THE latest round of bi-annual talks between the countries has just concluded in New Delhi. The press comments made by the two director generals talk of substantive issues like border killings, illegal border crossing and smuggling, and about the speeding up of trial of Felani, picture of whose gruesome killing by BSF still haunts us.
As for the retrial we would hope that the committment would be followed up on ground so that justice is not denied. However, the two sides have to address the underlying causes of the yet large number of deaths by BSF firing at the border. Although the count has come down, but even 28 killed in a year is we believe, given the friendly aura that exists between the two countries, is 28 too many
We believe the first precondition is that those who man the border must understand its unique nature. Added to that is the fact that the fence on the Indian side of the border, compounds the confusion about the exact location of the border. And in this regard too we have to take issue with the BSF DG that contrary to his statement that firing is done as extreme measure, it appears to us that it is not so. Very few, if any, of those killed have ever been found with lethal weapons on them.
A more sensitive approach is needed to mange our border. We would hope that the number of deaths in the border would come down to zero by the time the two border guard chiefs meet the next time.