BSF says only criminals killed | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 28, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 28, 2010

BDR Protests Killings on Border

BSF says only criminals killed


BDR and Indian BSF hold a DG level border conference at BDR headquarters in the city yesterday. Photo: Focus Bangla

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) Director General Raman Srivastava said yesterday people killed by BSF personnel in the bordering areas were 'criminals,' and almost half of them were Indian nationals.
“All these people are dying inside the Indian territory not in Bangladesh territory,” he said.
They move across the border in various ways at dead of night with certain motives such as smuggling. And BSF troops open fire without finding any alternative, Srivastava added.
The BSF chief made the remarks at a press briefing on conclusion of the six-day BDR-BSF conference at the Bangladesh Rifles headquarters at Pilkhana in the capital.
BDR Director General Maj Gen Md Rafiqul Islam however told the press briefing that they protested frequent shooting and killing of unarmed Bangladeshi people by BSF men.
At the conference, BDR focused on two specific issues--killing of Bangladeshi people along the border and smuggling, particularly of drugs which spoil the younger generation, Rafiqul Islam said.
And a list of smuggling points with pictures was handed over to his Indian counterpart, and he assured that steps would be taken in this regard, he mentioned.
Earlier on Sunday, the BDR and BSF exchanged two lists of criminals wanted in their respective countries, and believed to have been hiding across the frontiers.
BDR handed over a list of 63 criminals while BSF gave a list of 79.
At the press briefing, the BSF chief said they are taking steps to reduce incidents of shooting along the borders. “We are trying our best to minimise the problems and bring down the number of deaths…We have no desire to kill people,” he said.
Srivastava expressed concern over drug peddling, women and children trafficking and arms smuggling across the frontiers.
Terming the just concluded conference a success, the BSF chief, who led a 20-member delegation, said it would increase cooperation between border security personnel of the two neighbouring countries.
He urged journalists in Bangladesh to use the word 'death' instead 'killing' while reporting incidents of shooting in the bordering areas.
On the BSF proposal to impose night curfew along the Bangladesh border, the BDR chief said it is not possible at this point of time.
Rafiqul Islam, who headed a 22-member delegation, however said restrictions on movement along the border have already been imposed to avert unpleasant incidents.
Both the sides agreed to strengthen border patrol and exchange information to check cross-border crimes.
The BSF chief said the two sides agreed that the issue of exchange of adversely possessed land could be resolved by the Joint Border Working Group. It met in 2006 and its next meeting will be held in November this year.
Srivastava said, “We are going back with positive impression and this meeting will remain a landmark.”
Rafiqul Islam said the outcome of the conference is satisfactory.

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