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 A suspected Bangladeshi cattle smuggler suffered injuries after attacking a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan along the India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal’s Nadia district on Wednesday. The Bangladeshi national has been arrested and admitted to the hospital for treatment.

The BSF has registered strong protest with the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) against attacks by Bangladeshi criminals on Indian border guarding troops. There have been repeated incidents over the last several days due to which BSF personnel have been forced to open fire with their non-lethal Pump Action Guns (PAGs) and even Insas rifles in self-defence.

“The incident occurred along an unfenced border under the jurisdiction of the Maluapara border outpost, where personnel of the 32nd BSF Battalion are posted. The jawans on duty spotted 3-4 Bangladeshi cattle smugglers trying to make their way into the Indian territory. The group, armed with sharp-edged weapons and bamboo canes, was taking advantage of the tall jute crop.

“Seeing them, one of the BSF jawans rushed forward and challenged the miscreants, upon which four more Bangladeshis emerged from the jute field and attacked him. He fired two rounds at a safe direction in an attempt to scare away the attackers, but it had no effect.

“One of the criminals slashed at him with a sharp-edged weapon. Fortunately, the blow landed on the upper handguard of the jawan’s rifle. Finally, upon realising that he was outnumbered, the jawan fired one more shot at the smugglers. This forced them to flee through the tall jute crops, taking advantage of the darkness,” said A.K. Arya, DIG and spokesperson, BSF, South Bengal Frontier.

The area was searched at around 4 a.m. during which a sharp-edged weapon and an injured Bangladeshi national were found more than 200 metres inside the Indian territory.

The man, identified as Md Ajmul Hossain, was rushed to the Krishnaganj Hospital in a BSF ambulance. Hossain is a resident of Thakurpur village in Chuadanga district of Bangladesh.

“Despite frequent flag meetings with the BGB to alert them about frequent attacks and illegal infiltration by Bangladeshi criminals, no concrete action has been taken by them. This inaction has emboldened the smugglers and criminals. Nevertheless, our jawans are steadfast in protecting our borders and ensuring the security of our nation under all circumstances,” Arya said.

The issue also came up for discussion during the recently-concluded IG-level conference between the BSF and the BGB in Kolkata after which Bangladeshi authorities assured action.