Border killing rises

During last one year, the number of people killed and tortured at the hands of Border Security Force (BSF) has increased threefold on Bangladesh-India border. In last 5 days, eight Bangladeshi nationals have been killed in BSF firing on the border region, putting the total number of Bangladeshis killed in this month to 15.

Six Bangladeshi citizens were killed on the Chapainawabganj border, and two other were killed at Thakurgaon and Lalmonirhat borders. In the meantime, some 10 were reportedly injured in BSF firing. More than 20 Bangladeshi shepherds are missing at these borders. Border sources have claimed that BSF had beaten the dead body of Chapinawabganj and killed two others who are still missing.

On Thursday, at least one Bangladeshi was shot dead by Indian Border Security Force BSF in the Hapuniya border area of Naogaon distruict. Naib Subedar Mokhlesur Rahman, the commander of BGB 16 Battalion said, “I heard about three firing by BSF. Among them, Mofizul Islam of Bangladesh died. Investigation is going on to find whether the other two died in India," he added.

Lieutenant Colonel Ariful Haque, commander of the BGB-16 Battalion said, a letter would be given for the flag meeting. According to local residents and district administration officials, in most cases, the casualties were caused while bringing cattle, drugs and weapons from India across the border.

Various intelligence agencies have also reported to the upper authorities expressing concern over widespread casualties at the border. Ain O Salish Kendra, a non-governmental organization working on human rights and legal aid, in a report stated that, 38 Bangladeshis have been killed in the hands of the BSF in India in 2019. Of them, 33 were shot dead and five were tortured to death.

This year, 39 were injured and 34 were arrested. Based on the information of some of the top newspapers of Bangladesh, the report was prepared by Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK). But just a year ago, the number of such fatalities in the border was only 14 in 2018. In just one year, the death toll has increased more than three times.

In this regard, Sheepa Hafiza, executive director of the Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) said, "The killing on the border has increased tremendously in one year. The border guards are firing when they see someone crossing the border. It has to be changed." She mentioned that, within the laws of both countries, these people are to be arrested and be brought under legal action. If the government forces of the two countries comply with this then it is possible to erode the problem

Hafiza, also cited such incidents as serious human rights violations. After the meeting of BSF and BGB general directors in Delhi in 2014 Bangladesh's demand justice for the assassination of Felani Khatun by BSF, there was an agreement to reduce the killings on the Indo-Bangladesh border.

Analysts say the political high-level decision, the regular meeting between the border forces at the zero post and the tendency to comply with the new decision at times can led to decrease in border killings. "We do not shoot Indians, but they (BSF) kill Bangladeshi people," said Munshi Faiz Ahmed, former ambassador and chairman of Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS).

Those who work at BSF usually stay far away from their homes. Because of which they are not emotionally happy. This is why they become ‘trigger happy’. Many people think that this is because they are under stress. That's one reason, he added. He further mentioned that, the second reason is that these BSF members have no control over those who under high ups control. Because of this, border killing is more frequent.

Earlier in June at, at a press conference on BGB-BSF Director General level border conference at Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) headquarters in Peelkhana. BSF Director General Rajinikanth Mishra has expressed concern over the killing of Bangladeshi in Indian border security forces firing at the border. However, he termed it "untimely death" not killing. He requested to find out the cause of 'undesired death' at the border.