The Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen yesterday warned Indian Border Security Force (BSF) not to kill Bangladeshi civilians on the border. This comes as three Bangladeshi citizens were lynched by Indian citizens from Assam on the Bangladesh-India frontier.
India’s BSF has continued to use military weapons against Bangladeshi citizens of the border killing dozens of Bangladeshi civilians annually against international law. In some cases they trespassed in to Bangladesh’s territory and abducted Bangladeshi citizens later claiming the Bangladeshis intruded in to India.
The BSF also sometimes attempts to push-in Muslim Indian citizens as well as those from Myanmar in to Bangladesh but have faced strong resistance from the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) against such moves.
BSF is engaged in large scale smuggling of Phensidyl (a banned codeine based cough syrup) and Yaba amphetamines of the border however their biggest business comes from earning commission through cattle trade in which Indian traders pass cattle through the Bangladesh-India border with understanding from BSF authorities. Sometimes if there is a disagreement regarding commissions BSF hits out at the cattle traders branding them as “smugglers”.
Bangladesh has stopped importing Indian cattle as local farmers have successfully addressed requirements ahead of important Muslim religious festivals.
Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) identified hotspots where Bangladeshi’s have been repeatedly killed by BSF. To address the rising deaths of Bangladeshi citizens the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) is beefing up presence in those locations.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen added “The BSF needs to be more careful while enforcing law in the border areas. They can arrest and bring our citizens to us if they are found violating law but killing our nationals is not welcome”. He urged them to use non-lethal weapons in accordance with border agreements between the two countries.
Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) is reinforcing its positions across the border with India and Myanmar to ensure a strong deterrence against any misadventure by the border forces of the neighbouring countries.
In recent months BGB has been equipped with helicopters, all-terrain patrol vehicles, armoured personnel carriers, anti-tank guided missiles, sniper rifles, machine guns, medium mortars and newer assault rifles.
BGB is also constructing border fences and ring roads, lighting, surveillance towers and digital monitoring stations on the border with India and Myanmar.
It is also increasing its manpower strength and establishing another border guard training centre in the north of the country to ensure adequate supply of capable troops. A special border intelligence unit, riverine battalions and Special Forces have been raised to strengthen the border security of Bangladesh.
Unless killings of Bangladeshi nationals are halted the relations between the two neighbouring countries will continue to worsen. Bangladeshi minister have in recent months cancelled all visits to India over the Modi administrations aggressive policies against Bangladesh. Up until recent months India could have safely counted Bangladesh as one of its closest allies.