BSF shoots Bangladeshi national in cattle row in Nadia
The Border Security Force (BSF) gunned down a Bangladeshi national on the India-Bangladesh border in Nadia early on Monday, terming it as retaliatory fire to an attack by cattle smugglers.
BSF and local sources said that on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday, two groups of cattle smugglers — one each from India and Bangladesh — gathered at Maluapara village close to an unfenced stretch of border.
Multiple sources said smugglers on the Indian side gathered with cattle heads near the border road, the final line of domination of the BSF, for the Bangladeshi smugglers to receive the animals.
A spokesperson for BSF’s South Bengal Frontier in Calcutta said: “As Bangladeshi smugglers aggressively moved towards their Indian counterparts, our personnel asked them to stop. They continued to approach fast by hurling stones at our personnel. BSF jawans adopted non-lethal measures to disperse them. But both groups of smugglers increased hurling stones at our personnel and attacked them with sharp-edged weapons. The BSF team was compelled to fire only two rounds from the lethal weapon in which a Bangladeshi smuggler was killed and others managed to flee.”
This happened amid a growing demand by Bangladesh authorities for the BSF to use non-lethal weapons while guarding the border.
Early this year, Bangladeshi foreign minister A.K. Abdul Momen urged the BSF to use non-lethal weapons during border vigilance and had identified areas where people from his country died in firing by the security forces.
The BSF authorities of South Bengal Frontiers reaffirmed its commitment to honour the understanding reached with their counterparts in Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) for use of non-lethal weapons such as pipe action guns (PAG) and slingshots (locally known as gulti).
The body of the Bangladeshi smuggler was later handed over to Bhimpur police for post-mortem. BSF authorities also filed a case with the police.