India on Tuesday claimed its Border Security Force opened fired in ‘self defence’ that resulted in killings of three Bangladesh nationals involved in ‘illegal activities’.
However, India regrets all incidents of death of Bangladesh and Indian nationals on the border of the two countries, Indian external affairs ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The country requested Bangladesh to take measures to restrict the movement of its people along the border, especially in night, to avoid incidents of death along the border.
‘The government of India regrets all incidents of death on the border of Indian and Bangladesh nationals,’ the official spokesperson of the external affairs ministry said, according to Indian high commission in Dhaka.
India made the statement in the wake of incidents of firing by BSF personnel resulting in the death of three Bangladesh nationals along the border in Kurigram and Dinajpur districts on December 16 and 17.
The spokesperson said India had 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 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,’ the statement read.
A number of attacks have been recorded on BSF personnel and posts along the India-Bangladesh border over the last few months, it claimed.
‘In the recent incident at Malda [opposite to Kurigram of Bangladesh], 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,’ India claimed.
‘In the other incident at Coochbehar [opposite to Dinajpur of Bangladesh], 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,’ it stated.
Both incidents took place 200 to 250 metres from the international boundary inside Indian territory, New Delhi claimed.
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 spokesperson added.
-With New Age input