4 BSF Jawans Suspended For Firing on Bangladeshi Cattle-Smugglers‏


BSF India

KOLKATA: The BSF (South Bengal Frontier) has suspended four jawans for disobeying orders and opening fire on Bangladeshi cattle-smugglers near Petrapole in North 24-Parganas on Wednesday, in which two Bangladeshis were killed.

Over the last several years, Bangladesh has expressed concern over its citizens being killed in BSF firing along the international border. A couple of years ago, the Centre decided to arm BSF personnel with non-lethal weapons. However, there are still some locations where the jawans have to carry rifles or carbines for security purposes. At such places, the BSF personnel are specifically asked not to open fire unless there is no other option, said sources. Our relations with Bangladesh have improved in the last couple of years, ever since our jawans started displaying restraint at the international borders. The orders to them are very clear. Even if they catch a gang smuggling cattle into Bangladesh, they are to try and apprehend the criminals without using extreme force.

“Firing is an option only if there is firing from across the border,” said a senior BSF officer.

In a visit to Kolkata, former Union home minister P Chidambaram had said that the BSF have been instructed to allow Bangladeshi nationals to cross over if the only other option left is to shoot them down.

After the death of the two Bangladeshis – identified as Faruk and Habibur – on Wednesday, an official complaint was lodged by the Border Guards Bangladesh.

“We conducted an inquiry and found that the shots had been fired from close range. The four were suspended as they couldn’t establish that there was sufficient cause to fire,” the officer said.

Source: Time of India

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