The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bullets fly on border

Silchar, Aug. 22: A gunbattle between the BSF and the BDR (Bangladesh Rifles) near Leverputa border outpost of the BSF this morning has heightened tension along the Indo-Bangladesh border.

The BSF sources today said the exchange lasted for around 12 minutes, during which either side fired about 20 rounds. Sources confirmed that there was no report of any casualty on the Indian side. Reports reaching the block’s headquarters, Kathigorah, mentioned that at least two Bangladeshi civilians had died in the exchange of fire.

The BSF said the tension followed a dispute when a group of Bangladeshi farmers, prodded by the BDR, started to till a plot of land across the Surma river on the side of the border with Bangladesh opposite Leverputa village this morning. This plot of land has been dubbed as under “adverse possession” of India after the Surma river changed course following widespread erosion on the Indian side, which led to surfacing of the land on the Bangladesh side.

The BSF objected to it asking the peasants to vacate the strip of land and go back. But, sources said the Bangladeshis kept on farming the land, compelling the BSF to open fire. The BDR then retaliated but later stopped after the BSF intensified their attack.

Sources also revealed that the BSF troops had been placed on alert in Karimganj district’s border with Bangladesh, particularly in the Bhanga enclave.

 The situation along the border today has been described by the BSF as tense but peaceful. The BSF sources regretted that there has not been much improvement along the border even as the two sides decided to hold fire at a flag meeting between the border troops of both the countries at Harinagar camp of the BSF on August 13.

Sources at the border today confirmed the existence of a war-like situation, with the BSF digging a number of bunkers at Pirnagar, Mahadevpur and Natanpur after the BDR started digging trenches along its border villages.

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