Meghalaya urban affairs minister Hamletson Dohling wondered why the BSF troops did not utilize their arms for self-defence when Bangladeshi criminals attacked them and Indian villagers along the Indo-Bangla border.
The minister’s reaction came after Bangladeshi criminals continuously attacked the Indian civilians including Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in the Dawki area along the Indo-Bangladesh border in the last one week.
The first attack occurred on January 4 on the Dawki-Amlarem road.
Another attack took place in the wee hours of January 8 at Amdoh and Rongtila border outpost of the BSF within Dawki area in West Jaiñtia Hills district.
“I feel security forces especially the BSF have been deployed to man the international border 24 hours. How did these people (Bangladeshi criminals) manage to enter? Even the BSF personnel was attacked and injured besides the villagers,” said Dohling.
Also read: BSF alerts border residents of Meghalaya
“The BSF personnel should have defended themselves especially if a Bangladeshi criminal comes to our territory with the intention to harm us. The BSF has the right to shoot, otherwise, what is the point of carrying the gun,” he added.
The minister said the BSF is being deployed to protect the border and the people residing in border areas and prevent infiltrators who come with the intention to commit crimes inside Indian territory.
“It is disheartening to know that people from across the border intruded into our land to loot and assault our people. I condemn these intruders who dared to intrude into our territory.”
“This is not the first incident where Bangladeshi miscreants have entered into our territory and committed thefts very often. Now, they have gone beyond by attacking our people,” Dohling said.
He said he would take up the matter with Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma to urge the BSF authorities to ensure that Bangladeshi nationals do not illegally enter the state and commit crimes.
Stating that there are police outposts in the border areas, Dohling said it is not easy for police to man the area that falls within the jurisdiction of the BSF and to ask the police not to allow such incident to happen.
He also urged the people residing in the border areas not to hesitate to come forward and air their problems to the state government and immediately inform through their respective deputy commissioners.
“We cannot wait until the situation goes out of control. People should not fear at all, but inform the government as we are here to help the people,” he said.
On lack of police outposts and manpower in Khasi-Jaintia Hills that shares a long border with Bangladesh, Dohling said this issue is under the home department and he would take up the matter with the chief minister on the need to increase manpower in those outposts.
He said he will also take up the issue with the CM about deploying more BSF personnel to man the international border.