Why is India killing Bangladeshis?



Unlike the militaries of Bangladesh of the past and Pakistan even now, the Indian military has always seen itself subordinate to its political masters. As one book review stated, “Independent India has never known a military coup d’état – scarcely even the rumour of one.”

Even the harshest enemies of India and its military (that would be Pakistan and China, both have fought wars against India) will not claim that the Indian military acts outside the chain of command.

This is a testament to the democratic principles practiced by the armed services in the world’s largest democracy.

India’s border security force (BSF) is not part of the Indian Military–it is under the purview of Ministry of Home Affairs, and is considered a law enforcement agency.

The Daily Star and other newspapers are reporting:

Bangladesh Rifles and the Indian Border Security Force traded gunfire for around three hours yesterday after BSF crossed the Jaintapur border in Sylhet and shot locals.

At least 15 villagers were injured in the BSF firing, reports our staff correspondent from Sylhet.

The BDR and BSF jawans fired more than a thousand shots, forcing the villagers to flee their homes, said eyewitnesses.

The skirmish took place a day after BSF intruded into Bangladesh, dug bunkers and retreated following a flag meeting.

Only three days back, the Indian frontier force assured their Bangladesh counterpart of no more killing of villagers in the bordering areas. The assurance came when directors general of the two forces met in New Delhi.

Some 40 Indian Khasia people entered the Bangladesh territory through Muktapur-Jaintapur at around 10:30am.

An hour later, they were joined by a hundred more. Backed by the Indian border guards, they soon began erecting bamboo huts at Mandir Tila, about 300 yards off the no-man’s land.

As they refused to leave on repeated requests from the villagers, a brawl ensued. Hurling stones, the two sides chased each other for an hour.

Talking to The Daily Star last night, BDR Director General Major Gen Md Mainul Islam termed the incident “very regretful”.

He said the BSF stopped firing after BDR had contacted the Indian side.

He observed the decisions taken at the recent director general-level meet do not seem to have been communicated to the BSF officials at the grassroots level.

Really? A DG-level meeting directive has not filtered down to the sector commanders on the Indian side? So is it possible that the BSF, a much smaller force than the Indian military, has a broken chain of communication and/or is actively defying its political masters and even its own director general?

Given the history and culture of Indian armed forces, it is not just unlikely, it is impossible.

Which leads me to the conclusion that the incursion inside Bangladesh and shooting at unarmed civilians by BSF occurred with an informed consent or even a direct order from India’s government.

In short, India’s prime minister and the home minister has the blood of innocent Bangladeshis on their hands.

I have no idea why India is doing this to a friendly government that poses no threat to India (unlike the BNP government that actively patronised Indian insurgents). I do not have to understand India’s motivation to condemn it.

But what is worse is the pussyfooting on Bangladesh’s part. Where is the report about the foreign ministry asking the Indian envoy to explain his nation’s actions? Where is the protest? Oh–I guess those did not happen.

Friendship with India is a necessity for Bangladesh. But it must be based on mutual trust, respect and understanding, not one-way murder of Bangladeshi people by India.

213 Responses to “Why is India killing Bangladeshis?”

  1. Author Image

    Khondkar A Saleque

    BDR Chief must also feel ashamed and ask apology from the nation that his meeting with counterpart did not produce any impact on BSF killing innocent Bangladeshis. Bangladesh foreign office must call Indian High Commissioner and register strong protest. Nation likes to know from Prime Minster why there is no official reaction to excesses of BSF over the last few days?
    In the month of Mach when nation is preparing to observe 30th anniversary of indepence day such action by BSF is unacceptable.

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    There are in fact a lot of incidents where BSF disrespected their DG/HQ orders. One example is there are a lot of Indians also get killed by the BSF every year. The core problem is that they are never punished.

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    Javed Zaman

    It seems that Indian BSF has evolved into an autonomous armed organisation that not only disobeys its commanders but also has no respect for the central government at Dehli.

    I am astounded to see that the recalcitrant BSF has been acting irresponsibly in spite of Bangladesh Prime Minister’s visit to India and DG level border meetings this year. Their aggressive hostile killing behaviour is contrary to international norms in border management. I wonder if the honorable Home Minister Chidambaram is aware of BSF`s intrusion into Bangladesh`s territory to create terror, panic and mayhem inside Bangladesh.

    At a time when everybody had thought there would be a new era in India-Bangladesh relations certain quarters in India are trying to strengthen the hands anti-Indian poliical parties in Banladesh by embarrassing the popularly elected government in Bangladesh.

    Therefore, I would like to make an ardent plea to the Indian Home Minister to look into the matter personally and instruct the BSF to obey central command and behave in a humane manner.

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    Blaming the DG for BSF’s acts is inappropriate. The DG has down a great job by reorganising the institution in less than a year after the brutal massacre.

    BDR was left in tatters and our borders were left unattended for a long time. At that time the BSF was cooperative.But lately for unknown reasons its behaviour has changed abruptly.

    Glad to know the BSF has asked for unilateral show of no force. Good senses have prevailed over madness.

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    Let’s not lay the burden on central government of either country; more critically, what is the local government of Sylhet and their counterpart on the Indian side of the border doing? Do they liaise?

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    J @ ShadaKalo

    I am surprised you asked this question. Even in a federation like the USA or India or Pakistan, borders, immigration and defence are the central/federal government’s responsibility–local governments have nothing to do with this.

    What is the administration of Sylhet going to do–call the administration of the Indian city on the other side, which will then rightfully say they have no control over BSF?

    Bangladesh is not a federation, and all power is concentrated in the government. The local administration have no power beyond local matters. They can not even fully control the police, which takes its orders from Dhaka.

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    Khondkar A Saleque

    Defence is definitely controlled by central government.Border incidents are absolutely affairs between BDR-BSF. Local administration is resposible for co-ordinating and liaision with agencies responsible for issues annd matters.Having knowledge of all these it is not proper to ask what Sylhet adminitration was doing? In Bangladesh reality what else they could do apart from informing the relevant government authorities and agencies and arranging medicare of injured [eople. But local authority must find out root causes of border incidents and suggest to relevant agensies to take appropriate permanent actions.
    BDR primarily and then if required ministry of home of both countries must talk and resolve such issues. Why BSF must keep killing people in the border when in the last summit meeting so many focussed bilateral agreements were made? Why BSF has to undermine the existing friendly relation of both countries? What are their motives? Whose cards they are playing?

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    ShadaKalo, I know who’s the ultimate authority, but, what I’m saying is that there has to be a major push from locals for an amicable set up. I wasn’t negating central government’s authority, we know that’s a given.

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    You Bangals are such losers! Ever since you had independence thrust upon you as a charity act, all you have done is cry and whine and complain of conspiracies. Not a shred has ever been proven, in any forum or court, except in your moronic heads. You are lazy, lose every war, have your spineless leaders who get kicked around by your weak military, are corrupt, poor, starving, illegitimate and weak. But you never accept responsibility, and like typical losers, point fingers at others for your perennial misfortunes. Whether its a drought or a cyclone or a skirmish at the border, you are the forever victims, and go whining with your tail between your legs. You are pathetic.

    Till you own up and act as an independent nation and maturely face your problems, you will remain losers. Up yours!

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    rana dash

    If the Bangladeshi people cross the India-Bangladesh border the B SF are obliged to take actions.They are doing their duties only…….

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