State Department responds to reports of Indian security forces killing Bangladeshis at border

State Department responds to reports of Indian security forces killing Bangladeshis at border Photo: Mushfiqul Fazal, Just News BD

Mushfiqul Fazal, State Department correspondent 

May 9, 2024

The State Department responded to a question about the recent killing of two Bangladeshi citizens by Indian security forces at the Bangladesh-India border. The incident has raised concerns about a pattern of civilian deaths that may violate international law.

During a press briefing, Mushfiqul Fazal asked State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller if the United States could request India to assess these killings and ensure accountability for any violations.

In response, Miller acknowledged the incident and stated that the US was aware of the reports.

"We understand the Indian and Bangladeshi border security agencies are in communication with one another, and I would defer to them to speak to their respective investigations into the circumstances of the shooting," he added.

The question comes in the wake of the killing of two Bangladeshi men, Abdul Jalil, 24, and Md Yasin Ali, 23, by India's Border Security Force (BSF) in Panchagarh's Tentulia upazila. The incident occurred near the Khaykhatpara border at around 12:30 am, according to Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Commanding Officer Lt Col Jubayed Hasan. 

The frequency of such incidents has raised alarm among human rights advocates and cross-border communities. While Indian authorities assert that their security forces act in self-defense and to curb smuggling, reports suggest that many victims are civilians with no involvement in illegal activities.

The US response underscores the delicate balance in addressing these incidents while maintaining strong diplomatic relations with India. As the investigation into this incident progresses, the international community will be watching to see how India and Bangladesh handle the aftermath and what measures are taken to prevent further loss of life at the border.