Bansal holds four-day meeting with Bangladesh counterpart

India has assured Bangladesh of bringing down casualties along the border to zero, Director General of Border Security Force (BSF) U.K. Bansal told journalists here on Saturday after a four-day meeting between the chiefs of the two border forces.

The meeting discussed coordinated patrol, smuggling of narcotics, human trafficking and curbing operations of foreign extremists and criminals.

Asked about the killing of 15-year-old Bangladeshi girl Felani in January this year, the BSF chief said the people charged with the crime had been suspended, and an inquiry was underway.

Felani was shot dead allegedly by BSF men on January 7, 2012, at Fulbari in Bangladesh’s Kurigram district, while she was returning to Bangladesh with her father from India.

After a furore over the killing, New Delhi expressed regret, and a court of inquiry was ordered against the accused personnel.

The BSF Director General said India had given Bangladesh specific information on the camps of Indian criminals there, and the authorities dismantled some of them after operations.

However, Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) Director General, Major General Anwar Hussain, said they had got some information and carried out operations, but did not find any camps.

In the meeting, the BGB placed a list of 18 border points through which an Indian cough syrup used as an intoxicant entered Bangladesh, seeking remedial measures. The Major General said India had been asked to take steps to ensure Bangladeshi terrorists did not take shelter in India.

The BSF chief said till August-end this year, six Bangladeshis had died along the border, and none of the BSF personnel were found guilty. On the delay in convicting the Felani killers, Mr. Bansal said: “Any error, regardless of being deliberate, is examined by a system of court of inquiry within the force… There is a right of private defence, and going by the definition to defend oneself, we don’t punish our men.”

He also said that in the last one-and-a-half years, two BSF personnel had been killed and 300 severely injured in border firing.

Major General Hussain said border killings would have a negative impact on bilateral ties. He requested his counterpart to take action against Bangladeshi insurgents or terrorists or criminals, who were using Indian soil.

The two border force chiefs said they had agreed to intensify coordinated patrol.

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