Dhaka, Apr 7 (UNB) -The government on Sunday deployed members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) at Saint Martin’s Island in Teknaf upazila in Coxs Bazar.
Sources at the BGB headquarters said BGB members started patrolling the St. Martin’s Island, a small island in the northeastern part of the Bay of Bengal, with heavy weapons from Sunday morning.
“Adequate BGB members have been deployed in the island at the directive of the government. The number will be increased further,” Mohammad Mohsin Reza, BGB Public Relations Officer (headquarters), told UNB.
He said the paramilitary troops were also there in the island till 1997.
“They (BGB members) have been deployed there again this (Sunday) morning alongside members of other law-enforcement agencies, including Coast Guard, to ensure security of the island,” Reza said without elaborating what has actually prompted the government to deploy the BGB members there.
Observers in Dhaka see the measure as ensuring presence of security forces in the island that Myanmar authorities have shown in their territorial maps in recent times on two occasions. On both the occasions Bangladesh lodged strong protest.
Apparently, on the basis of tip-off Border Guard Bangladesh members have been deployed and they would for the first line of defence in the event of any adventurous move from the Myanmar armed forces which have started fresh attacks against its citizens in the nearby Rakhine State.
It is to be noted that nearly one million Rohingya Muslims migrated to Bangladesh following ‘genocide’ by the Myanmar Military since the year 2017. About 700,000 of them have been sheltered in make-shift camps in Ukhia Upazila under Cox’s Bazar District.
Strategically located St Martin’s Island has recent times developed as an important domestic tourist destination in Bangladesh. Based on this territory the sea boundary between the two nations has been drawn by the International Tribunal on the Law of the Seas.