Border killing: Is it unstoppable?
According to Ain O Salish Kendro's (ASK) latest report, at least 48 Bangladeshi unarmed civilians were killed on Indo-Bangladesh border in 2019 by India's Border Security Force (BSF). The number of Bangladeshi civilian killing by BSF was 31 in 2016, 24 in 2017 and 3 in 2018. However, last year the number of border killing has shot up horrifically, comparing to 2018. Sadly, in the last decade more than 300 Bangladeshi civilians have been killed by BSF. This is simply unacceptable.
Referring to the killings of our civilians by the BSF, US based news agency "Global Post" marked the Indo-Bangladesh border as the world's deadliest border--because of BSFs ruthless activities.
However, BSF's controversial and illegal activities on the Indo-Bangladesh border draws all three, Bangladeshi, Indian and international media attention. BSF has been involved in shooting our innocent citizens, abducting and torturing them while violating human rights on our borders with India for too long. Surprisingly, all the killings are being justified in the name of self defence. Because of Bangladesh being sufficient in livestock rearing and producing, cattle smuggling has also been reduced to almost zero; which means the border is more regulated and secured. Unfortunately, despite these measures, border killing continues.
Some 2, 000km out of 4, 096km Indo-Bangladesh border is laced with barbed wire and razor wire by Indian authorities .There are enough reasons to believe, border killings by BSF on Indo-Bangladesh border continues under a well devised policy. Previously a BSF top brass described the killings as 'legitimate targets'-- those who had attempted to enter India illegally. However, killing of innocent civilians is unethical and a clear violation of international law and human rights.
The most important point here - Border killings can be brought down if there is the right political will.
It is a matter of hope that Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) has identified 328 km border as sensitive areas for border crossing or smuggling. As a part of effort to stop border killing by BSF, BGB is going to set up advanced surveillance system on those particular spots.
We hope that India will comply with its 'zero death' commitment by abolishing the controversial 'shot to kill' policy. We also hope that India will counter illegal border crossing and smuggling by non-violent means. Lesser deaths recorded in 2018 prove it is fully possible to bring down border killings. Let us try to do even better in 2020, and show that 2019 was an incongruity.