GUWAHATI, Jan 24 � Though the relations between India and Bangladesh improved considerably after the Sheikh Hasina Government came to power in the neighbouring country, the problems along the international border, particularly in the adverse possession areas remain a cause of concern and the issue was seriously discussed in the recently concluded Home Secretary-level meet between both the countries.
Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that despite regular meetings, there have been problems between Border Security Force (BSF) and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), the border guarding forces of both the countries from time to time and even the survey of the adverse possession land, which started in November last year, could not be completed because of lack of cooperation from the BDR.
Sources said that in the recently concluded meeting in Dhaka, the Government of Bangladesh alleged that Bangladeshi civilians were killed in firing by the BSF. The Government of Bangladesh alleged that civilians were killed in firing by the personnel of the BSF, which received lots of �bad Press� in that country. There have been lots of uproar in Bangladesh over the killings and the opposition took advantage of the same to launch an attack on Sheikh Hasina Government, which is friendly to India. The Bangladesh Government requested India to restrain the BSF, sources added.
However, official sources asserted that only anti-national elements and smugglers were killed in firing by the BSF, while there have been instances of killing of Indian citizens in firing by the BDR near the international border.
Sources pointed out that more than 90 per cent of the firings by the BSF took place at night and the Government of Bangladesh should impose night curfew along the international border as is done by the Government of India to restrict movement of civilians at night. �Why should innocent civilians venture along the international border at night,� sources questioned claiming that those killed in BSF firings must be involved in criminal activities.
Sources said that in most of the cases, those killed in the BSF firings were identified as cattle smugglers or other criminals and if the Government of Bangladesh is really serious about prevent firings, the BDR should also be instructed to take action against smugglers. Sources said that the Government of Bangladesh should properly brief the media about the incidents along the border to prevent the spread of rumours.
Official sources also said that encroachments by Bangladeshi nationals backed by the BDR particularly in the adverse possession land were reported to the Government of Bangladesh with the request to deal with the problem.