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Talks in progress to resolve BGB-BSF ‘misunderstanding’

Terming the exchange of fire between Border Guards Bangladesh and India’s Border Security Force on the Rajshahi border as an ‘unfortunate incident’, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has said the chiefs of the two forces are holding discussions to resolve the ‘misunderstanding’, Agencies report.

The minister made the remarks during an event at the National Press Club on Friday. 

He said the firing occurred when BSF troops crossed the border following the apprehension of an Indian fisherman by BGB for violating the ongoing ban on hilsa fishing in the Padma River and began to head back without a holding flag meeting.

According to the BGB, the border guards tried to catch three fishermen during a drive on the river in the presence of a fisheries department official .

They detained one of them with nets while the two others fled. Four BSF troopers then illegally crossed the border to rescue the fishermen.

But when the BGB offered to discuss the fisherman’s release at a flag meeting, the BSF men opened fire in a bid to snatch away the detainee.

The BSF later claimed in a flag meeting with the BGB that an Indian border guard died and another was injured in the incident that happened around 10:40 am along the Padma River, said Rajshahi BGB Battalion-1.

Citing a BSF statement, Indian media outlets reported that Head Constable Vijay Bhan Singh died in the BGB fire while another border guard was injured.

Asked about the matter, Khan said, “This was an unfortunate incident. The BGB and BSF have fantastic relations. We are all shocked by this sudden accident.”

“The directors general of BGB and BSF are having discussions. We believe this was an accident and it will be resolved through talks between the two sides.”

Meanwhile, the BGB has started two cases against Indian fisherman Pranab Mandal with Rajshahi’s Charghat police.

He is charged with illegally entering Bangladeshi territory and flouting the ban on fishing in the Padma River during the hilsa breeding season, said the station’s Officer-in-Charge Samit Kumar Kundu.

The fisherman, who is a native of India’s Murshidabad, was sent to jail on Friday over the cases, said the OC.

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