Border firing ‘unfortunate’ | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 19, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:12 AM, October 19, 2019

Border firing ‘unfortunate’

Home minister says ‘misunderstanding’ to be resolved

Terming Thursday’s firing incident on Rajshahi’s Charghat frontier “unfortunate”, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan yesterday said the misunderstanding would be resolved through talks between the BGB and the BSF.

He made the comment while replying to reporters’ queries after a discussion at the Jatiya Press Club. 

The minister said there were some issues over Indian fishermen catching hilsa in the Padma and some members of the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) came on Thursday to talk about it.

He said the firing between the BGB and the BSF took place after the Indian border troops started going back without waiting for a flag meeting. In this, a BSF member was killed, he said. 

“This was an unexpected incident. The relationship between the BGB and the BSF is fantastic. We are all shocked by this sudden incident,” he said.

The minister also said the director generals of the two border forces were holding discussions on the matter.  “An accident took place and we believe it [the issue] will be resolved through talks between the two sides.”

BGB officials on Thursday said they tried to catch three Indian fishermen during a drive at the river inside Bangladesh territory in the presence of a fisheries department official. They detained one of the fishermen along with nets, while the two others fled.

Later, some BSF members entered around 650 yards inside Bangladesh territory. A BGB patrol team from Charghat stopped and told them that the fisherman would be handed to the BSF authorities through a flag meeting.

The BSF men then tried to take away the fisherman forcibly. At this, the BGB men told the BSF members that they too intruded into Bangladesh territory and that they would also be handed over through a flag meeting.

Panicked, the BSF members started rushing back to the Indian side along with the fisherman. As the BGB personnel tried to obstruct them, the BSF members opened fire, forcing the BGB team to fire back in self-defence.

Later at a flag meeting between the two sides, the BGB came to know that one BSF jawan was killed and another was injured, BGB officials said.

Quoting BSF officials, Indian media reported that Head Constable Vijay Bhan Singh died in the BGB firing while another border guard was injured.

Meanwhile, a case was filed against the Indian fisherman with Charghat police station yesterday for intrusion into Bangladesh and catching egg-carrying hilsa defying a government ban on the fishing.

The fisherman -- Pranab Mondol, 45, of Chhirachar village of India’s Murshidabad district -- was shown arrested in the case, said Samit Kumar Kundu, officer-in-charge of the police station.

Havildar Humayun Kabir, commander of Charghat border outpost under Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Battalion 1 in Rajshahi filed the case in connection with violation of the Control of Entry Act, 1952 and Protection and Conservation of Fish Act, 1950.

According to the case statement, the accused was caught red handed after he entered Bangladesh without any travel documents, the OC said.

The Indian fisherman was catching brood hilsa in the Padma in Charghat upazila defying the ban imposed on catching hilsa for its conservation, he said.

The OC said a Rajshahi court sent the arrestee to jail.

Yesterday’s discussion at the Jatiya Press Club was organised by Sampriti Bangladesh, a citizens’ platform.

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