Indian soldiers killed Bangla workers: Dhaka

Dhaka, August 30:

At least eight Bangladeshi workers were shot and two of them may have been killed by Indian border guards in a fresh flare-up Tuesday on their frontier, a Bangladeshi official said.

“The eight were lifting sand on to a boat from the Shalda river close to the Indian border when the BSF men opened fire,” said Colonel Nesar Ahmed, commanding officer of the Bangladesh Rifles border force. Six escaped with bullet wounds while BSF soldiers took away the apparently lifeless bodies of the other two, Ahmed told AFP.

“We assume the two workers are dead,” he said, adding his unit was trying to set up a meeting with the Indian force to discuss the incident. The wounded workers were admitted to hospital in the border town of Kasba.

Indian and Bangladeshi border guards traded fire earlier this month in a row over repairs to a river bank elsewhere on the border, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of villagers on the Indian side. Each side blamed the other for starting the clash across the Mahananda River.

A Bangladesh Rifles spokesman said today’s shooting was unprovoked. “Sand lifting in the river is a traditional industry of people in this part of the world. They lift sand and sell it to construction firms,” the spokesman said, claiming the Indian troops had opened fire “without any cautionary signal”.