NEW DELHI: A BSF head constable was killed and a constable injured in firing by Border GuardBangladesh(BGB) troops along a riverine border stretch between Bangladesh and Behrampore inWest Bengal. An Indian fisherman has also been taken captive by BGB for trying to fish in River Padma on Bangladesh side of the border.
“The firing incident appears to be unprovoked and is unprecedented. The BSF is in touch with BGB to find out what provoked the hostility on part of their troops and if it was case of some personnel getting trigger-happy, ”a BSF officer told TOI.
The slain BSF head constable, Vijay Bhan Singh, was shot in the head as he was returning in a boat after a flag meeting between BSF post commander and BGB patrol regarding three Indian fishermen that the latter had apprehended as they tried to fish in River Padma in the border area.
As per the sequence of events put out by BSF based on first-hand account of its personnel on the ground, three Indian fishermen had gone for fishing in River Padma on Thursday morning. Two of the fishermen later approached BSF post at Kamarichar, under whose jurisdiction the riverine border falls, complaining that BGB had caught three of them and later released two to call the BSF post commander for a flag meeting.
The post commander, along with five troopers, approached BGB patrol in a boat. However, during the flag meeting that followed, BGB patrol not only did not release the Indian fisherman but also tried to throw a cordon (gherao) around BSF troops. Sensing that situation was getting worse, the BSF party immediately withdrew and headed back.
However, BGB troops opened fire on the returning BSF party. While head constable was shot in the temple, the constable / crew (boatman) received bullet injuries on his right hand.
Both injured BSF personnel were evacuated to nearest medical facility. Head Constable Vijay Bhan Singh, however, is said to have succumbed to injuries on the boat itself, and was declared brought dead. Singh, who hails fromFirozabadinUttar Pradesh, had joined BSF in 1990. He is survived by two sons.
The other injured constable was taken to Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital, Behrampore.
Pranab Mandal, a fisherman from Murshidabad district, is still in custody of BGB patrol, BSF said. “It is not unusual for Indian fishermen to approach Padma waters for fishing. Such cases are often reported, ”said a BSF officer.
Sources say that while BSF personnel carry arms for flag meetings, “it is possible that they did not return fire as they may have been outnumbered”.