BSF man: Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) said its members were forced to fire back in self-defence after being attacked by India’s Border Security Force (BSF) along the Rajshahi border on Thursday (Oct 17) that led to the death of a BSF trooper.
The incident took place 650m inside Bangladesh territory in Balughat’s Shahariaghat area of Baral River under Charghat upazila in Rajshahi, according to a BGB press release.
In the release, signed by its Public Relations Officer Md Shariful Islam, the paramilitary force said three Indian fishermen were seen fishing on Padma River in an engine-run boat 350 yards inside Bangladesh from the zero line under BGB’s Charghat Border Outpost (BOP) around 11am on Thursday.
A BOP patrol team along with Charghat Upazila Fisheries Department’s Field Assistant Abu Raihan and two other assistants went to the spot as part of the government’s mother Hilsha preservation campaign, and detained one of the fishermen, Pranab Mandal, along with illegal current net, while two others fled.
Later, four BSF members from Kagmari BOP under BSF 117th Battalion entered 650 yards inside Bangladesh territory through Shahariaghat in a speedboat. One of them was in uniform while three others were wearing shorts and under-vests. They were also carrying firearms, the release said.
It added that the exchange of fire took place when BSF members opened fire and tried to snatch the fisherman back.
BGB 1 Commander Lt Col Ferdous Ziauddin Mahmud also confirmed the matter at a press briefing around 9pm on Thursday.
He said: “A BGB patrol team of Charghat BOP managed to detain an Indian fisherman, while two others escaped, after they crossed over to Bangladesh side through near the border pillar No 75/3-S.
“Soon after, four BSF members illegally made their way to confront the patrol team and demanded the release of the detained fisherman.”
Lt Col Ferdous said: “At that time, BGB patrol team informed them that both the detainee and the BSF men would be handed over to the BSF through a flag meeting as all of them were trespassing.”
“The BSF members became nervous and opened fire on the BGB members, and tried to snatch the detained fisherman. When the BGB members returned fire in self defence, the BSF members retreated, during which one of them was killed and another wounded.”
A flag meeting between the two forces was held later in the afternoon over the incident. Lt Col Ferdous led the BGB team while BSF 117 Captain KS Mehta led their team.
At the meeting, both sides agreed to not let the matter escalate and take action peacefully, said Lt Col Ferdous. They also agreed to hold the flag meeting again for further discussions.
Replying to a query, he said the identity of the deceased and wounded BSF members were not disclosed to them until last night.