Criminals active in Indo-Bangla border

From Our Corespondent

 NEW DELHI: Both India and Bangladesh following recent bonhomie are exercising restraints, but this has bolstered the criminals engaged in different trans-border crimes instead who are attacking security forces creating strains between the two neighbours.

“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 spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs said.

A number of attacks have been recorded on BSF personnel and posts along the India-Bangladesh border over the last few months, he said.

Incidentally, Bangladesh has lodged strong protest with Indian Government about two border firing incidents in which four Bangladeshis were killed and one BSF jawan was injured seriously.

The incident took place on the border in West Bengal on weekend when some miscreants attacked the forces.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 self defence only in rare cases, the statement said.

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 night time restrictions on the movement of people in the border areas, he added.

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, the spokesman said. 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.

One BSF jawan was injured in the incident and is currently in hospital undergoing treatment. BSF has ordered an enquiry into these incidents. Bangladesh has also demanded for an inquiry into the incidents.

The Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP), signed between India and Bangladesh in July , envisages joint responsibility of both the BSF and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB).

This is 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.

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 spokesman said.

The Government of Bangladesh has been urged to take measures to restrict the movement of people along the border, especially during night hours.

Four Bangladeshis were killed in the incident three on Indian territory and one sucumbing to injureis in Bangladesh.

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