Vol. 5 Num 937 Wed. January 17, 2007  
Front Page

BDR, BSF trade heavy fire on Joypurhat border
Two Indians killed; BSF kills one Bangladeshi on Dinajpur border

A heavy gunfight between Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Border Security Forces (BSF) of India left at least two Indian nationals dead at Hatkhola border of Panchbibi upazila in Joypurhat early yesterday morning.

Meanwhile, the BSF killed a Bangladesh national and picked up another at Enayetpur border of Biral upazila in Dinajpur.

The BDR and BSF also exchanged bullets in Chuadanga and in Satkhira yesterday.

At Hatkhola border, locals said fighting broke out when BSF killed two Indian cattle smugglers around 5:30am after they entered Bangladesh territory with cows, our Bogra correspondent reports.

One of the dead was identified as Subhas, 45, while the other body could not be identified. The BDR held Ranjit Mohonta, an Indian national, when he intruded into Bangladesh territory and jumped into a pond for safety as the BSF was chasing him, UNB reports.

Operations section of the BDR headquarters told The Daily Star last night that locals have claimed that the two killed in the Hathkhola were Indian nationals.

Following the killing, the BSF started firing in the air to create panic among the Bangladeshi villagers and tried to collect the bodies lying 500 metres inside Bangladesh from the border.

They successfully recovered one of the bodies before 29 Battalion BDR men from Hatkhola outpost rushed to the spot and retaliated to BSF's intrusion into Bangladesh territory. The gunfire between BDR and BSF lasted for three hours and the sides exchanged over 600 shots.

Sources said sporadic fire continued into the afternoon until high-ranking officials of BDR and BSF talked over telephone, our Dinajpur correspondent reports.

The body of Subhas is still lying on the no-man's-land between Bangladesh and India.

Sources said a good number of villagers left their homes during the fighting and have not returned fearing further escalation of the situation.

A flag meeting of the two border guards was scheduled to be held at 5:30pm yesterday but it was cancelled as the BSF failed to show up.

BSF killed a Bangladesh national and picked up one at Enayatpur border of Biral upazila in Dinajpur, according to BDR official sources.

Our Dinajpur correspondent reports: The dead was identified as Shahidul Islam, 20, in Chakar-Bhor of Biral upazila in Dinajpur. However, the BDR could not identify the abducted person.

Sources said the BSF troops of 116 Gobrabeel camp of India fired at least eight bullets killing Shahidul on the spot. They took away the body into Indian territory.

The 14 Battalion BDR officials claimed they strongly protested the killing and the abduction to BSF and have requested a flag meeting in this regard.

Meanwhile, BDR headquarters told The Daily Star last night that the BSF started unprovoked firing at Kuchkhali border outpost in Satkhira around 7:30pm yesterday. The BDR retaliated in self-defence.

The firefight was continuing till the filing of this report.

In another incident, the BSF started firing near Baradi border outpost in Chuadanga in the early hours yesterday.

The BDR retaliated which led to a firefight lasting till dawn. The locals said the firing started around 1:25am.

BDR personnel on high alert in Hatkhola border area in Joypurhat yesterday following their firefight with Border Security Force (BSF) of India. PHOTO: Focus Bangla