Monday, April 23, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

India gives Dhaka clean chit
8 BSF men were tortured, shot point blank
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 22
Even as the efficacy of the intelligence machinery along the eastern border is being questioned, the Centre today said that eight of the 16 BSF soldiers killed by Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) personnel at the Pyrdiwah border outpost were brutally tortured and shot dead from close range while another was strangulated.

“It is a brutal act of murder,” Union Home Secretary Kamal Pande told newspersons after a high-level meeting presided over by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to discuss the killing of BSF men and the intrusion by the BDR in Pyrdiwah in Meghalaya.

Mr Pande said the preliminary investigations revealed that the BSF men were not killed in the firing at the border outpost, but were brutally tortured and shot dead from close range in captivity by BDR personnel.

“It is quite clear that eight of the bodies bore point-blank bullet injuries with mutilation and multiple injuries. Another BSF jawan bore wounds of strangulation,” Mr Pande said, adding that the autopsy report would throw further light in the manner in which the BSF men were killed and other details after the two injured BSF personnel, are returned to the BSF.

Asked how the Bangladesh Government was being absolved of its responsibilities, Mr Pande said the Bangladesh Foreign Secretary had publicly stated that Dhaka was not aware of the unilateral action.

“When the Bangladesh Foreign Secretary is saying so, I believe it is with some responsibility,” he said.

Mr Pande hoped that Bangladesh would share the report of the investigation ordered by them on the incident. To a question whether there had been any intelligence failure, the Union Home Secretary said, “I don’t think you can say that.” He added that the inquiries ordered by the Union Home Ministry and the BSF would go into all aspects of the incident.

Referring to the report by Mr Jagat, the Home Secretary said it appeared that the BDR had dug trenches in the Pyrdiwah side while the BSF patrol had been captured at Boraibari.

The meeting was attended by Home Minister L K Advani, Defence and External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission K. C. Pant, National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra, BSF Director-General Gurbachan Jagat and senior officials.

The situation was discussed at the meeting which also deliberated on a preliminary report given by the BSF chief who made an on-the-spot assessment of the developments in Pyrdiwah and Boraibari, besides supervising the handing over of the bodies of BSF personnel. 


B’desh begins probe

The Bangladesh Government has begun a probe into India’s charges of torture of the 16 BSF personnel killed last week following skirmishes along the country’s border with Assam, Foreign Secretary Syed Muazzem Ali said tonight.

Mr Ali told reporters here that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed was aware of India’s charges and government was taking necessary actions on the basis of her directives. PTI


Govt pays homage to BSF jawans

New Delhi, April 22
The government has issued a formal statement paying homage to the 16 Border Security Force jawans who laid down their lives “to protect national border”.

According to Home Ministry sources, the brief statement also extended its deepest sympathies to the bereaved families of the jawans killed in the clash with Bangladesh Rifles. UNI

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