Border intruders won’t be shot, Delhi tells Dhaka

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

DHAKA - Delhi has reiterated its assurance to Dhaka that its Border Security Force (BSF) will not shoot at Bangladeshis crossing the border.

Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna gave the assurance to his Bangladeshi counterpart Dipu Moni when they met on the sidelines of a two-day meet of the SAARC foreign ministers in the Bhutanese capital Thimphu Monday.

Krishna told Moni that “adequate steps were being taken to address the issue”, official news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) reported.

At the home secretary-level talks held in Dhaka last month, India regretted a Jan 7 incident in which a teenage girl, Felani, who was crossing the border along with her family, was shot dead by the BSF.

The family was returning from Delhi and the incident occurred at the border near Kurigram, northeastern Bangladesh.

New Age newspaper Wednesday said tension mounted in Felani’s village in Kurigram district as the local unit of the ruling Awami League announced a rally at the venue where supporters of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) were scheduled to hold a rally to protest Felani’s killing.

“The local administration ordered a ban on gatherings in and around Felani’s house for today (Wednesday), fearing trouble,” the media report said.

Bangladeshi human rights body Odhikar claims that over 1,000 people have been shot dead by the BSF since 2001.

The BSF says its men shoot “in self defence” as intruders include armed men engaged in smuggling of humans, cattle, arms and drugs.

Filed under: Immigration, World

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