BSF kills 294 B’deshis in 10 years: minister

Rights group says actual death figure much higher

Staff Correspondent | Published: 17:48, Jul 11,2019 | Updated: 23:45, Jul 11,2019

 
 

BSF members are seen patrolling along the India-Bangladesh border. — UNB file photo

Indian Border Security Force have killed 294 Bangladeshis along Bangladesh-India frontiers in the past 10 years, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan told parliament on Thursday.

Rights groups monitoring border situation, however, said the actual number of border killings was much higher than the official statistics.

Responding to a question of Bangladesh Nationalist Party MP M Harunur Rashid, the home minister told the house that Border Guard Bangladesh was putting its highest efforts to control the border killing and the government was also taking necessary diplomatic steps in this regard.

The minister said at least 66 Bangladeshis were killed in 2009, 55 killed in 2010, 24 killed in 2011, 24 killed in 2012, 18 killed in 2013, 24 in 2014, 38 killed in 2015, 25 killed in 2016, 17 killed in 2017 and three were killed in 2018.

The minister also said that the BSF had also agreed to completely stop the border killing and incidents of killing already decreased in recent years.

Responding to a question by treasury bench MP Ashim Kumar Ukil, the minister said that the authorities detected 328 kilometre areas on the frontier as ‘sensitive’ and taken necessary steps to install modern cameras under its surveillance system.

Rights group Odhikar recorded 414 deaths, 617 injuries and 484 abductions allegedly in the hands of Indian border force between January 2009 and December 2018.

Between January and March this year, at least seven Bangladeshis were shot dead by the BSF, Odhikar said, adding that two other Bangladeshis were either shot dead or injured.

Bangladesh shares 4,053 kilometres of border with India.

BSF director general Rajni Kant Mishra, at a news conference after the 48th Bangladesh-India director general-level border conference in Dhaka on June 14, called the killings along the Bangladesh-India border as ‘unfortunate deaths’ inside India during ‘skirmishes’ between miscreants and the border force.

‘You use the word “killings”. I do say “unfortunate deaths” during skirmishes between criminals or miscreants and the border-guarding forces including the BSF,’ Rajni Kant said.

Both Indian and Bangladeshi rights activists criticised the BSF chief for defining ‘killings’ as ‘unfortunate deaths.’

Ain o Salish Kendra said that ‘border killings’ were a clear violation of human rights and international laws.

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