Bangladesh summons Indian envoy to protest border killing

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

DHAKA - Ahead of bilateral talks between their officials Tuesday, Bangladesh summoned the Indian high commissioner to lodge a formal protest against the Indian border force allegedly killing a girl crossing the border with her family.

Indian High Commissioner Rajit Mitter was summoned to the foreign office Monday for a formal protest. Dhaka termed it a “brutal and senseless killing”.

Felani, 15, was entangled in a barbed wire fence erected along the border Jan 7. She was returning from Delhi with her father Nurul Islam Nuru to their village home in South Ramkhana, under Nageswari sub-district in Kurigram district, New Age said Tuesday.

Bangladesh’s acting foreign secretary Mostafa Kamal gave Mitter a note of protest against the killing of Felani by India’s Border Security Force (BSF).

Mitter said he would convey the concerns of the Bangladesh government to the “appropriate authorities”.

Besides “killing of innocent people by BSF”, security, demarcation of border, construction of military ware at the international border, simplifying of visas and a host of other issues are to figure at the three high official level meetings of Bangladesh and India that began Tuesday.

Dhaka objects to India erecting barbed wire fencing and lighting up the area.

The home secretaries will lead the talks on the border management Wednesday.

Prior to that, two official bodies, bilateral Joint Working Group (JWG) and Joint Boundary Working Group (JBWG) began deliberations simultaneously Tuesday.

The agenda includes incidents of firing on the border; action against fundamentalists, militants and insurgent groups, review of action taken to check smuggling of arms, ammunition and explosives, drugs, fake currency notes and enhancement of cooperation between the border guards, The Daily Star said.

The shooting by BSF at those crossing the border during early morning hours, bypassing official entry/exit points and procedures, has been a contentious issue between the South Asian neighbours.

The BSF says its men shoot “in self defence” as those crossing border include armed smugglers engaged in trafficking of humans, cattle, goods, drugs and arms.

Dhaka says such movement takes place both ways and its border guards also face similar situations.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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