Mahmudul Hasan Raju
KOLKATA, India, April 7, 2018 (BSS) – Inspector General of Border Security Force’s (BSF’s) South Bengal Frontier PSR Anjaneyulu today said his force is doing everything possible to reach the target of zero killing along its border with neighboring Bangladesh.
“We are following non-lethal weapon strategy. So we are using pump action gun, chilly grenade, stun-grenade instead of lethal weapons. Although we have not been able to reach the target of zero killing, the number of ‘smugglers’ killed on border has decreased significantly. In 2016, nine were killed, in 2017, the number fell to three. None got killed till March in 2018 along the border under South Bengal Frontier,” he said.
“We are just not very happy that the figure has come down, our Director General is also not happy. Our main focus is to bring the number to zero. We have not been completely successful, I sincerely hope that the figure come down to zero. Every time such things happen, it becomes very embarrassing for us,” BSF’s South Bengal Frontier IG added.
He came up with the observations while talking to Bangladeshi media delegation this morning at South Bengal Frontier Headquarters in Kolkata.
The BSF official said his force’s non-lethal strategy has also put its members under risk as the criminals have become more violent and aggressive as they have realized that the frontier force members will not shoot anymore.
“Two of our soldiers were martyred last year in South Bengal Frontier border. 48 jawans were injured in 2016. The number rose to 70 in 2017. The criminals are using machete, axe, bamboos and what not,” Anjaneyulu said.
“But thanks to our coordinated effort with Bangladeshi counterpart Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), we have been able to make much progress on the border. We are carrying out simultaneous coordinated petrol, night coordinated petrol along the border,” he added.
The BSF high official also referred to switching of battalions as one of the obstacles in reaching the target of zero killing on India’s border with Bangladesh.
“In every couple of years, our battalions are transferred from place to place. When a soldier is deployed on border with Pakistan, he gets rewarded for killing an enemy, but when he gets posted on border with Bangladesh and shot anyone, he have to face inquiry. So he gets puzzled,” the BSF official explained.
Anjaneyulu also emphasized on collecting more intelligence from internal law enforcing agencies here in India to check and stop the smuggling of small weapons to Bangladesh.
“But the arms smugglers take different and more hostile routes to send and bring weapons. So it gets very difficult to stop such things,” he added.
Earlier on yesterday, the BSF took the media delegation to its floating BOP Simanta Prahari Sagar in Sundarbans. There, the journalists were briefed on the activities of BSF in riverine areas.
Officiating commandant of BSF’s 27th Battalion Prabhat Ranjan Sharma welcomed the journalists on board and narrated different aspects of his force’s activities in the largest mangrove in the world.
MK Barnwal, Commandant (ops) SHQ Kolkata, DC SHQ SN Mishra and other senior officials of the force were present on the occasion, among others.