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Bangladesh accuses BSF of killing 136 citizens

March 25, 2011 21:42 IST

Bangladesh has alleged that 136 of its citizens were killed by Indian border guards since January 2009, a charge earlier dismissed by the Border Security Force.

Home Minister Sahara Khatun told parliament 67 Bangladeshis were killed and 80 injured in 2009 by the BSF.

In 2010, 60 of its nationals were killed and 87 others injured by the BSF, she said. Nine Bangladeshis have been killed and three others injured by the BSF as of March 14 this year.

"The Indian side has assured us that they will take necessary measures to stop the killing of innocent people in the border areas," she was quoted as saying by Star online.

She said the Indian government has supplied non-lethal weapons (rubber bullets) to BSF personnel on experimental basis.

Paramilitary forces from the two countries often exchange gunfire along their troubled 4,000-kilometre border, much of which has been fenced by India.

The cross-border firing between Indian and Bangladeshi forces has been a key part of the agenda during talks between the heads of the two countries' border guards amid pledges to scale back confrontations.

India has dismissed such allegations in the past, saying most of those caught in the cross-border firing in the 'dark of night' are terrorists, smugglers and criminals who are seeking to move across the international frontier.

In January, the home secretaries of the two countries had met in Dhaka to end cross-border problems. India had asked Bangladesh to 'sensitise' its people to follow legal routes for crossing their porous frontier.

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