Killings at the hand of the Indian Border Security Force continued with at least four new such deaths reported in Naogaon and Jashore on Thursday, prompting the Border Guard Bangladesh to send a protest note to their Indian counterpart.
On Thursday early hours, the BSF shot to death three villagers of the Nitpur union of the Porsha upazila under the Naogaon district along the district’s border with India.
Of them, Mofijul Islam, 35, of village Dighipara, was found dead inside the Bangladesh territory while the bodies of Ranajit Kumar, 25, of Bishnupur and Kamal Hossain of Katapukur were lying in India territory, Nitpur union parishad chairman Shah Mohammad Abul Kalam told New Age.
The New Age correspondent in Jashore reported that BSF personnel of the Banyabaria camp tortured a Bangladeshi, Hanif Khoka, 32, after picking him up from the Agrabhulat border under the Sharsha upazila.
Hanif died at about 2:00pm on Wednesday, his family said on Thursday.
Security analysts expressed their concern over the border killings, saying that the Indian leaderships should abide by their commitment to bring the number of such killings to zero for desirable bilateral relations.
Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan at a programme in the capital later in the day said that the BGB chief had already sent a protest note to his Indian counterpart and the Bangladesh foreign ministry would also protest the killings.
The BGB headquarters stated that so far nine people were killed by the BSF this month.
BGB spokesperson and director (operations) Lieutenant Colonel Mohiuddin Ahmed on Thursday evening said that the protest over the killings was conveyed to the BSF at a battalion-level flag meeting between the two forces under way on the Naogaon border.
The fresh round of shootings on the border by the BSF started on January 8 a week after the border forces of India and Bangladesh held directors general-level talks between December 25 and 30, 2019 in New Delhi.
Over the BGB concerns at killings of Bangladesh nationals on the border, the Indian side at the talks had assured that ‘the non-lethal weapon policy is strictly followed by the BSF personnel on the border.’
Rights organisation Ain o Salish Kendra stated that seven Bangladeshis were killed on the border by BSF personnel until January 22.
Over the border killings, retired ambassador M Humayun Kabir, also the acting president of Bangladesh Enterprise Institute, said that it was a matter of concern.
He mentioned that border killings had gone down earlier but saw in increase in last two weeks.
Humayun hoped that the leaderships of the two neighbouring countries, especially India, would stick to their commitment to bring the number of fatalities to zero and would gear up their efforts to this end.
In Naogaon, the Nitpur UP chairman said that BSF members killed the three persons near the 231/10 (S) main pillar along the Duarpal frontier of the Porsha upazila at about 3:00am when a group of Bangladeshi cattle traders were returning from India to Bangladesh with Indian cows.
Porsha police station officer-in-charge Md Shahinur Rahman, at about 2:30pm, said that local people informed them about the deaths by BSF shooting and that they were yet to reach the border area where the deaths occurred.
About the border killing in Jashore, Lieutenant Colonel Manzur-E-Elahi, the commanding officer of 21 Border Guard Battalion, said that BSF personnel picked up Hanif Khoka and took him to their camp as he tried to cross the border fence on January 20 morning.
He died at the Bangaon Hospital at around 2:00pm on Wednesday and the body was kept there.
Local union parishad member Tabibar Rahman said that Hanif died due to the BSF torture.
Another rights body Odhikar said that 1,144 Bangladeshis were killed by BSF members between 2000 and 2018 while ASK said that 43 other Bangladeshis were killed alone in 2019.
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