INDISCRIMINATE killing of Bangladeshis in the hands of India’s Border Security Force has further strained the diplomatic relationship between the two countries. In the first 11 months of 2017, as Ain O Salish Kendra says, 18 people were killed, 32 injured and 38 abducted by the Indian border guards. Border Guard Bangladesh data say, 936 Bangladeshis were killed in 2001–December 22, 2017 by the BSF and Indians. Bangladesh has repeatedly raised the issue with New Delhi, but the concerns seem to have fallen on deaf ears. Delhi has not reconsidered its shoot-to-kill policy and the latest victim of it, as New Age reported on Sunday, is a cattle trader in Lalmonirhat. A BSF patrol team also intruded into the Bangladesh territory and abducted a farmer in the Mogolhat border in Lalmonirhat. In both the incidents, Bangladesh guards have sent protest letters and demanded flag meetings. In the name of border control, the use of excessive force by the Indian guards demonstrates that New Delhi has no intention to cultivate a neighbourly, diplomatic relationship with Bangladesh.
In most of the meetings between directors general of border guards of both the countries, the issue of border death has been raised by Bangladesh. Despite Delhi’s assurance to stop such death, killing seems to continue apace. Officials in Dhaka say that cattle smuggling, intrusion and cutting down of barbed-wire border fence are some of the key reasons that help India to justify its fatal policy. It has also been discussed and agreed at different times that in case of any violation of border laws, non-lethal weapons will be used to pacify the violators. However, India does not only continue to use lethal forces but also becomes expressively violent in its treatment of unarmed Bangladeshis. In such a context, it was expected that the government would take a strict position and raise the of issue border killing with India effectively. However, successive governments in Bangladesh have always maintained an appeasement policy when it came to negotiating bilateral agreements with India. Particularly, the incumbent, not installed through proper elections in 2014, have been playing a subservient role. Inevitably, the political party in power has failed to resolve any of the unresolved issues, including border killing and due share of waters from any of the 54 cross-border rivers.
The political party in power, under the circumstances, must abandon its subservient and appeasement policy with India and sit at bilateral meetings with the sovereign interest of the nation in mind. It must raise the issue of border killing by the Indian border guards at international forums because the inhuman treatment of unarmed citizens and India’s intrusion into the sovereign territory of Bangladesh are a clear violation of international laws.
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