59 killed while illegally crossing India-Bangladesh border: BSF

August 25th, 2008 - 4:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala, Aug 25 (IANS) As many as 59 people have been shot dead while trying to cross the India-Bangladesh border illegally during the past six months, a senior Border Security Force (BSF) official said here Monday.”Of the 59 people, 34 were Bangladeshi nationals and 21 Indians, while the others remain unidentified,” the official said after a routine meeting between the BSF and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) in Dhaka.

In the three-day border conference, BSF director general Ashish Kumar Mitra headed the 19-member Indian team while his BDR counterpart Shakil Ahmed led the 22-member Bangladesh delegation.

Security officials from Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya and West Bengal frontiers attended the meeting that concluded Sunday.

“BDR had handed over a list of 1,464 Bangladeshis hiding in India while BSF submitted a list of 263 wanted insurgents and criminals, including United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) leaders Paresh Barua and Anup Chetia and leaders of the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF),” the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

Bangladesh raised objections to India’s proposal to erect barbed wire fencing at 46 points, mostly along Tripura, claiming that it would violate the norms of erection of fencing within 150 yards from the border in those areas, the official added.

The BSF-BDR meeting also decided to launch joint border patrolling to check movement of insurgents, infiltration, various border crimes besides human trafficking and hold meetings at commandant- and company commander-levels every month to resolve local issues.

“The BSF chief told the meeting that the district administration of the concerned border districts have imposed night curfew in most areas along the border as ‘we do not want anyone to be killed’ in the frontiers,” the official added.

India and Bangladesh share a 4,096-km border, of which 2,979 kms cover land and 1,117 km are riverine.

India has so far erected barbed wire fencing along 2,600 km of its border with Bangladesh and decided to undertake flood lighting of the entire frontier stretch to check trans-border movement of militants, infiltration and border crimes.

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