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BGB action unprovoked; Indian troops did not fire a single bullet: BSF

  The BSF on Friday said the Bangladeshi action of killing its trooper and injuring another along the border in West Bengal was unprovoked and that its troops did not fire "a single bullet" when a flag meeting took place between the two sides.

PTI PTI
New Delhi Published on: October 18, 2019 21:13 IST
BGB action unprovoked; Indian troops did not fire a single bullet: BSF
Image Source : FILE

BGB action unprovoked; Indian troops did not fire a single bullet: BSF

The BSF on Friday said the Bangladeshi action of killing its trooper and injuring another along the border in West Bengal was unprovoked and that its troops did not fire "a single bullet" when a flag meeting took place between the two sides.

A senior official rejected the claim made by the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) that its patrol team "had to open fire in self-defence amid gunfire by BSF men".

"Our men have not fired a single bullet. It was an unprovoked action by the BGB that killed the BSF jawan and injured another," the official said.

A Court of Inquiry (CoI) has been ordered into the incident, he said. The BGB had said since the BSF personnel had intruded into Bangladesh territory, they were told they would be handed over to authorities after the proposed meeting.

The situation created panic among Indian border guards, a late night statement issued on Thursday by the BGB in Dhaka said. "The BSF men then turned furious and opened gunfire and started going back to their (Indian) territory," the BGB alleged.

The BSF official countered this saying the force party of six troops had entered 400 metres into the international border across the Padma river in Murshidabad district as that is the "designated place for flag meeting and their boat sported an orange colour flag that is the standard protocol used to denote flag meeting".

"When BGB requests BSF for a flag meeting, we go inside the territory of Bangladesh. When we call BGB for flag meeting, they enter inside our territory at a designated point," he said.

The BGB statement had said their patrol team tried to detain three Indian fishermen who had entered into Bangladesh waters in an engine-run boat, but two of them managed to flee.

Soon four-armed BSF men, including one in uniform, intruded 650 yards inside the Bangladesh territory with a speedboat to take away the detained fisherman, the BGB had said.

The Border Security Force also defended its party leader or post commander of the local area wearing shorts during the flag meeting, saying it is a requirement of that special geographical area.

"Out of 6 BSF troops, one was in civil dress and post commander was wearing camouflage T-shirt and shorts below. Since, the area is muddy and riverine, most of the time men remain in shorts and sandals," the officer said.

A senior BSF officer in Delhi said the troops "did not try to forcibly take away the lone fisherman from the custody of BGB as they had gone for flag meeting inside Bangladesh territory on getting a call from the BGB."

It is not true that BGB could apprehend only one Indian fisherman and two managed to run away and went to BSF, he said.

He added that the boat of the fishermen was a normal one while BGB ones are fitted with engines and hence it is incorrect to say that they ran away.

The fact is that BGB apprehended all three fishermen and seized all their paraphernalia. After some time, they sent back two fishermen in the dingy belonging to Indian fishermen with the direction to call BSF post commander for flag meeting so that they can be released, he said.

This has been corroborated by the two fishermen who were released by the BGB, he said. The BSF officer added that when there was a telephonic talk between the commanding officers of the two sides, post the incident on Thursday, the counterpart "did not say that BSF men had either violated the IB or entered inside Bangladesh territory."

The lone fisherman is still in Bangladesh police custody and the BGB has not handed him over to the BSF till now, he said. Fifty-one-year-old head constable Vijay Bhan Singh was killed, while constable Rajvir Yadav was injured in the firing by a BGB trooper.

A wreath-laying ceremony was held for the deceased soldier at a BSF camp in Roshanbagh area and the body is being sent to his hometown in Firozabad district in Uttar Pradesh.

Security has been stepped up along the 4,096-km Indo-Bangla border guarded by the BSF and the BGB in the wake of the incident.

 

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