BSF guards kill B'deshi villager
Dhaka, February 23
Bangladeshi officials and news reports on Sunday claimed that India's Border Security Force (BSF) shot dead a Bangladeshi villager who was returning home after seeing his relative on a frontier village.
Following the incident, Bangladesh put its troops on alert, officials said adding India has renewed efforts to deport the 'so called illegal immigrants'.
Tensions along the India-Bangladesh border have been brewing since January
22, following India's attempts to deport 213 illegal immigrants. Bangladesh
refused to accept the migrants, saying they were from West Bengal.
The tensions eased when the deportees 'disappeared' on February 6 after camping at the border for nearly a week. India said they had returned to Bangladesh. Bangladesh said that to save face, India had allowed them to disperse under cover of darkness. But over the past week, BSF tried to forcibly deport around 150 more people through northern Dinajpur, Jaipurhat and Panchagarh districts and at Meherpur in the west, said Maj Korban Ali of BSF.
Bangladesh put its troops on heightened alert to prevent the Indian deportation attempts.
Early on Saturday, Atabur Miah, a 20-year old Bangladeshi villager, was shot and killed near a border marker in northern Thakurgaon district, the state-run news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha said.
Family members told the agency that Miah was returning home after visiting relatives at a frontier village.
Bangladeshi border officials protested the killing to their Indian counterparts. The Indians claimed they fired at Miah when he apparently strayed into Indian territory, a Bangladeshi border guard told the news agency.
Bangladesh and India share a 4,000-kilometer, porous frontier, which is unmarked in places. Thakurgaon, which borders West Bengal in India, is 314 kilometers north of Dhaka.
Citing security concerns, India last month announced a crackdown on 15 million
Bangladeshis it says are staying and working illegally in Indian cities. Bangladesh
protested, saying it has no citizens living illegally in India.