Regretting the deaths of three Bangladeshis in firing by the Border Security Force (BSF), the first casualties on the border since the two sides signed a border management accord in July, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has asked Bangladesh to keep its side of the bargain by restricting the movement of people during night-time.

India enforces a night curfew along trespass-prone sections of the border.

It was time Bangladesh took steps to restrict the movement of people along the border, especially during night hours, because “this policy of restraint has emboldened criminal elements who have stepped up their attacks on BSF personnel to facilitate their illegal activities. A number of attacks on BSF personnel and posts were recorded over the last few months,'' said MEA spokesperson Vishnu Prakash.

Following incidents of firings, both sides held several meetings and the Home Ministers signed a Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP) to control cross-border crimes as well maintain tranquillity on the border.

During the summit meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka in September, Dr. Singh assured her of strict control on firing, the introduction of non-lethal weapons and round-the-clock intensive patrolling, besides night-time restrictions on the movement of people in the border areas.

New Delhi's version of two incidents of firing is as follows:

In Malda district, a group of 50-60 miscreants not only pelted stones when challenged by a BSF jawan on duty at his post, but tried to drag him towards the other side of the international boundary, forcing his two colleagues to open fire. In the other incident in Coochbehar district, 30-40 miscreants attacked a BSF jawan, who hurled a non-lethal stun grenade and then opened fire. Later three bodies of Bangladeshis were recovered.

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