One member of the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) was killed and another one or two injured during exchange of fire with Border Guard Bangladesh Bangladesh (BGB) after they illegally intruded in to Bangladesh territory by speedboat from India’s Murshidabad district.
Four members of the BSF’s 117 Battalion’s Kagmari camp illegally trespassed in to Charghat border area of Rajshahi, Bangladesh on 17 October 2019 at 2 pm.
Detailing the incident the 1 Battalion, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Commanding Officer Ferdous Ziauddin Mahmud mentioned his troops arrested 3 Indian fishermen from Shahriar Island area of the Padma river which is within 500 metres of Bangladesh territory near border pillar 75/3AS one kilometre West of the Charghat border outpost at 10 am on the same day.
Members of the BGB also seized 4 kg of hilsha and current net from the Indian fishermen who came from Murshidabad district of West Bengal. Two other Indian fishermen managed to escape.
Bangladesh has banned fishing for 21 days to conserve and increase hilsha fish in the area and BGB, like other law enforcement agencies of Bangladesh were tasked with enforcement of the ban.
After the occurrence a few hours later the Indian BSF from 117 Battalion entered Bangladesh on speedboat without permission and demanded the BGB release the arrested Indian fisherman. BGB told them in reply the Indian fisherman would be released through an official flag meeting after legal processes were complete however the BSF men started beating up the arrested Indian nationals under BGB’s custody. When BGB members tried to stop them the BSF shot 6 to 8 rounds of bullets at them. The BGB responded to the firing forcing the Indian border guardsmen to flee the area.
The two counterparts held a flag meeting at 5.50 pm at the Shahriar Island dam area and agreed to investigate the shooting incident.
Lt Colonel Ferdous Ziauddin Mahmud said the BSF side led by 117 Battalion Commandant K.S Mehta did not inform about the identities and ranks of the BSF personnel who were killed and injured during the incident.
Bangladesh Police has started a case and the process to transfer the arrested Indian nationals.
Indian government sources mentioned BSF head constable Vijay Bhan Singh was shot on the head, whilst the Boatman-Constable Rajvir Yadav received injuries to the right hand during the exchange of fire.
The BSF member expired before he could be taken to hospital however the other injured member received medical attention at Mursidabad Medical College and Hospital (MMCH) on the Indian side of the border.
Bangladesh’s Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said BGB and BSF were in communication over the incident at the highest level.
Meanwhile Indian media released wholly inaccurate account of the event going as far as claiming a “BSF Major” was killed even though the rank of “Major” does not exist within BSF’s organisational structure. They further claimed BGB fired without “any reason” though questions are raised as to why the Indian BSF intruded in to Bangladesh in the first place as no meeting was planned particularly not with non-officer level personnel.
Border Guard Bangladesh CO Lt Col Mahmud gave a full account of the event and clears the false narrative raised by BSF and Indian media following the incident.
Multiple eye witnesses claim the BSF contingent illegally intruded in to Bangladesh and behaved aggressively from the very beginning and attacked the BGB.