Border Killings

An epic saga of broken promises written in blood

Nusrat Jahan Pritom

7 July, 2020 12:00 AM printer

An epic saga of broken promises written in blood

A Bangladeshi youth was shot dead by members of Indian Border Security Force (BSF) in the border area of Bahadurpur in Benapole early Friday. Deaths around border are something that happens very often. Bangladesh and its neighbouring country India share around 4,095 kilometer border. While this is a point of silence in most days, time and again blood is smeared on its grounds. It’s also a place of unrest at times for cattle smuggling, cross border firing and mainly people who try to illegally traverse to the other land through the border. Back in June, BSF had picked up a Bangladeshi man in Kurigram order. Identified as Hazrat Ali, the detainee along with 20 others cattle traders were illegally trying to cross the border when they were caught by BSF.

According to a press statement issued by Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) last June, BSF firing had killed 17 people and injured 12 in between January to June 16.  The organization had also expressed deep their concerns over the death of Bangladeshis at the hands of BSF in the border areas.  The press release further added, “Such behavior from a friendly and neighbouring country is unacceptable. This kind of torture and killing is actually creating bitterness and mistrust between the people of both countries.” ASK hopes that the Bangladesh government will soon take necessary strong diplomatic efforts with the Indian government to stop such killings and torture.

However, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen early of this year had said that the Indian high commissioner was told that the incidents of border killings are disgraceful for both the countries. “"We have remained very alert about border killings. Whenever any killings are reported, we call the Indian High Commissioner and placed our protest as to why these incidents were occurring. The border killing incidents, in particular, have increased manifold in this year,” added the foreign minister.

According to statistics, over 300 Bangladeshis have been killed by BSF over the last 10 years. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal had told the parliament in mid July, 2019 that at least 66 Bangladeshi nationals were killed on the Bangladesh-India border in 2009 while 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. From the reports, we can easily say that at least 43 people had been killed in 2019 and 17 more from the beginning of 2020 till mid-June.

From the reports published in different newspapers and statistics of other years, we can conclude by saying that about 1,530 Bangladeshis had been killed by BSF since 1972. One of the worst violations of human rights, may be, occurred in January 2011 when BSF shot a 15-year-old girl named- Felani. Not only that, they also hang dead body of the unfortunate from barbwires made headlines around the world.