Two people were reportedly killed while one was injured in incidents in which Indian border guards opened fire in Chapainawabganj and Jashore yesterday. 

In the incident reported from Chapainawabganj’s Shibganj upazila, Royal Rahman and Saddam Hossain Patal got shot after they intruded into Indian territory via Wahedpur border during the wee hours. Both were 25. 

Locals said members of the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) of Nurpur camp opened fire on a group of cattle traders who crossed the border to bring cattle. Among them, Royal of Dobhagi village and Saddam of Monoharpur village died on the spot.

Their associates brought back the bodies and buried them secretly, the locals told this paper.

The Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) is yet to confirm the matter.

“BGB is yet to get any evidence. We are looking into the matter,” said Maj Ekhlesur Rahman, deputy commander of BGB 53 battalion in Chapainawabganj.  

Shikdar Moshiur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Shibganj Police Station, said a police team visited the houses of Royal and Saddam but their families said they were away for work. 

Israfil Hossain, 32, got shot when BSF opened fire at Putkhali frontier in Jashore’s Benapole early yesterday. BGB men admitted him to Jashore General Hospital around 9:45am, said Lt Col Imran Ullah Sarker, commanding officer of BGB 21 battalion in Jashore.

He said, “Indian BSF opened fire on 3/4 cattle smugglers near Benapole frontier around 4:00am. Israfil of Chhotoanchra village got injured. A case was lodged in this connection.”  

Israfil got shot in his left leg but was out of danger, said Dr Amio Das, medical officer at Jashore General Hospital. 

BSF members from Angrail camp shot Israfil when he was returning home with cows, Israfil’s father in-law Noor Islam told this paper.

The Indian BSF has killed 294 Bangladeshi nationals in the last 10 years, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told the parliament yesterday.    

Responding to question from M Harunur Rashid, BNP lawmaker in Chapainawabganj-3 constituency, he said that the BGB was putting in best efforts to stop the killings.   

He added that the government was taking necessary diplomatic steps. “BSF has also agreed to bring down the number to zero. The killings have reduced drastically compared to last year.”     

Citing statistics, he said at least 66 Bangladeshi nationals were killed on the Bangladesh-India border in 2009, 55 in 2010, 24 each in 2011 and 2012, 18 in 2013, 24 in 2014, 38 in 2015, 25 in 2016, 17 in 2017 and three in 2018.   

Responding to a query by Ashim Kumar Ukil, lawmaker in Netrokona-3 constituency, Kamal said BGB had taken various steps to build confidence among the residents of border areas and the border guards of the neighbouring countries. 

BGB had marked 328-kilometre area as “sensitive” where modern cameras would be set up gradually, said the home minister.

India and Bangladesh share a 4,053 km long border.    

(Our Benapole correspondent and staff correspondent in parliament contributed to this report)

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