BSF killed 47 along Bangladesh border in 2007
Kolkata | October 30, 2007 2:05:07 PM IST
The Border Security Force (BSF) have this year shot dead 47 people along the border with Bangladesh with most of the firings taking place at night, says Director General A.K. Mitra.
Mitra, who returned Monday from a biannual border conference in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka, said 95 percent of the deaths had taken place during the night.
He rubbished claims of a Bangladeshi organisation, Adhikar, that the BSF had gunned down 97 innocent Bangladeshi nationals this year alone.
"If they (those killed by BSF) were common people what were they doing near the fences at night? If our boys find somebody with suspicious activity near the fence and fire at him, I don't think they have made any mistake."
The incidence of fence cutting along the Indo-Bangladesh border has risen by 21 percent over past few years, Mitra said at a press conference.
India and Bangladesh share a 4,096-km land and riverine border, of which 2,216 km are along the state of West Bengal.
"Adhikar has emerged as an anti-Indian set-up which is run by former Bangladeshi military men. I admit there are incidents of firing at the border but all these allegations of Adhikar are not true," he added.
Referring to trans-border crime, Mitra said the border guards of both nations -- BSF and the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) -- discussed issues like cattle and food grains smuggling, counterfeit currency circulation and infiltration during the border coordination conference held Oct 24-29 in Dhaka.
He said a joint-mechanism to curb these cross-border crimes was being worked out.
According to Mitra, while there is no clinching evidence that a terror route has been established between India and Bangladesh through Kolkata, the BSF have arrested 14 people this year from the Indo-Bangladesh border. They were found to have connections with Pakistani terrorist outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed.
"From 1972 onwards, about 1.25 million Bangladeshi nationals came to India through the Banapole-Petrapole border but didn't go back," Mitra said.
The BSF also seized counterfeit Indian currency worth Rs.500,000 from the border area this year, he said.
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