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22 February, 2017 11:20:19 PM
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1,391 Bangladeshis killed by Indians along border in 45yrs

Independent Online Desk
1,391 Bangladeshis killed by Indians along border in 45yrs

Since the independence achieved from Pakistan with the help of India on December 16, 1971, the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) and nationals have, till the end of last month, killed a total of 1,391 Bangladeshi civilians and personnel of Border Guard Bangladesh, formerly known as Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), along the border between the two neighbours.
According to statistics available from different government sources including BGB, during this period, a total of 1,206 Bangladeshi civilians and 22 BGB personnel were injured by BSF and Indian nationals.
Even in the last month, 2 Bangladeshis were killed by the BSF while 1 met the death in the hands of Indian national/nationals. And, the BSF injured one Bangladeshi in January.
The year of 1973 was the only year when no Bangladeshi was killed by BSF or Indian nationals while the year 2006 saw the killing of the highest number of Bangladeshis along the border. In that year, 106 Bangladesh citizens were killed along the border by the Indians.
During the period covering 4 decades and a half, BGB also killed over 36 Indian nationals and BSF personnel of which 16 BSF men were killed in 1999. Less than 50 Indian civilians and BSF men were injured by Bangladeshis during this period.
Two Bangladeshis were killed along the border in 1972, the very next year after the independence while the first Indian civilian was killed by BGB in 1990.
Decade-wise, 103 Bangladesh nationals were killed from 1972 to 1981 by the Indian side. From 1982 to 1991, 179 Bangladeshi civilians and 4 BGB personnel were killed. From 1992 to 2001, 264 Bangladeshi civilians along with 10 BGB men met their death along the border. From 2002 till 2011, the Indians killed 666 civilians and 2 BGB personnel. In the half decade from 2012 to 2016, the border has witnessed killing of 178 Bangladeshis.   
The statistics shows that a significant number of Bangladeshis were killed and injured by the Indian civilians along the border. For instance, from January 2001 till January 31, 2017, a total of 165 Bangladeshis were killed and 207 were injured by the Indian civilians.   
The position of Bangladesh regarding the killing of its nationals along the border is of serious concern. Joint India-Bangladesh Guidelines for Border Authorities 1975 states that illegal border trespass should be dealt with preferably without resorting to fire. 
BSF was requested to exercise maximum restraint and in the event of compulsive situation to open blank fire or fire at the lower portion of the body. In various meetings, both sides agreed that killing of unarmed persons is unacceptable and inhuman and emphasised that the legal system prevalent in both the countries does not permit these killings either.
It was underscored that despite the excellent relations with India, this issue remained as a source of irritation among the public in the country and a reason of embarrassment for the Bangladesh government.
The Indian side has been urged to make every effort and to adopt mechanisms to stop such deaths. The Indian side informed that the BSF had been instructed to exercise restraint in opening fire. The Bangladesh side was repeatedly assured that the BSF would continue to exercise the utmost restraint and to make all-out efforts to prevent such incidents. It was also informed that BSF was also implementing plans to induct non-lethal weapons on an experimental basis, and if successful, this would be replicated in other areas.
The Bangladesh side made it known to the Indians that because of its sensitive nature, even a single incident was enough to damage months of painstaking progress in other areas. 
Dhaka appreciated the repeated assurance given by the Indian side on the ‘zero tolerance’ for killing of innocent civilians, and requested that the political will should travel down to the level of the BSF jawans. 
Despite all the assurances and talks from the Indian side, the killing of Bangladeshis along the border continues although the number of deaths saw a downward trend in the last 5-6 years.
But, Bangladesh is pushing for zero killing along the border. 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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