Press Trust of india

India, Bangladesh share deep ties; no one can undermine our bilateral relations: Shah

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Petrapole (WB): Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said that India and Bangladesh share deep ties, with a history of intertwined culture and language, and as such, no one can undermine the good bilateral relations between the two nations.

Shah was on a visit to the India-Bangladesh border at Petrapole in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district to inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of several projects of the Land Ports Authority of India and the Border Security Force (BSF).

“India shares deep ties with Bangladesh. Our culture, religion, customs and lifestyle have been intertwined for thousands of years. No one can ever break our ties with Bangladesh. India has played a key role in Bangladesh’s history. The BSF has played a major role in the Liberation War of 1971,” he said at the programme.

Lauding the role of the Land Ports Authority of India in strengthening relations with neighbours, Shah said that trade of Rs 18,000 crore, through the Authority, in the financial year 2016-17 has now crossed Rs 30,000 crore.

“The Land Ports Authority of India not only strengthens the country’s economy but also acts as an ambassador of the nation at our borders. It helps strengthen our bilateral relations with our neighbours,” he said at the foundation stone laying ceremony for Maitri Dwar, the second cargo gate of the Authority in Petrapole.

Shah said the BJP government at the Centre, since 2014, has stressed on improving border infrastructure and connectivity.

“Our policy is clear. We want strong infrastructure and better connectivity in bordering areas to boost business and trade,” he said.

He lauded the role of the BSF in guarding the nation’s borders.

Later, he tweeted, “Our invincible BSF is fortified further today with the inauguration of four joint outposts. Two residential complexes and one officer’s mess were also inaugurated along with other projects with a total worth of Rs 108.3 crore.”

Shah’s praise for the BSF did not go well with West Bengal’s ruling TMC, which has repeatedly accused the border force of laxity in dealing with cattle smuggling and excesses on the people living along the border.

“Firstly, Amit Shah should have visited Manipur, which is on the boil due to ethnic violence. Secondly, he praised the BSF; he should first answer why cattle are being smuggled across the border in the presence of the force. The CBI had arrested a BSF officer for involvement in cattle smuggling,” TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said.

Reacting to the TMC leader’s comment, BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh said, “The TMC should not dictate what Amit Shah ji should do or not. And regarding the cattle smuggling scam, senior TMC leaders have been questioned and arrested for their involvement.”

TMC’s Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal was arrested in connection with cattle smuggling cases by the CBI in August last year.


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