bullets and mortar shells from Myanmar’s warplanes and helicopters into Bangladesh.
At around 9:30 am today, two Myanmar warplanes and two fighting helicopters patrolled between pillars 40 and 41 of Tumbru border in Ghumdhum union of Naikxyongchari upazila of Bandarban. At this time, 8-10 rounds were fired from warplanes and from helicopters.
Within two hours, two shells landed about 120 meters inside Bangladesh along border pillar number 40. However, no casualties were reported.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh’s ambassador to Myanmar has decided to protest to the country’s government. Besides, the respective border has been sealed so that no citizen of Myanmar can enter Bangladesh.
According to Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB), after the incident of shelling, intelligence surveillance has been increased along with the strengthening of security patrols at the border. BGB members are on alert.
Experts say that shelling of another country inside a country is a clear violation of international law. Bangladesh should increase border surveillance while maintaining military capability. To prevent the recurrence of this incident, it should be resolved through diplomatic channels. However, if it happens again, several security analysts believe that there will be a counter-response.
Security analysts say the army’s operation within eight kilometers of the border is a violation of international law. But they (Myanmar) are not accepting it, on the contrary they are repeatedly entering into Bangladesh. Therefore, Bangladesh should raise the issue in the international arena and conduct diplomatic activities instead of just expressing formal protest.
Meanwhile, in response to the questions of journalists at the Lakkatura tea garden in Sylhet today, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said that Myanmar is again trying to infiltrate the Rohingyas. No more Rohingyas will be allowed to cross the border into Bangladesh, no matter how much provocation is given by Myanmar shelling.
Stating that BGB is in a strong position on the border, the minister said, ‘We have sealed our border. I have warned the BGB so that the Myanmar people do not come towards us.’
The Foreign Minister said that the Ambassador of Myanmar has been summoned. Said, ‘We are observing. There is some violence in Myanmar. They have assured us that there will be no accidents.’
When asked about this, security analyst Major General (Retd.) Abdur Rashid told Dhaka Times, ‘A separatist organization called Arakan Army is stationed there, which has occupied that area. The Myanmar Army is constantly clashing with them. It is illegal to shoot at the border of Bangladesh, it is a violation of international law. We now have to see whether the shelling was deliberate or the result of their clash.’
Major General (Retd.) Abdur Rashid said, ‘However, considering the situation, it seems that Myanmar is not intentionally firing at Bangladesh. In this case, Bangladesh should maintain its military capability and resolve it through diplomatic channels so that no bullets come in the future. Bangladesh should increase surveillance on the border. The easier it is to raise military tension, the harder it is to defuse it.’
According to local sources, at around 9:30 this morning, two warplanes and two fighting helicopters were patrolled by the Myanmar Army between the border pillars 40 and 41 under the jurisdiction of Reju Amtali BGB BOP of Tumbru border in Ghumdhum Union of Naikxyongchari Upazila of Bandarban. At this time, 8-10 rounds were fired from warplanes and from helicopters. In the span of two hours, two shells landed along border pillar number 40, approximately 120 meters inside Bangladesh. However, no casualties were reported.
Ghumdhum Union Parishad Chairman Jahangir Aziz Chowdhury told Dhaka Times, ‘There is a shooting between the rebels and the army inside the border of Myanmar. 25 to 40 mortar shell explosions are heard a day. There is fear in this. However, the patrolling of the BGB has been strengthened at the border.
If you want to know about this, BGB headquarters Director (Operation) Lieut. Colonel Faizur Rahman told Dhaka Times, ‘The situation is being monitored besides strengthening the security patrol. BGB members are on high alert.’
Earlier last Sunday, two mortar shells fired from Myanmar hit the population of Ghumdhum area of Bandarban border. The day after the incident, Myanmar’s ambassador in Dhaka, Aung Kyaw Moe, was summoned. Dhaka strongly protested. Earlier, Dhaka had expressed anger over Myanmar’s warplanes exercising in Bangladesh’s airspace.
According to the information published in the international media, recently, fierce clashes are going on between the Myanmar army and the Arakan Army, a separatist organization of Rakhine, in the area adjacent to the border post No. 38 of Mangdu, Myanmar, on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.
Law enforcement agencies have beefed up security along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border at Naikshyongchari Point following reports of firing from Myanmar warplanes and helicopters.
Superintendent of Police (SP) of Bandarban. Tariqul Islam said that tension has been increasing on the border with Myanmar for the past few days, which has also spread among the locals in Naikshyongchari and Ghumdhum border areas.
“Today (Saturday) locals saw firing from a Myanmar helicopter near the border and dropped two mortar shells near the border,” the SP said.
BGB and law enforcement agencies are alert and intelligence surveillance has been increased near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, SP Tariqul Islam said.