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Dhaka Tribune

Border killings: A stain on Bangladesh-India relationship, says Momen

No lethal weapons to be used along the border, Modi assures Hasina in virtual summit

Update : 17 Dec 2020, 06:14 PM

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has described the killings of Bangladeshis by the Indians along the border as a stain in the relationship between Dhaka and New Delhi.

Addressing a press conference at the state guest house Padma after the virtual summit between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, he also said that India assured that there will be no use of lethal weapons to deal with the criminal activities along the border.

“We have such a good relationship. The border killings stain our relationship,” the foreign minister said while responding to a question with regard to the sensitive issue.

Prior to the day’s summit on Wednesday, Bangladesh’s Victory Day, a Bangladeshi was killed along the border to become the latest victim of the Indian Border Security Force.

“We have raised the issue. The Indian prime minister himself said that no lethal weapons will be used. He [Modi] also said that he will instruct the force [BSF] anew in this regard,” said Dr Momen.

He also said that both sides will work on a coordinated border management to bring down the killings to zero.

Referring to the incidents where Bangladeshis enter India with guns and bombs, the foreign minister placed emphasis on caution on the part of Bangladeshis.

About accepting bribes by the BSF at the border, he said: “We came to know about this through the media.”

When asked if the issue was raised with the Indian head of the government, Dr Momen replied in the negative.

Meanwhile, a joint statement on the virtual summit said: “Both leaders also agreed that loss of civilian lives at the border is a matter of concern and directed the border forces concerned to enhance coordinated measures to work towards bringing such border incidents to zero.

“The leaders stressed on full implementation of the ongoing Coordinated Border Management Plan. Both sides noted with satisfaction the recent stepped-up efforts of the two border guarding forces against smuggling of arms, narcotics, and fake currency and to prevent trafficking, particularly of women and children.”

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