Friday, 5 February 2010

BDR, BSF trade fire

Staff Correspondent, Sylhet

BDR and BSF traded over a hundred gunshots on Jaintapur, Sripur and Tamabil borders yesterday from 4:00pm to 6:00pm after the Indian border guards took a Bangladesh Rifles jawan to their territory from near Jaintapur border around 10:15am.

The Border Security Force handed over the BDR soldier, Nayek Mujibur Rahman, around 8:15pm after an hour-long flag meeting at Tamabil international check post.

Commanding Officer of the 21 Rifle Battalion of Sylhet Lt Col Khandaker Zahirul Alam received the BDR jawan. BSF acting Battalion Commander-1 of Meghalaya SK Tirki led the Indian side in the meeting.

BDR sources said after a bitter exchange of word, a team of BSF of Moktarpur camp took Mujibur to their territory while he along with four colleagues was patrolling near border pillar No 1284.

The BSF men were also patrolling near the area at that time.

On information, officials from BDR Headquarters in Sylhet reached the area.

Maj Mamun, second-in-command of 21 Rifle Battalion, told The Daily Star that in the meantime a proposal was sent to BSF for holding an emergency flag meeting to hand over BDR Nayek Mujibur Rahman.

But all of a sudden, BSF opened fire without any provocation around 4:00pm, an hour ahead of the emergency flag meeting, forcing BDR to retaliate it.

BDR Director General Maj Gen Md Mainul Islam told The Daily Star that the exchange of gunfire took place following a misunderstanding between the two sides.

A rumour spread along the border that BSF men took BDR Nayek Mujibur Rahman to their territory with bullet injuries, he said adding, "But it was not correct."

"BSF returned our soldier and he is absolutely okay," said the BDR DG.

The problem was solved following the flag meeting and communication between BDR headquarters in Dhaka and BSF headquarters in Delhi, he added.

Sources said BDR and BSF had a long standing dispute over 50 acres of farmland in the bordering area.

Indians have been trying to drive out Bangladeshi farmers from the bordering lands for years.

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