Sat, Nov 19th, 2011 5:24 pm BdST
Chapainawabganj, Nov 19 (bdnews24.com)—India's Border Security Force (BSF) has shot a Bangladeshi citizen dead despite the Indian government's promise to stop killing along the border.
"The killing took place around 5am on Saturday when a group of Bangladeshi traders crossed the border at pillar no 179 in Shingnogor with cattle," commander of 39 Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) battalion Lt Col Jahangir Hossain told bdnews24.com.
BGB officials said soldiers of BSF battalion 123 of West Bengal's Doulatpur camp in Maldah opened fire on the cattle traders.
The deceased has been identified as Shariful Islam of Tarapur-Sahaparha in Monkosha union of Shibganj upazila and is the son of Shamsul Haque Kalu.
"His co-traders managed to bring him across into the Bangladesh side of the border in critical condition. He died on his way to Shibganj health complex," said Col Jahangir.
The body has been sent to Chapainawabganj Sadar Hospital for autopsy.
A protest letter has been sent to BSF over the killing, added Jahangir. The issue is discussed in every BGB-BSF meeting.
International human-right outfits Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have severely criticised the Indian government for continuous killing of unarmed Bangladeshis along the border.
New York-based Human Rights Watch in a statement on July 25 said those against whom there is credible evidence of culpability should be prosecuted as part of an effort to end longstanding impunity for abuses along the border with Bangladesh.
Human Rights Watch found numerous cases of indiscriminate use of force, arbitrary detention, torture, and killings by the security force, without adequate investigation or punishment.
The Bangladeshi government has formally protested the killings.
The BSF chief, Raman Shrivastava, after a four-day visit to Dhaka on Sep 30 claimed to the media that the number of killings was 55 in 2009 but so far in 2011, it came down to seven.
Raman said his forces want "to bring it down to zero level" and have introduced non-lethal weapons in many places.
Over 900 Bangladeshi nationals have been killed by the BSF over the last decade, many of them when they crossed into Indian territory for cattle rustling or other smuggling activities.