Thursday, July 18, 2019 | ePaper

Border killings not acceptable by any means

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INDIA'S Border Security Force's new Director General Rajni Kant Mishra called the killings along the Bangladesh-India border as 'unfortunate deaths'. "They were killed during skirmishes between miscreants and the BSF men inside India. BSF personnel opened fire only when they had no alternatives left," he told a joint press briefing on the 48th BGB-BSF DG-level Conference that concluded on Saturday in Dhaka. Earlier, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Director General Major General Md Shafeenul Islam had expressed deep concern over the 'killings' of Bangladesh nationals in bordering areas.
As per Bangladesh Home Ministry's statistics, at least 302 Bangladeshis were killed by BSF between January 2009 and May 31, 2019. On the other hand, Bangladeshi Rights Group Odhikar recorded 414 deaths, 617 others injured and 484 abductions allegedly by BSF between January 2009 and December 2018.  In the first five months of this year eight Bangladeshis were killed while the number was three in 2018. It was 17 in 2017, 25 in 2016, 38 in 2015 while 24 in 2014. That means, BSF personnel are repeatedly killing Bangladeshi people every year.  
According to newspaper reports, BGB DG categorically pointed out that the number of killings increased in the first five months of this year in comparison to deaths in last year. 'As of now, it is eight this year,' he mentioned. However, both sides have agreed to undertake joint efforts to bring down the killings to zero by increasing coordinated patrols in the areas prone to cattle and drug or narcotics smuggling. They have also decided to educating the border population about the sanctity of the international borders and preventing criminals from crossing them.
We must say that border killings are a clear violation of human Rights and International Laws. These are also can be termed as extrajudicial killings. So terming the killings as 'unfortunate deaths' one can't justify the killings. Especially, a big force like BSF cannot keep its eyes closed when its highly-trained personnel were directly involved in these brutal murders. There are several laws to prosecute the law-breakers if allegations are proved against them. How could members of the armed force of a civilised country kill and torture unarmed civilians without any trial?   

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