Take effective steps to stop border killings: BNP

BNP on Monday urged the government to take effective steps to stop the killing of Bangladeshis by the Indian Border Security Forces (BSF) along the border.

“We want an end to border killings. We demand the government take immediate steps to stop the killings of Bangladeshis along the border,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.

He came up with the demand at a press conference at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office as their party was observing protest programmes against border killings.

“We’ve worn black badges today in protest against the indiscriminate killings of Bangladeshi nationals by the BSF. This is our protest. Accordingly, I’ve come in front of you wearing a black dress and a black badge.”

Last week, BNP standing committee worked out countrywide protest programmes for Monday in protest against the killing of Bangladeshis by BSF along the border.

As part of the programmes, black flags were hoisted at the offices of the party across the country, including its Nayapaltan central office while BNP leaders and activists wore black badges or black dresses.

Fakhrul said the Indian border guards have so far killed 1510 Bangladeshis unfairly since 1972, and 439 of them killed over the last 12 years.

“When Bangladeshi nationals are killed indiscriminately by neighbouring border guards along the border, it is a gross violation of the UN Charter of Human Rights and the minimum human right to justice,” he observed.

The BNP leader said their statements over the border killings are not against any government of India or the people of India as they are making those for the protection of the country’s citizens and their lives.

“Our point is that if someone commits a crime, there’re laws in both countries to deal with it. If anyone trespasses, he/she can be tried under the Foreign Act of India what our party standing committee member Salahuddin Ahmed has now been facing,” he said.

Fakhrul said If Bangladeshis illegally enter India, it can take action against them under the act instead of killing them. “Even, our government can also punish them. These issues need to be addressed to build solid ties between the two nations on the basis of mutual dignity.”

He strongly criticised Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen ‘for his recent comment that India is not unilaterally responsible for the border killings.

“A big interview of him (Momen) was published in the Daily Star today (Monday). After reading this, I have doubts as to whose foreign minister he is. Is the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh or the Foreign Minister of India? Throughout the interview, he has tried to defend India,” Fakhrul observed.

The BNP leader said the Foreign Minister said they did not raise the border killing issue in December 17 Summit as they were unwilling to embarrass India by repeatedly talking about the same issue. “He said they don’t want to ruin such a wonderful relationship. He (foreign) wanted to make it clear in the interview that they no longer need to talk about border killings.”

He questioned the justification of good relations with India only by meeting all the demands of that country ignoring Bangladesh’s unresolved problems.

“The water problem is related to our life and death and livelihood. We often hear that this problem will be resolved but it is not happening. The most unfortunate thing is that we gave India the water of the Feni River though our fair share of Teesta River water is not ensured,” Fakhrul said.

Source: United News of Bangladesh