I have said it before that the illegal border trades and the involvement of the border security forces in the smuggling are the key causes for the India-Bangladesh border strifes. We have seen trigger happy Indian border security forces (BSF) killing one Bangladeshi every five days on the charge of trespassing Indian borders.
Yesterday the BSF intruders into Bangladeshi soil maintained their legacy by killing two Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) jawans. The Daily Star reports:
BDR officials said BSF guards opened fired on their personnel when they challenged the latter for illegally entering about 1,300 yards into Bangladesh territory shortly after Thursday midnight.Now we will look at the contrast of reports in different news sources:
A group of BSF guards from Neemtita camp under Murshidabad district entered Bangladesh crossing the River Padma on a speedboat and walked over a risen shoal to Raghunathpur village of Durlobhpur union under Shibganj upazila near pillar No 110.
Being informed, a patrol team of BDR from Raghunathpur border post led by Habilder Abdul Hannan Sarker rushed to the village and challenged the intruding BSF men for violating the line of control, reported our Chapainawabganj correspondent.
Two BSF bullets hit Hannan while six hit Lance Nayek Krishnopodo Saha as BSF men suddenly opened fire on them, killing them instantly. The bodies were recovered from a pool of blood. "Blood marks were also on the trail of BSF men's escape path." said Ataul Ghani, a villager.
Immediately after the killings, BDR retaliated with full force trading over 200 rounds of shots with BSF for about an hour.
"BSF intruded illegally and opened fire without any provocation," Director (Operation and Training) of BDR Col Abdul Halim told a hurriedly arranged news briefing at BDR Headquarters in Dhaka.
"In the face of BDR's counter attack, the BSF men fled leaving their speedboat behind," Halim said adding that they also arrested an Indian national from the spot.
"We've been informed that a BSF member also died in the gunfight," he told reporters. "The incident could have been prevented had the BSF not opened fire."
India said its troops had been chasing cattle smugglers and that both sides' forces had traded heavy fire. One Indian soldier was seriously injured.The Statesman:
Locals said Indian troops had opened fire on the cattle smugglers, perhaps without informing the Bangladeshi border force.
Two jawans belonging to Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) were shot dead by a BSF constable near Nimtita border outpost in Murshidabad last night while they were allegedly escorting a group of cattle smugglers to Bangladesh.AP:
The clash occurred when an Indian border patrol vessel tried to prevent cattle from being smuggled into Bangladesh on a boat, said Ashish Kumar Mitra, the head of India's Border Security Force.ExpressIndia:
The Indian forces were monitoring the boat in the pre-dawn darkness when they were fired upon without warning, Mitra said.
Col. Mohammad Abdul Halim (of BDR) said the Indian Border Force patrol boat entered Bangladeshi waters and when a Bangladeshi Rifles vessel challenged them to leave, the Indians opened fire.
The Bangladesh Rifles arrested an Indian citizen, Anjam Hossain, and seized a boat at the scene.
District Magistrate (of Murshidabad) Subir Bhadra said the BDR opened fire when cattle were being smuggled to Bangladesh near Nimtita area of the district.ExpressIndia in an another article:
The BSF retaliated after an Indian border guard was injured in the BDR firing, Bhadra said.
According to the BSF, four teams of their personnel were monitoring the river around midnight when a large number of cattle were spotted swimming in the river. BSF jawan R K Pande found himself surrounded by a dozen boats while he was trying to bring the cattle towards the Indian side. “It was dark and before the jawan could make any move, Pande was fired upon,” Murlidhar said. The two sides then exchanged fires. Pande, who had sustained bullet injuries with his right toe blown off, meanwhile, managed to reach another border outpost.Thaindian News reports that Pande fired first:
BSF Inspector General (South Bengal) C.V. Murlidhar told IANS that BSF constable R.K. Pande was on night patrolling when he saw a few people smuggling out some cattle through the riverine border.China View:
“In an attempt to stop the cattle from going to the other side of the fence, he opened fire targeting the smugglers in the dark. Pande also sustained two bullet injuries in his legs during the gun battle. He’s now admitted to a hospital in a critical condition,” Murlidhar said.
The senior official who asked not to be named said the Indian BSF entered the Bangladesh territorial water last night while chasing some smugglers by speed boats in the Padma river, one of the three biggest rivers in Bangladesh.Sify.com reports:
As a BDR patrol team challenged, the Indian BSF opened fire killing two Bangladeshi border guards on the spot. BDR made counter fire forcing the Indian BSF to retreat
The BDR had no business to be there at such hours.Now you see people may easily be distracted by all these news as almost none of them are telling the true story. Now can we summarize the important information from the above?
Besides infiltration from the Bangladesh side, cattle smuggling from India is common, primarily for beef in Muslim-majority Bangladesh.
India prohibits cattle exports, as beef consumption is frowned upon by the country's majority Hindu population.
* Many reports confirmed that the Indian patrol boat entered Bangladesh territory (1300 yrds to be precise). The boat was seized along with an Indian citizen. He is a prime witness to this.
* BSF claimed that they were chasing cattle smuggler. "BSF jawan R K Pande found himself surrounded by a dozen boats while he was trying to bring the cattle towards the Indian side." Well I thought it was the smugglers we were taking about not the cattle. Why were they protecting the cattle?
* In border region the norm is that the forces challenge any trespasser before shooting. BDR said they challenged the intruding BSF men for violating the line of control and they were shot in return. BSF commented "the BDR had no business to be there at such hours" - seemingly they did not anticipate BDR intervention to what they were doing in Bangladesh waters.
* Was the BDR men helping the smugglers as per BSF's suggestion? But wait we also get the report in Express India "BDR opened fire when cattle were being smuggled to Bangladesh". Quite confusing.
* Indian troops had opened fire on the cattle smugglers, perhaps without informing the Bangladeshi border force. - In any logic how can you unprovocatively shoot in a foreign territory on suspicion? Do they have authority to kill on their will? Does the country have any law of shooting alleged criminals (who determines who is guilty?) at sight?
* The Indian forces were monitoring the boat in the pre-dawn darkness when they were fired upon without warning. The BSF retaliated after an Indian border guard was injured in the BDR firing - We are back to the who fired first issue and the Indian newspaper reports are quite contradictory (Pande shot first or was fired upon?).
* India prohibits cattle exports, as beef consumption is frowned upon by the country's majority Hindu population. - Well if it was legalized all these men would not have died.
All of these proves that we need some authentic pieces of journalism to understand these kinds of incidents. Apparently some people are hiding something here and we are getting provocative news reports which are anything other than the truth.
Update: BSF kills two more Bangladeshis n Chougachha border in Jessore Saturday, a day after two BDR members were killed by Indian border guards:
"Rezaul Islam and Zainal Abedin were near the barbed wire fencing in Panchpirtala border area around 5am. At the time, BSF members from Moshrumpur border opened fire on them.
BDR Jadavpur company commander Mosharraf Hossain alleged that the BSF had killed the two Bangladeshi youths without any "provocation"