Farmer killed in firing by Bangla Border Guards

A 40-year-old farmer was killed and his 13-year-old nephew injured in alleged 'unprovoked' firing by Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) jawans in Hemtabad area in North Dinajpur district.

According to the Border Security Force (BSF), the firing happened around 9.30 am when farmers of Makarhat village were working in their fields, which are adjacent to the zero line between India and Bangladesh. A group of three BGB jawans allegedly crossed the zero line and tried to carry the farmer and his father across the border.

When the duo raised an alarm, they were shot at. The victims were identified as Mohammad Fareed (40), his father Hafizul Islam (70) and Fareed's nephew Soor-e-Alam.

According to witnesses, Fareed's 13-year old nephew Soor-e-Alam started screaming when he saw the BGB jawans trying to drag Fareed and Hafizul across the border. Alam was also shot at. He received a bullet injury in his left thigh. In the meantime, villagers gathered in the area and the jawans fled. Alam was taken to Raiganj hospital.

Senior BSF officials demanded a flag meeting with their Bangladesh counterparts. According to sources, a BSF patrol reported to its headquarters in Delhi that three rounds were fired and it suspected the hand of the BGB.

B D Sharma, ADG, East, BSF said, "A 40-year-old farmer died in the firing in Hemtabad. He was a resident of Muslimpara and the firing took place near Makarhat BOP. We have held a flag meeting at the commandant level between the BGB and BSF. The BGB commandants have admitted that the firing was done by the BGB jawans."

He added, "However, there are two conflicting views. The BGB commandants told our officials that they fired from their territory, while we have reports that they opened fire after coming into our territory. We are taking the matter seriously. IG, North Bengal Frontier rushed to the spot. We have admitted the boy who sustained bullet injury to Raiganj hospital."

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