Special Correspondent

BSF, BDR hold flag meeting after heavy exchange of fire

India lodges protest with BDRVehicle of BSF officer comes under fireBDR uses high explosive mortars

Kolkata: Officials of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and the Border Security Force (BSF) held a flag meeting on zero-line along the Indo-Bangladesh border on Sunday to defuse tension after a heavy exchange of fire between the two forces lasting six hours that continued till the early hours of Saturday near Gede in West Bengal's Nadia district.

The incident in which nearly 6,000 rounds were exchanged is the eight incident "of unprovoked firing from the BDR" in the southern sector of the 1150 km-long West Bengal-Bangladesh border since May 27, according to the Inspector General, BSF [South], Somesh Goyal. A detailed report of the developments is being sent to the BSF headquarters, he said.

The flag meeting was held at the company commander-level after being deferred thrice for different reasons, S. Ramaswamy, Deputy Inspector General, BSF, Krishnagar sector, told The Hindu. An alert has been sounded along the State's border with Bangladesh following the firing.

A vehicle of the BSF company commander had also come under fire though there were no casualties on the Indian side. Reports said a civilian was killed on the Bangladesh side of the border in the firing.

According to Mr. Goyal the BDR resorted to heavy firing and used high explosive mortars following the death of a Bangladeshi cattle smuggler who was shot at by BSF jawans in retaliation to an attack on them by a group of men who had sneaked into the Indian side. A large amount of narcotics was found in the possession of the victim.

"We have lodged a protest with the BDR authorities over the unprovoked firing", Mr. Goyal said.