A shocking incident of the body of a BSF (Border Security Force) jawan killed at the Bangladesh border in Malda having been recovered from a canal has surfaced from West Bengal. The incident was reported on Monday, January 10. As per police sources, the deceased victim has been identified as 29-year-old Vivek Tiwari who was a resident of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. He was a part of the 159th Battalion of BSF and had joined the BSF in 2016. Vivek is survived by his pregnant wife and a one-year-old daughter.
Vivek’s body was recovered on Monday morning from the water body at the Khutadaha border that falls under the jurisdiction of the Bamangola police station. The BSF has alleged that the jawan was drowned in the water body by the traffickers. Other BSF jawans noticed him lying in the water; they pulled his body out and rushed him to their camp. The medical team at the camp examined the body and pronounced him dead.
The death of the BSF jawan has led to huge unrest in the area. It is being alleged that the smugglers in the Bangladesh border area have become very active and are taking full advantage of dense fog during the winter. The BSF states that they had fired at the border four times since December killing two smugglers and injuring at least two others. They also assert that all the dead and injured smugglers were residents of Bangladesh.
A BSF jawan, who requested to stay anonymous, shared that there is no barbed wire fence at the Khutadaha border. There are several reservoirs in the border area. Officials have confirmed that Vivek Tiwari was on patrol duty on the night of the incident. He spotted cattle being trafficked across a canal and was hounded by Bangladeshi cattle smugglers.
“He challenged the smugglers by firing from his rifle and alerted his colleague who was around 80 meters away. He then chased the smugglers in the dense fog without waiting for his colleagues to arrive. He was intercepted, overpowered, and drowned by the cattle smugglers,” said SS Guleria, DIG BSF (South Bengal Frontier). He also added that the BSF has lodged a complaint at the Bamangola police station in Malda and an investigation has been initiated. Malda Superintendent of Police Amitabh Maiti has told media personnel that the samples will be collected and sent to Calcutta.
Among all the border states in Bharat, West Bengal has the longest international boundaries. The 2216 km international border that it shares with Bangladesh is also one of the most porous borders of the nation. The state also shares a stretch of 100 km with Nepal and 183 km with Bhutan.
In March 2020, the union ministry of home affairs presented data in the parliament that showed that security agencies had arrested 1175, 1118, and 1351 trespassers along the Indo-Bangla border in 2017, 2018, and 2019 respectively.
Recently, the Union government has amended the BSF Act and increased the force’s authority to a 50 kilometers stretch from the existing 15 kilometers in all border States. They have been given the power to undertake searches, seizures, and arrests within this range if they deem necessary.
West Bengal’s ruling party, the Trinamool had hit out at this decision leading to a political row between the state and the Center. The TMC accused the BJP of attempting an infringement on state land and was backed by Congress, which is in power in Punjab. However, the unfortunate killing of BSF Jawan Vivek Tiwari corroborates that the extended power of the BSF in these states is indeed the need of the hour. It is safe to infer that any political party refuting the same is only focusing on their gains keeping the nation’s interest aside.
Why do BSW jawans take a soft stance on smugglers operating across the complex Indo-Bangladesh border, I don’t understand. They must use bullets as do Israelis to neutralize such nefarious activities. These smugglers smuggle out cattle from India and sell them to their B’deshi operatives. By this way they smuggle in fake Indian currency (dispatched by ISI of Pakistan) from Bangladesh. Such criminal gangs must be dealt with strong handedly and should be killed at sight.