Homeland Security

Bangladeshi miscreants pelt stones at BSF Jawan
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 20 Dec , 2011

Dr. Manoj Kumar Mohapatra, First Secretary, High Commission of India in Dhaka said that Reports have been received of the deaths of three Bangladesh nationals as a result of firing on the Indian side of the border with Bangladesh in two separate incidents in Govindpur in Malda District (West Bengal) and Narayanganj in Coochbehar District (West Bengal) in the night / early hours of December 16 and 17, 2011, respectively.

The Government of India regrets all incidents of deaths on the border, of Indian and Bangladesh nationals. To prevent loss of lives along the border areas, the Border Security Force (BSF) has exercised the utmost restraint and has resorted to firing in rare cases and only in self defence. The Government of India has taken various steps, including strict control on firing, introduction of non-lethal weapons, round-the-clock domination and intensive patrolling. It has also imposed nighttime restrictions on the movement of people in the border areas. Unfortunately, this policy of restraint has emboldened criminal elements who have stepped up their attacks on BSF personnel deployed along the border in order to facilitate their illegal activities. A number of attacks have been recorded on BSF personnel and posts along the India-Bangladesh border over the last few months.

In the recent incident at Malda, a group of around 50-60 miscreants involved in illegal activity not only pelted stones when challenged by the BSF jawan on duty at his post but also tried to drag him towards the Bangladesh side of the international boundary. Sensing imminent danger to his life, his two colleagues fired four rounds in all resulting in the miscreants fleeing the scene leaving the BSF jawan behind. In the other incident at Coochbehar, around 30-40 miscreants involved in illegal activity attacked a BSF jawan with bamboo sticks and dahs when challenged by him. Sensing imminent danger to his life, the BSF jawan first hurled a non-lethal stun grenade and then as a last resort opened fire at the armed miscreants in self-defence. Both incidents took place 200 to 250 meters from the international boundary inside Indian territory. One BSF jawan was injured in the incident and is currently in hospital undergoing treatment. BSF has ordered an enquiry into these incidents.

The Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP), signed between India and Bangladesh in July 2011, envisages joint responsibility of both the BSF and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) to synergize their efforts to ensure effective control over cross-border illegal activities and crimes as well as for the maintenance of peace and harmony along the border. It is the view of the Government of India that illegal activities, which sometimes lead to regrettable loss of lives on both sides along the border, need to be addressed through joint collaborative efforts and mechanisms. The Government of Bangladesh has been urged to take measures to restrict the movement of people along the border, especially during night hours.

The Government of India proposes to continue to work closely with the Government of Bangladesh to maintain peace and harmony along the border.

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