India regrets deaths of Bangladeshis on border
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Last Updated: Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 12:31
New Delhi: India on Tuesday regretted the death of three suspected Bangladeshi criminals allegedly in firing by BSF personnel along the international border in West Bengal last week and said such incidents can be averted through joint collaborative efforts and mechanisms.

The External Affairs Ministry said the policy of restraint by BSF personnel has "emboldened criminal elements" who have stepped up their attacks to facilitate their illegal activities and asked Bangladesh to take measures to restrict the movement of people along the border especially during night hours.

"It is the view of the Government of India that illegal activities, which sometimes lead to regrettable loss of lives on both sides along the border, need to be addressed through joint collaborative efforts and mechanisms," MEA spokesman Vishnu Prakash said in a statement.

He was reacting to reports of the death of three Bangladeshi nationals as a result of firing on the Indian side in Govindpur in Malda district and Narayanganj in Coochbehar district of West Bengal on December 16 and 17.

Dhaka had lodged a strong protest with Indian authorities with regard to the incident and asked New Delhi to conduct an inquiry.

India proposes to continue to work closely with the Government of Bangladesh to maintain peace and harmony along the border, he said.

The Government of India regrets all incidents of deaths on the border, of Indian and Bangladesh nationals, he said, noting that the BSF has exercised "utmost restraint" and resorted to firing in self defence only in rare cases to prevent loss of lives along the border areas.

India has also taken various steps, including strict control on firing, introduction of non-lethal weapons, round-the-clock domination and intensive patrolling besides imposing night time restrictions on the movement of people in the border areas, he said.


First Published: Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 12:31

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