BGB-BSF Shooting

An unfortunate incident, says home minister

Staff Correspondent

19 October, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Friday termed the exchange of gunshots between Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) on Rajshahi border as an ‘unfortunate incident’.

He said, “Bangladesh shares a very cordial relation with India. But, this is an accident. We are shocked at this”.

The minister said the chiefs of both the forces are holding discussions to resolve the ‘misunderstanding’.

He was speaking following a discussion arranged marking the 56th birthday of Sheikh Russell at Jatiya Press Club in the capital on Friday.

Presided over by cultural personality Pijush Bandyopadhyay, the discussion was attended by Islamic University vice–chancellor Professor Harun-Ur-Rashid Askari, among others. 

The home minister said the incident of firing happened when BSF troops crossed the border on an apprehension that an Indian fisherman was caught by BGB members for violating the ongoing ban on hilsa fishing in the Padma River and began to head back without a holding a flag meeting.

According to BGB, the border guards tried to catch three fishermen during a drive on the river in presence of a fisheries department official.

They detained one of them along with nets while two others fled away.

At this stage, four BSF troopers illegally crossed the border to rescue the fisherman.

But when the BGB offered for a discussion for release of the fisherman at a flag meeting, the BSF men opened fire in a bid to snatch away the detainee.

The BSF later claimed at a flag meeting with the BGB that an Indian border guard died and another was injured in the incident that happened around 10:40 am along the Padma River, according to Rajshahi BGB Battalion-1.

Citing a BSF statement, Indian media outlets reported that Head Constable Vijay Bhan Singh died in the BGB firing while another border guard was injured.

Asked about the matter, Asaduzzaman Khan said, “This was an unfortunate incident. The BGB and the BSF have fantastic relations. We are all shocked by this sudden accident.”

“The directors general of BGB and BSF are having discussions. We believe this was an accident and it will be resolved through talks between the two sides.”

Meanwhile, BGB has started two cases against Indian fisherman Pranab Mandal with Rajshahi’s Charghat police.

He has been charged with illegally entering the Bangladeshi territory and flouting the ban on fishing in the Padma River during the hilsa breeding season, said the police station’s officer-in-charge (OC) Samit Kumar Kundu.

The fisherman, who is a resident of India’s Murshidabad, was sent to jail on Friday over the cases, the OC said.