India to probe recent border killings
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Ministry has raised questions about the "sudden" Dhaka visit of Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla.
Committee Chairman Faruk Khan confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune on Monday and said: "We had a scheduled meeting on Sunday [at Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban]. After discussing the regular agenda, we asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the last visit of Indian foreign secretary.
"Why did he [Shringla] come on an unofficial visit? Are diplomatic visits unofficial?" Faruk Khan asked in the meeting.
According to him, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen said that Shringla came to Bangladesh and met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to convey a message from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The foreign secretary also said that although such a type of meeting is not normal, it could happen anytime.
On August 18, Shringla, a former high commissioner to Bangladesh, came to Dhaka on a two-day visit to discuss and take forward cooperation on matters of mutual interest, according to a statement issued by the Indian High Commission in Bangladesh.
Alongside the meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Shringla also had a discussion with his Bangladesh counterpart Masud Bin Momen.
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Regarding the discussion, Momen told the parliamentary committee that Bangladesh and India both want to ensure zero killing in the border areas.
"Recently the number of killings in the border areas has increased. We asked Shringla regarding the issue and he assured us that they will take action to bring those down to zero," Momen informed the committee.
Faruk Khan told this correspondent that a meeting would be held soon between the director generals of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Border Security Force (BSF) to discuss the border killings issue.
"Referring Shringla, our foreign secretary said that India will look into the recent incidents in the border areas," he said.
"It means that India will make an official probe report on border killings before the DG-level meeting."
He said: "We have instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to hold a regular press briefing so that rumours cannot spread around."
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, Parliamentary Committee members Golam Faruk Khandakar Prince, Abdul Majid Khan, Habibe Millat, Nahim Razzaq, Kazi Nabil Ahmed, and Nizam Uddin Jalil John attended the "closed-door" meeting on Sunday.