Dhaka lodges protest with Delhi

The government on Sunday lodged a ‘strong protest’ with the Indian authorities ‘condemning’ the latest killings of Bangladesh nationals by the Border Security Force of the country in the frontier districts, the foreign ministry said in a news release.
Expressing its ‘disappointment’ that such killings took place despite firm assurances at the highest level of the Indian government against recurrence of such killings by the BSF, the government  also ‘urged’ the Indian side to conduct an inquiry into the incidents, it said.
Dhaka also requested New Delhi to take necessary steps to stop further killings, foreign ministry director general Shameem Ahsan said.
The government lodged the protest through a note verbal sent to the Indian authorities on Sunday afternoon, diplomatic sources said.
The BSF killed four Bangladeshis in the frontier districts of Kurigram, Dinajpur and Meherpur on Friday and Saturday despite repeated assurances by New Delhi not to open fire on unarmed civilians on the borders.
The foreign ministry mentioned in the news release about the killings of three people on Saturday.
The BGB director general, Major General Anwar Hossain, told New Age, ‘Besides the protest note to BSF headquarters in New Delhi, I personally phoned the DG BSF this morning expressing our deep concerns.’
‘The BSF chief once again assured me that they would maintain zero killing moto on the frontiers,’ he told New Age.
The BGB chief said the BSF authorities have sent an inquiry team to investigate the latest killings.
On early Saturday, Matiar Rahman, 20, and Tajul Islam, 26, were killed in BSF firing on the Katla border of Birampur upazila in Dinajpur.
The BSF on the day dragged away the bodies and they were yet to return those, said Major Tareque Iftekhar, acting commander of 40 Border Guard Battalion, on Sunday afternoon.
Following the battalion level meeting held on Sunday, the BSF authorities assured the BGB officials that they would hand over the bodies soon after the official formalities of the Indian police, Major Tareque told New Age.
BSF personnel shot dead Alamgir Hossain, 25, on Garakmandal border of Phulbari upazila in Kurigram on Saturday, the officials said.
New Age correspondent in Kurigram reported on Sunday that the victims’ family members demanded exemplary punishment of the BSF personnel involved in the killing.
In Meherpur, BSF personnel dragged away the body of Naharul Islam, 40, in Shewratala frontier area of Gangni upazila on Friday evening after he was found dead near the Indian barbwire fence.
The BGB officials on Sunday refuted that Naharul was shot dead but suspected he could have been strangulated.
The body was handed over to Bangladesh police on Sunday afternoon after the post mortem examination in India, lieutenant colonel Hamidunnabi Chowdhury, the commanding officer of Border Guard Battalion 32, told New Age.
The Indian home minister P Chidambaram at a conference in Dhaka on July 30 had assured Bangladesh that their border guards would not shoot any unarmed civilians under any circumstances.
Despite the assurance, the BSF killed at least 30 Bangladeshis, injured 58 and abducted 20 in the frontiers this year, according to rights groups.
The Indian force killed at least 33 Bangladeshis and injured 67 others last year along the borders while 36 were killed in 2009, 47 in 2008, 33 in 2007, 62 in 2006 and 104 in 2005.
Sultana Kamal, executive director of Ain o Salish Kendra, in a statement on Sunday expressed deep concern over the latest killings on the borders by BSF.
Bangladesh shares 4,165 kilometres of border stretch with India.
Major General Anwar, however, urged the frontier people to abide by the border formalities to avoid falling victims.

-With New Age input

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