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India and Bangladesh work out protocol to end border killings

BSF forces at India Bangladesh border: Will the neighbours manage to resolve thorny issues including border killings

India and Bangladesh at a high-level meeting have decided to stop using lethal weapons at the border. Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan told the media that the two neighbours share good relations but there have been instances of people crossing over casually that leads to some untoward incidents.

According to Dhaka Tribune, everyone concerned is sincere about preventing them from happening.

The issue of border killings has been irking Bangladesh for sometime.

Earlier, Indian High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami had underlined that such incidents are sad for both the countries.

"Certainly border killings are unfortunate and unexpected for both countries. The Indian Border Security Force (BSF) has been instructed specifically not to shoot at the border if there is no threat of attack on them. We do not want border killings in any country," he had said. However, he also said that people from both sides have lost their lives and that there was a need to define it correctly.

India has already assured Bangladesh that there will not be any unlawful killings along the border. “But existence of criminal groups along with people engaged in illegal trading activities have often aggravated the problem and these elements cash in on this touchy issue,” a foreign policy watcher told India Narrative.

Also read: Restoring broken transportation links and free trade could define next stage of India-Bangladesh ties

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar extended an invitation to his Bangladesh counterpart AK Abdul Momen for the next Joint Consultative Committee meeting in India.

“2021 was a demonstration of our deep solidarity and friendship. Agreed that we must build further on that foundation in 2022,” Jaishankar said in a tweet.

The JCC is a platform that allows both countries that share a 4096 kilometre long border, to deliberate on the progress on bilateral relations which include issues related to connectivity, trade and overall co-operation.

This is particularly critical for both countries as New Delhi and Dhaka are keen on expediting connectivity through waterways and land routes. Besides, the two neighbours are also looking to ink a free trade agreement soon.