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Anger as border killings continue

Dhaka calls on Delhi to abide by promises after latest deaths

  • ucanews.comreporter, Dhaka
  • Bangladesh
  • May 22, 2012
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Bangladesh hit out at India on Monday over the recent shootings of two Bangladeshi nationals by Indian border guards, despite repeated reassurances from Delhi that such killings would stop.

Calling the killings deplorable acts, Dhaka has called for an immediate probe by India into the death of Darul Islam, 38, of Shibganj in Chapai Nawabganj district on May 16.

Islam was reportedly shot by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) while inspecting his own maize field near the frontier. Bangladesh has also called for an investigation into the killing of Faruk Ali who was allegedly shot dead by the BSF on April 14 in the same district.

Dhaka has demanded those responsible be punished and that effective action is taken to prevent such incidents from recurring in future, according to a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry on Monday.

Cross-border killings over the years have strained relations between the two countries.

In February this year BSF chief U K Bansal came under fire after he told the BBC in an interview that it would be impossible to end border shootings as his troops had to take steps to stop cross-border criminal activities.

According to Odhikar, a Dhaka-based rights body, the BSF killed 31 Bangladeshi nationals last year and 74 in 2010.

In its statement on Monday, Bangladesh reminded India of pledges it has made to stop the killings.

“We have had firm commitments from the Indian authorities concerned and the Indian leadership to put an end to such acts of violence,” the Foreign Ministry statement said.

The latest was made by Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna to his Bangladeshi counterpart, Dr Dipu Moni, during a May 7-8 meeting in New Delhi.

In a report last year, US-based Human Rights Watch condemned the border shootings and said that New Delhi has failed to keep promises made to Dhaka.

“Despite orders from New Delhi to end the killings and abuse and to exercise restraint in dealing with people crossing the border, new deaths and other serious abuses are being reported,” the report said.

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