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Sunday, September 20, 2020 11:49:03 PM
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Promise of zero border killing is welcome

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21st-Sep-2020       
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THE newly-appointed Indian Border Security Force Director General, Rakesh Asthana, made a fresh promise to bring the number of border killings to zero. Both Bangladesh and India have agreed to continue a robust coordinated patrolling, intelligence sharing and awareness building programmes to curb cross-border smuggling of cattle, narcotics, and fake currency notes.
Promises made by India before --- starting all the way from 2011, have resulted in the deaths of 294 Bangladeshis killed by the trigger happy BSF jawans over the period from 2009-2019. In 2018, 14 deaths occurred while it was 43 in 2019 --- despite signing a pledge in 2018 to bring the deaths down to zero.
If we compare the deaths in our border with a nation with which we consider ourselves to be friends to that of the Indian Pakistani border in Kashmir, a war zone and one of the most militarised zones in the world, only 14-16 civilian deaths have occurred there in 2019 --- and all occurred due to the border skirmishes in February - March 2019. So it means that in 2019 over three times --- that is a positive difference of 300 per cent more deaths occurred in our peaceful border with our 'friendly' neighbour India than that of the Indian-Pakistani border.
It is not at all difficult to stop the deaths --- which the BSF claims was all in self-defense. But it is unbelievable and if it is true then killing in self-defence will be justified. The fact is that those who try cross the border they do not go armed to fight. They go mostly for smuggling or trading.
The death of Felani Khatun, killed in 2011 for no reason but because she was trying to cross the border illegally and she was not carrying arms. So the border guards with arms   have to learn that the arms given to them are not for easy killing of unarmed persons. Those who carry arms find it fun to kill helpless ones. It is a matter of discipline among the border security men. They must learn restraint and catch the offender alive. It should not be too difficult with the kind of people who try to cross the border.
On our side also we have to warn our people to be careful about border crossings. It should be known to both sides that the borders in some places are so artificial that crossing of borders are normal for normal life of the people living along the borders.
Both sides have to have understanding of realities that exist between the two countries. Smuggling is the main reason for border crossing and both sides are engaged in smuggling. Zero smuggling may not be possible.


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