Firing on Indo-Bangla border has come down: Chidambaram

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has said the number of deaths due to firing by personnel of the Border Security Force along the Indo-Bangladesh border has come down significantly.

He said that in the past six months the number of such deaths is “either nine or ten”, reports The Hindu.

Mr Chidambaram said BSF jawans have been directed not to fire on those people who have successfully crossed the border on either side.

“It is only in cases where the life of a BSF jawan is in danger that they open fire,” he told reporter on Thursday, referring to instances where BSF personnel guarding the border were attacked by group of cattle smugglers.

He, however, said there is a genuine problem of cattle smuggling on the border and the government is trying to stop it.

“Thousands of heads of cattle are smuggled every day…there is huge demand for cattle meat in Bangladesh and people are willing to take risks of life to smuggle cattle into Bangladesh,” he said.

Mr Chidambaram said while the BSF is asked to prevent the smuggling of cattle across the border, the people who indulge in such acts are directed by their masters to smuggle at any cost.

A report published by Human Rights Watch, an international organisation, in December 2010 claimed more than 900 Bangladeshis and 164 Indians were killed along the border by the BSF between 2000 and 2010.

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