Two Bangladeshi troopers shot by Border Security Force

July 18th, 2008 - 10:16 pm ICT by IANS  


Kolkata, July 18 (IANS) At least two Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) troopers were reportedly shot early Friday in a gunbattle with India’s Border Security Force (BSF) personnel when the latter opened fire to prevent cattle smuggling through West Bengal’s Murshidabad district, an official said. A BSF trooper sustained gunshot injuries. The incident took place along the riverine border at Nimtita in Murshidabad district, about 250 km from here.

“We have received a report from Dhaka, through our Delhi headquarters, that two BDR personnel were killed in firing by the BSF,” BSF Inspector General (South Bengal) C.V. Murlidhar told IANS.

He said BSF constable R.K. Pande was on night patrolling when he saw a few people smuggling out some cattle through the riverine border.

“In an attempt to stop the cattle from going to the other side of the fence, he opened fire targeting the smugglers in the dark. Pande also sustained two bullet injuries in his legs during the gun battle. He’s now admitted to a hospital in a critical condition,” Murlidhar said.

He said: “In monsoon, cattle smuggling goes up in south Bengal border areas. The smugglers, on this side of the fence, let their cattle go to the Bangladesh side through the river Ganges and after crossing the international border, the other group of smugglers take these cattle to their own territory.”

“We have seized over 1,600 cattle in July from Nimtita and Sobhapur border in Murshidabad. We seized altogether 138 cattle at Nimtita border Friday night,” he said.

The India-Bangladesh border totals a length of 4,095 km, of which 180 km is riverine. West Bengal shares a border length of 2,216 km with Bangladesh.

Besides infiltration from the Bangladesh side, cattle smuggling from India is another important issue, primarily for beef in Muslim-majority Bangladesh, which has been addressed several times by authorities from both nations. Smuggling is at its peak during Muslim festivals.

Generally, traffickers bring the cows, mostly from Haryana and Punjab in northern India, for smuggling to West Bengal by trucks.

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