Kolkata: A one-and-a-half-year-old child and a woman were killed near the Indo-Bangladesh border in West Bengal's Cooch Behar district on Tuesday when a Border Security Force constable opened fire on a mob that had attacked a BSF outpost over seizure of cattle allegedly being smuggled across the international border.
The constable and several other villagers were also injured in the incident.
“A group of villagers tried to cross over the fence at the international border at Ghonapara village in the Tufanganj sub-division with a herd of cattle. During such crossovers, people have to make an entry in a logbook as to how many cattle are being taken. The group entered a lesser number of cattle than there was actually in the herd. Sensing this, the duty personnel stopped them from crossing over and seized the cattle,” BSF North Bengal Frontier's Deputy Inspector-General J.S.N.D. Prasad told The Hindu over telephone.
Mr. Prasad said that though the group fled from the spot, a mob of more than 100 persons armed with bamboo staves and canes raided the outpost and demanded release of the cattle.
“A scuffle ensued between the mob and the BSF personnel. One of the constables received a severe head injury when hit by a bamboo stave and subsequently opened fire in which two persons were killed,” he added.
The injured constable has been admitted to a hospital and a departmental inquiry has been initiated into the incident, Mr. Prasad said.
The State's Inspector-General of Police (Law and Order), Surajit Kar Purakayastha, said that the police have also started an investigation into the case.
Smuggling cattle through the porous international border is a habitual practice of the villagers on either side. The matter has been raised several times during joint BSF and Bangladesh Rifles meetings.