Kolkata: The use of non-lethal weapons by the Border Security Force (BSF) has significantly brought down casualties along the porous India-Bangladesh border, but injuries to jawans have gone up, a senior official said on Sunday.
The strategy to open fire as the last resort, might have given a psychological advantage to criminals and insurgents operating along the border as they often corner jawans at night, B D Sharma, BSF`s Additional Director General (East), told reporters here.
According to statistics from the security force, 57 jawans were injured in 2010 while the figure shot up to 147 next year.
So far this year, 98 jawans have been injured while another one has lost his life while guarding the border.
Sharma said they were trying to minimise loss of lives along the 4000-kms-long border by adding a more human touch to their role.
"From border guarding, we are moving to border management. We fire only as the last resort measure. We have introduced thumb grenades, illumination bombs and pump action guns which has shown tremendous results in reducing casualties," he said.
From 93 deaths in 2009, the figure had nosedived to 17 last year. In the first eight months of the current year, 16 people lost their lives in firing by BSF jawans, he said.
While illegally crossing the border, infiltrators from both sides are killed in firing by the BSF.