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Dhaka to make strong protest against India's border killings

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Jan 17, IRNA -- Dhaka will make a ‘strong protest’ to India against killing of innocent Bangladeshi citizens by the Indian Border Security Force when the home secretaries of both the countries meet in Dhaka on Wednesday, January 19.

‘We will register a strong protest against the killing of innocent Bangladeshi civilians on the border at the home secretary-level meeting between Dhaka and Delhi,’ said a senior official of the Bangladesh’s Home Affairs Ministry, the Dhaka-based daily 'New Age' reported.

The two-day talks, starting with the meeting of a joint working group on Tuesday, will focus on frontier killings, border disputes, smuggling of narcotics and capacity building for both countries’ law enforcers to maintain border security more effectively, the home ministry’s joint secretary (political), Kamal Uddin Ahmed said.

India’s Border Security Force (BSF) on January 7 shot dead Felani, a Bangladeshi teenage girl, after she became entangled in the barbed-wire fence on the Kurigram border.

Felani, 15, was reportedly returning to Bangladesh from India with her father Nurul Islam Nuru, a resident of south Ramkhana at Nageswari in Kurigram. They were coming from Delhi, where they worked, after her marriage with a boy in Bangladesh was arranged.

Home affairs minister Sahara Khatun said on Sunday at her office that the Bangladeshi government would raise the killing of Felani in the talks.

In January 2011 at least four persons were reportedly killed by the BSF.

Over the years the BSF has killed one Bangladeshi every four days, according to human rights organisation Odhikar, which has claimed that 74 Bangladeshis were killed, 72 injured and 43 abducted in 2010.

Home affairs secretary, Abdus Sobhan Sikdar, will lead a 15-member team while his Indian counterpart, G K Pillai, will lead a 13-member delegation to the 11th home secretary-level meeting.

Agreements at the two-day joint working group’s meeting, beginning tomorrow (Tuesday), will be placed at the secretary-level meeting, Kamal Uddin said.

Kamal Uddin will be leading a 12-member team and his counterpart Shambhu Singh will be leading a 10-member delegation to the 10th joint working group meeting.

The 10th home secretary-level talks, held in Delhi from November 30 to December 2, finalized three agreements: one relating to mutual legal assistance on criminal matters, another on the transfer of sentenced persons, and the third, which came into effect last week, on combating international terrorism, organised crime and illegal drug trafficking.

The National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh on Thursday formally requested the National Human Rights Commission of India to recommend the Indian government to stop the repeated killing of Bangladeshis by its border security forces.

In its letter, the commission mentioned the tragic incident of Felani’s killing.

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