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India, Bangladesh set to work to reduce border deaths

Sides disagree on number of deaths along border but set to boost coordinated patrols in areas vulnerable to smuggling

Md. Kamruzzaman   | 15.06.2019
India, Bangladesh set to work to reduce border deaths

DHAKA, Bangladesh

India on Saturday called killings along the India-Bangladesh border “unfortunate” following a four-day conference in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, according to local media reports.

“The word you said ‘killings,’ I can say unfortunate deaths of individuals … I agree this year the unfortunate death rate is slightly higher,” Daily Star quoted Rajni Kant Mishra, head of the Indian Border Security Force, as saying.

The June 12-15 border conference was attended by a 19-member Bangladeshi team led by Md Shafeenul Islam, Bangladesh’s top border official, and a 10-member Indian delegation led by Mishra.

The Indian side claimed that seven people were killed last year, of which only one was Bangladeshi, the report added.

But rights group Ain o Salish Kendra said at least 15 Bangladeshis were killed on the border last year.

Over 1,100 Bangladeshis were killed along the border from 2000 to 2018, said Odhikar, another local rights group.

At the four-day conference, both sides agreed to undertake joint efforts to bring down the border killings to zero by increasing coordinated patrols in areas vulnerable to cattle and drug smuggling, and to educate the border population, said a joint statement issued by the Bangladesh border guard.

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