2 BDR men, 1 Indian killed in BSF-BDR firing

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Guwahati, Jan 29 (UNI) Two BDR personnel and an Indian villager were suspected to have been killed following two incidents of cross firing between the BSF and BDR this morning.

''Two BDR personnel were suspected to have been killed in retaliatory firing by the BSF in Patiram area in West Bengal's Malda district,'' BSF sources here informed.

A villager was also reportedly killed in another incident of cross firing in South Dinajpur district of West Bengal when the BDR allegedly opened fire on BSF troops, sources said.

As a result the Indo-Bangladesh border has been put on a high alert.

''Both the incidents occurred between 0900-1000 hours,'' they said, pointing out that the incidents occurred within three days of BSF-BDR meeting that resolved to exercise greater restrain along the border.

The meeting at Bogra in Bangladesh had decided that both security forces would refrain from firing during daytime, except for self-defence.

The BSF claimed that in both incidents today, the BDR had fired first, forcing the BSF to retaliate. The renewal of hostility along the international border assumes greater significance in the wake of confidence building and goodwill missions stressed on by both countries.

A 25-member team of BSF personnel had left for Dhaka on Sunday on a goodwill trip, with their Bangladeshi counterparts scheduled to reciprocate the visit in a few months' time.

The visit is a follow-up of the decision to the effect taken during the Director General-level talks between the BSF and BDR in October last.

Moreover, a 10-member BDR team is slated to visit Meghalaya capital Shillong in February for the annual meeting between the two frontier forces. The preparatory meeting was held at the BSF outpost in Dawki on Sunday.

Deputy Director General Brigadier General MA Bari will lead the BDR team, while the BSF delegation will be headed by Inspector General (Cachar-Mizoram sector) Himmat Singh.

The BSF team is likely to raise the issues of infiltration, arms smuggling, circulation of counterfeit Indian currency from Bangladesh and other cross-border crimes during the meeting.

The presence of Indian outfit's camps in Bangladesh territory and handing over of jailed ULFA leader Anup Chetia to India would also figure in the BSF agenda, sources said.

UNI SG PP PL DB1535

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