If indeed rogue officials are responsible for these killings, then they must be brought to book
For the most part, Bangladesh has healthy bilateral relations with India, and a strong sense of mutual trust that goes back to our very independence. In spite of this, there is one unfortunate point of contention that rears its head time and again: Border killings of Bangladeshis at the hands of India’s Border Security Force.
We have had assurances from Delhi before that border killings would be reduced to zero, but the reality has been quite different. Even after cattle smuggling from India has been clamped down in recent times, deaths from BSF shootings are on the rise. BSF had assured us before that, if cattle smuggling stopped, so would the killings, but that has also not happened.
The numbers paint a tragic story. In 2019 alone, some 43 people were killed at the border, which was a sharp jump from 14 the previous year. This year, from January to June alone, 25 people have perished as a result of BSF shootings.
These numbers do not even account for the many who have been injured, abducted, or tortured in the border area.
Worse yet, there is no evidence that BSF members are being made to face disciplinary action for these killings. Ultimately, the responsibility goes to the top, at the policy level. If indeed rogue officials are responsible for these killings, then they must be brought to be book. However, the persistent pattern suggests a deeper problem on a governmental level. This must be addressed without delay.
A peaceful border between India and Bangladesh would be a great step forward for our mutual relationship. It is time we took serious steps to make that happen.