Latest border killings point to a scary dimension
THE killing of two Bangladeshis at Chichingapara of Meghalaya in India on Tuesday has a scary dimension to it. According to a report published in New Age on Thursday, the ill-fated two were in a group of five that had entered India through the Haldiram border point at noon and faced the wrath of the local people. Branding them as cattle traders, the Indian villagers chased them towards the border, caught two of them while the remaining three managed to cross the border back into Bangladesh, and beat them to death. While there is no evidence to suggest the involvement of any members of the Border Security Force of India in the incident, there are reasons to believe the murderous mob may have been inspired and emboldened by the impunity with which BSF personnel have continued to kill Bangladeshis on the border. It is also worth noting that there have been instances where the Indian border guards actually orchestrated and/or supervised intrusion of Indians into Bangladesh territory to catch fish or harvest crops. Simply put, the BSF inclination to extrajudicial actions, including killing, vis-à-vis Bangladeshi nationals, and also the indulgence given to it thus far by the Indian ruling elite, seem to have created the impression in a section of Indians living in the border areas that such lawless behaviour is acceptable.
Ironically, the killing of the two Bangladeshis took place on the same day that a one-man special court at the Koch Bihar BSF headquarters began the trial of the killing of Felani Khatun, a 15-year-old Bangladeshi girl, who was shot dead by the Indian border sentinels on January 7, 2011 as she was crossing the border into Bangladesh over barbed-wire fences. In view of the fact that the killing of Felani touched off a furore the world over and apparently put the Indian ruling establishment in the spot, we noted in these columns on Thursday that ‘it is entirely likely that the trial is more a mere face-saving exercise by the Indian government than a serious and sincere effort to address Bangladesh’s concern over border killings or ensure justice for those who lost their loved ones in such killings.’ The very fact that the situation has reached a pass when even some ordinary Indian citizens feel it is okay to take the law into their own hands while dealing with suspected Bangladeshi trespassers tends to vindicate such a conclusion.
Sadly, the government of Bangladesh, led by the Awami League, may have contributed to the worsening of the situation by not being assertive enough in conveying the country’s over the border killings. On the contrary, it has thus far displayed a curious tendency to gleefully accept the essentially empty assurances and reassurances from New Delhi of steps to stop such killings. In fact, the home minister on Tuesday termed the beginning of the Felani murder trial ‘a matter of relief’. One can only hope that the killing of two Bangladeshis on Tuesday would dispel his and his government’s vain sense of relief. Meanwhile, conscious and conscientious sections of society on either side of the border need to mobilise public opinion and bring it to bear on their respective governments so that such blatant human rights violation is put to an end — once and for all.
comments powered by Disqus
The gentleman’s game around the world may have been tainted by... Full story
Democracy’s journey is complicated and tumultuous. But, the recent violence and deaths standing as obstacle shall make Egypt’s democracy journey more complicated, which will ultimately hinder people’s interest; people will find... Full story