20 Bangladeshis killed by BSF in 2015

Muktadir Rashid

At least 20 unarmed Bangladeshi civilians were killed and 29 were injured by the Indian Border Security Force along borders in the last five months, according to statistics available with rights organisation Odhikar.
Rights activists and experts on Wednesday urged the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina to discuss the issue of border killing in her talks with Idnian prime minister Narendra Modi during his visit in June 6-7.
The issue must be discussed in the prime minister-level talks as the border killing goes unabated despite repeated assurance from Indian authorities in different tiers, they told New Age.
‘Our expectation is that border killing would be discussed in the top level talks and Indian prime minister would make a formal announcement of bringing border killing to zero level,’ said rights defender Nur Khan Liton.
‘We also want an assurance of using no more lethal weapon by Indian security force,’ said Nur.
Rights watchdog Odhikar, in a statement, said, ‘No independent and sovereign country can passively watch its citizens being indiscriminately killed, tortured and abducted by another state.’
According to Odhikar statistics, the BSF had killed at least 20 Bangladeshis and injured 29 until May 31 in 2015 along the borders while 1,055 were killed and 948 were injured between January 1, 2000 and May 31, 2015.
Odhikar said that at least 15 incidents of rapes were reported in 15 years along the border.
Thirty-five Bangladeshis were killed and 68 were injured in 2014 while 29 were killed and 79 were injured in 2013, 38 were killed and 100 were injured in 2012, the statistics showed.
New Delhi had assured Dhaka of using non-lethal weapons in an unavoidable situation.
The Indian home minister Palaniappan Chidambaram in a conference in Dhaka on July 30, 2011 assured Bangladesh that the BSF would not shoot any unarmed civilians under any circumstances.
In December 2014, Indian BSF director general Devendra Kumar Pathak once again ‘promised’ that the border guards of the two neighbours jointly would try to put an end to the border killing.
Border Guard Bangladesh director general Major General Aziz Ahmed on Wednesday claimed that the number of killing incidents declined but it was yet to reach to zero level.
‘About 70 per cent of killings took place due to cattle trading…The issue of cattle trading should be discussed in the upcoming meeting between the two prime ministers without any hesitation,’ said Dhaka University international relations professor Imtiaz Ahmed.
He said, ‘We have to find out the root cause of the border killings and the prime ministers should look into it.’
India shares 4,165 kilometres of border with Bangladesh.

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