Bangladesh to investigate casualties in border fir
Dhaka: Bangladesh Wednesday said it would probe the deaths of four of its nationals along the border with India in the past two days, a day after two Bangladeshi cattle smugglers were allegedly shot dead by BSF.
"We will investigate the casualties. Appropriate action will be taken if it is found that they were killed deliberately," Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir told newsmen when asked about the death of the four Bangladeshis.
He said the government would also scrutinise if the existing agreements on frontier issues were violated by the Indian border guards.
The minister's comments came as Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) and police here claimed two people were killed in firing by Border Security Force (BSF) at northwestern Thakurgaon frontier yesterday while another two were killed earlier today in neighbouring Chapai Nawabganj border.
Acting Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Sandeep Chakravarty regretted the incidents.
"We are very sorry about this and it is a regrettable incident," Chakravarty told newsmen on the sidelines of a seminar on Bangladesh-India relations at Dhaka University.
He, however, said BSF often face attacks causing such incidents of counter firing "but whatever might be the reason, we are sorry for the loss of lives".
BGB commander of the region Major Muntasir Rahman said, "we have protested the killing in the flag meeting with BSF and they assured us about returning the bodies after autopsy."
The issue of deaths of Bangladeshis also appeared as a major agenda at the home secretary level meeting in New Delhi two months ago while Bangladesh and Indian officials earlier said BSF men were issued non-lethal weapons at certain points of the over 4,000-kilometre porous border to evade cross-border shootouts.
BSF also admitted the problem but said the situation was largely created by cross-border criminal elements.
BGB officials said 25 Bangladeshis were killed in BSF firing last year while protests were lodged with Indian authorities after every single incident.