BNP slams killings along Bangladesh-India border

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Dhaka, Dec 20: Slamming two ministers for defending widespread border killings by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF), BNP on Sunday alleged that the Bangladesh-India border area has turned into a “horrific killing ground in South Asia”.

“As a neighbouring country, we can have good relations with India on the basis of equal dignity and rights. When Bangladeshis are being killed at a wholesale rate along the border, our government is not only staying silent but also legitimising the killings of Bangladeshis by the BSF,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.

Speaking at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office, he said, “Bangladesh-India border is now the bloodiest one in the world due to the knee-jerk foreign policy of the government that came to power without votes. The Bangladesh-India border has now become one of the deadliest killing grounds in South Asia.”

A day before their party’s scheduled programmes protesting the border killing, Rizvi came up with the remarks as Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder have recently said India is “not solely responsible” for the border killings.

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

As part of the programmes, black flags will be hoisted at all the offices of the party across the country, including its Nayapaltan central office while BNP leaders and activists will wear black badges or black dresses on the day.

Referring to the statistics of Rights group Ain O Salish Kendra, Rizvi said, the BSF killed about 550 Bangladeshis along the border in the last 12 years of this government’s rule.

“Around 45 Bangladeshis were killed by the border guards of the neighbouring country in the last year amid the coronavirus. The bodies of Bangladeshis are often found mysteriously in no-mans land and rivers along the border,” he observed.

The BNP leader said no activity of the Border Guard of Bangladesh is in sight other than holding flag meetings on the border killings and receiving the bodies of the killed people.

He said when Bangladesh Prime Minister joined a virtual summit with her Indian counterpart on December 17 last, a body of a Bangladeshi killed by BSF in Lalmonirhat’s Srirampur was found along the border.

Talking to reporters after the summit, Rizvi said Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen ‘shamelessly’ said India is not unilaterally responsible for the border killing.

“He said some of our wicked traders go across the border illegally carrying weapons, forcing the BSF to shoot them out of fear. A few days ago, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder said there’s no point in blaming the Indian border guards for the border killings,” he said.

The BNP leader alleged that the two ministers apparently justified the killing Bangladeshis like birds with their remarks instead of protesting such brutal incidents.

“Their statements go against the independence and sovereignty of the country…it seems that they are not the ministers of an independent country, rather they are the representatives of another country,” he added.