It is learnt that the BGB director general has assured Johri of a thorough probe in the matter.
New Delhi: Tension has escalated between India and Bangladesh along the border after a Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB) soldier on Thursday killed a Border Security Force (BSF) head constable and injured another constable during a “meeting” between the two sides in West Bengal’s Murshidabad area.
BSF chief V.K. Johri promptly took up the matter with his Bangladeshi counterpart, Maj. Gen. Shafeenul Islam, through hotline and registered a protest against such act of high-handedness. It is learnt that the BGB director general has assured Mr Johri of a thorough probe in the matter.
The BSF officials later briefed the home ministry and ministry of external affairs on this issue. Since there is already a functional arrangement between the two sides at the border security forces level, the governments of two sides have refrained from making any statements.
Sources in Indian security forces said that the trouble started on Thursday morning when three Indian fishermen were apprehended by the BGB while fishing in the Padma river in the border area. Of the three, two were asked to go and call BSF post commander at Kakmarichar (riverine border of the Padma river falls under this border outpost) for a flag meeting.
Sources added that around 10.30 am, the post commander of 117th battalion along with five BSF troopers approached BGB patrol in the water channel of the river to resolve the issue. During the “flag meeting”, the Indian side sought the release of its fisherman which the BGB patrol did not agree to and tried to gherao the BSF men when they were trying to return.
Sources added that during the discussions between the two forces, BGB told BSF that they cannot release the Indian fisherman without permission from higher authorities. This led to heated arguments between the two sides. Sensing the situation worsening, the BSF party immediately turned back to return when one of the BGB soldiers fired at BSF head constable Vijoy Bhan’s, leading to his death on the spot while the boatman, constable Rajbir Singh Yadav, sustained bullet injury on his right hand.
Both the BSF personnel were evacuated to the nearest medical facility, where head constable Vijay Bhan Singh was declared brought dead and the injured constable was taken to a hospital in Behrampore.
On its part, Bangladesh has said that the three Indian fishermen were apprehended for catching hilsa in its water which is banned during this season. While the two fled, one of them was nabbed. Bangladesh also claimed that the BSF men had entered their waters illegally and tried to forcibly take the Indian fishermen from their custody. In a statement, Bangladesh added that only one official of the BSF was in uniform while others were in civilian clothes and it was the BSF team that opened fire at them first while returning.
BSF sources said tension was high at the Kakmanichar area and a flag meeting between the two forces was held at 6 pm on Thursday to resolve the matter. BGB has, however, handed over the Indian fisherman to its police instead of returning him to the BSF.
Meanwhile, the BSF tweeted: “DG & all ranks BSF salute the supreme sacrifice of Head Constable Vijay Bhan Singh and offer condolences to the family members. On 17th October ‘19, HC Vijay Bhan Singh martyred of bullet injuries while on an operational duty (flag meeting with BGB) on Indo- Bangladesh Border.”