Bangladesh is yet to give a nod to an important project to erect an anti-cut steel fence along the Indo-Bangladesh Border to curb cross border crimes and killings. The single-row fence is to be erected by India but requires consent from the Border Guards Bangladesh. The fence is anti-cut, anti-climb and anti-rust and therefore, will help greatly in stopping criminals from either side to carry out cross-border crimes.
Cross border crimes is a great menace at the Indo-Bangladesh Border and claim lives regularly. As per official figures, 107 Indian smugglers or criminals and 135 Bangladeshi nationals have been killed in violent conflicts with the BSF at this border between 2010-19. During the same period, eleven BSF troops have been killed and 960 injured while thwarting these attempts in more than 1,890 incidents.
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“The BSF has made it amply clear to its counterpart BGB or Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) that our mandate is to ensure the sanctity of the border and criminals have no nationality. The BGB also agrees to this. If the nationality of those who get killed or injured in violent confrontations is at all to be considered, there are a considerable number of deaths of Indian nationals too,” Shubhendu Bhardwaj, spokesperson of the BSF, told PTI.
He added that the BSF had proposed erecting a new anti-cut fence in vulnerable regions of the border but a final nod has not been received from the BGP. The Home Ministry said that any concrete work related to this can only be done after the Bangladeshis have been taken on board. At the same time, a ‘pilot project’ of this new fence is already in operation along a 7 km stretch in Assam’s Silchar.
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Security officials also said that the direction issued by the Union Government in 2011 (UPA Govt) to use nonlethal weapons to curb killings at the border is proving to be counterintuitive. “The criminals have been emboldened to attack a BSF patrol or troops as they know that the personnel will first use non-lethal weapons to disperse them and will use lethal weapons or regular rifles only when there is a very serious threat to their life,” an official said.