India regrets deaths of Bangladeshis on border

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.

PTI



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

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