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BGB, BSF Chiefs Holding Talks on Firing Incident; Indian Fisherman Charged for Trespassing

In a first of its kind incident, the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) guards opened fire at a Border Security Force (BSF) team on Thursday, killing a jawan after a 'flag meeting' along the Indo-Bangla riverine frontier in West Bengal.

PTI

Updated:October 18, 2019, 10:20 PM IST
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BGB, BSF Chiefs Holding Talks on Firing Incident; Indian Fisherman Charged for Trespassing
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Dhaka: Bangladesh home minister on Friday said the chiefs of the border forces of his country and India were holding talks to resolve the "misunderstanding" over an "unfortunate event" that killed a BSF jawan even as two cases have been filed against an Indian fisherman.

In a first of its kind incident, the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) guards opened fire at a Border Security Force (BSF) team on Thursday, killing a jawan after a 'flag meeting' along the Indo-Bangla riverine frontier in West Bengal. A second jawan was also injured in the firing incident, Indian officials said.

"This was an unexpected incident. The relationship between BGB and BSF is fantastic. We are all shocked by this sudden incident," Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said at the Jatiya Press Club here.

"This was an unfortunate event, which should not affect the cordial relationship between Bangladesh and India," he said.

"The directors general of BGB and BSF are having discussions over the misunderstanding. We believe this was an accident and it will be resolved through talks between the two sides," the minister was quoted as saying by the media here.

"We are set to identify the conflicting issues between the two forces, and design peaceful solution to restore the friendly bonding between them," he added.

The minister acknowledged that there has been a complexity over Indian fishermen catching Hilsa in the Padma river. Meanwhile, the BGB has filed two cases against Indian fisherman Pranab Mandal with Rajshahi's Charghat police, the Dhaka Tribune reported.

He is charged with illegally entering Bangladeshi territory and flouting the ban on fishing in the Padma river during the Hilsa breeding season, said the station's Officer-in-Charge Samit Kumar Kundu.

The fisherman, who is a native of Murshidabad in West Bengal, was sent to jail on Friday over the cases, the police officer was quoted as saying by the Bangladeshi media.

In a statement on Thursday night, the BGB said they fired the gunshots in "self defence".

But the BSF on Friday said the Bangladesh i action of killing its trooper and injuring another was unprovoked and that its troops did not fire "a single bullet" when a flag meeting took place between the two sides.

A BSF senior official rejected the claim made by the 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 relations between the border forces of India and Bangladesh that guard the 4,096-km long international border have been very cordial and no bullet has been fired between them for decades.

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