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Talks fail to bring Indo-Bangla border killings to zero, region 'remains trigger-happy'

Counterview Desk 

Hooghly-based human rights group, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), apparentlly taking strong exception to the narrative that is sought to be planted that the recent Indo-Bangladesh talks on bringing down border killing to zero was a major confidence building measure, has said that it once again failed to centre-stage the crucial issue.
In a signed statement, Kirity Roy, secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) Kirity Roy, said, “We are celebrating the 75th anniversary of independence in India. Similarly in Bangladesh, it is the 52nd anniversary. But still we are unable to create a safe and humane space in the bordering region. It is bearing the ill-repute of being one bloodiest border in the world...”


Recently, at camp Chhawla in New Delhi the 53rd DG-level conference of BSF and BGB (Border Guard Bangladesh) took place between 11th and 14th June. It is disheartening to note that the primary demand of the border populace, i.e. bringing down border killing to zero, has again failed to take the centre-stage during the talk.
We have seen earlier that it has already been decided that the border between India and Bangladesh will be free of lethal weapons. Even during the prime ministerial meeting between Narendra Modi and Sheikh Haseena it was pledged that the number of border killings will be brought down to zero. But, in this recent meeting between the DGs of the two forces as we noticed, all these pledges and goals were thoroughly disregarded.
We are celebrating the 75th anniversary of independence in India. Similarly in Bangladesh, it is the 52nd anniversary. But still we are unable to create a safe and humane space in the bordering region between India and Bangladesh. Till date it is bearing the ill-repute of being one bloodiest border in the world, and as Human Rights Watch named, one of the most trigger-happy regions in the world.
It is ridiculous that this tortuous regime is running all of these shams in the name of curtailing smuggling while these forces themselves are corrupt in an astronomical proportion. It is an open secret that the smuggling business runs under the protection of BSF and BGB itself while innocent people get shot and killed.
The two countries in question here are friendly states. Then why are they treating this border the same as the Indo-Pak border?
We know that India is an exporter of beef to the West. Then why is it so difficult to legalize the trade of cows with Bangladesh? If legalized, it will definitely be a fruitful step to cut down cross-border cow smuggling. In the 2,217 km long international border between West Bengal and Bangladesh, there is no single Border Hat. Instead of taking these fruitful steps, the authorities are hell-bent to take futile and violent steps.
The authorities must remember that the two countries in question here are friendly states. Then why are they treating this border the same as the Indo-Pak border? We, MASUM, fail to understand that. Thus we strongly demand that the Indo-Bangladesh border must be administered along the similar line of the border between India and Nepal and India and Bhutan. The region of West Bengal through which the Indo-Bangladesh border runs through is geographically and culturally continuous with the neighbouring country.
It was merely a random partition by a British official named Cyril Radcliffe. The region is densely populated and highly marginalized. We, MASUM, demand that all these factors must be kept in mind and the authorities of both the countries should immediately take a departure to achieve an amicable and humane solution of the border issues.



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