New Delhi: Noting that the BSF is being
exercising maximum restraint along the Indo-Bangla border, the
chief of the force on Thursday warned that his troops will fire if
criminals dare them.
"If despite their (BSF personnel) efforts (of exercising
restraint) they get into a situation where they are threatened
and their life is in danger, then they will use the force
available with them to save their lives or the lives of their
companions. That means they will fire," BSF Director General
Utthan K Bansal said in an interview here.
The BSF chief, however, made it clear that firing will be
the last resort and that the force has put in a number of
measures to avert any casualty.
"They (BSF personnel) will fire with the available
weapon...it may be a non-lethal weapon, it may be a lethal
weapon...every patrol company will have both the weapons but
if a person is under attack and he is holding a rifle he will
fire from his rifle.
"Even that firing he will do as far as possible with an
intent not to kill but if the casualty occurs...we will have
to tolerate it as an inescapable alternative," the DG said.
The issue is expected to be deliberated in the meeting
between Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and his Bangladeshi
counterpart Shahara Khatun, who is beginning her three-day
visit to India from today.
"It gives me no pleasure in killing any civilians. We
have the best of relations with Bangladesh. We want to improve
those relations...but we certainly cannot sacrifice the lives
of our officers and men and we also have to complete our
mandate which is border guarding and, therefore, we are trying
to strike a difficult balance between completing our task with
as little force as possible," Bansal said.