YET another Bangladeshi died at the hands of India’s Border Security Force in the Chakulia border in Chuadanga early Saturday. As New Age reported on Sunday, when a group of Bangladeshi cattle traders, including the victim, went to the border area, a BSF team caught the victim after a chase and beat him to death. As rights group Odhikar says, at least 29 Bangladeshis were killed in the Bangladesh-India border by BSF personnel and Indian citizens in 2016. Earlier, we referred several times to studies that said more than 1,000 Bangladeshis were killed in this manner in the past one decade. The BSF personnel, meanwhile, picked up two more Bangladeshi cattle traders from the Nitpur border in Naogaon the same morning, which is also a gross violation of human rights by the Indian force. According to Odhikar, the Indian border force also injured 36 Bangladeshis and abducted 22 more in 2016 in violation of all international norms and treaties. What is more unfortunate is that the government has so far failed to seriously take up the issue with its Indian counterpart despite repeated public protests at BSF shooting, killing, torturing and abducting unarmed Bangladeshi civilians in the border.
Not only that, in the face of mounting pressure from national and international rights groups, the Indian government and BSF high-ups pledged several times in the past few years to soon end killing in the Bangladesh-India border. They also pledged an end to BSF members using lethal weapons. But the Indian authorities have failed to deliver on either of the pledges till date while the Bangladesh government has failed to assert the issue at follow-up meetings between the two sides. As long as the Awami League government will continue with its India appeasement policy, which has so far made the government give concessions to India in exchange for almost nothing when it comes to negotiations between the two countries on various other disputes, there is no reason for hopes for a change in the situation. Regrettably, however, the government still appears to fail to understand the reality.
In any case, conscious sections of people need to come up with sustained protest against Indian attacks on Bangladeshi civilians in the border to stop menace. They need to realise that the border killing at hand took place on the day when Felani, a 13-year-old girl from Kurigram, had been shot dead by BSF members in the Anantapur border six years ago when she was returning home crossing the border fence in Bangladesh. In other words, it has been perpetrated with an aim to add insult to the injury of Bangladeshis, in general, who have been demanding justice for Felani’s families since 2011 only to become disappointed as the Indian authorities failed to live up to their promises over the issue.
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