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Border Security Force (BSF) personnel of the South Bengal Frontier were forced to open fire on Bangladeshi cattle smugglers for the second day running along the India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal in the wee hours of Friday.

The latest incident occurred in Malda district under the jurisdiction of JJ Pur Border Outpost. BSF officials have not ruled out the possibility of injury to any of the smugglers who took to their heels after hearing the shots.

“At around 2 a.m. on Friday, a jawan on duty spotted 3-4 Bangladeshis with four heads of cattle. When the jawan challenged them, the smugglers paid no heed and kept approaching the border. They also tried to attack the jawan with sharp-edged weapons and snatch his service rifle.

“The jawan was then forced to fire one round from his INSAS rifle, following which the smugglers fled, taking advantage of the darkness. Reinforcements reached the spot and found a head of cattle and two swords,” said A.K. Arya, DIG and spokesperson, BSF, South Bengal Frontier.

In another incident on Friday, a BSF jawan was attacked by Bangladeshi cattle smugglers near the HC Pur Border Outpost, forcing him to open fire in self-defence.

Arya said a strong protest has been registered against such activities with the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB). A report has also been filed at the local police station.

“Every day, troops of the South Bengal Frontier face 3-4 such attacks. Our personnel display exemplary courage by showing restraint even at a risk to their lives. Several of our personnel have been seriously injured by the criminals.

“A jawan was also attacked at the Natna Border Outpost in Murshidabad during the day. He had to fire rounds from his Pump Action Gun (non-lethal) and use stun grenades to drive away the criminals,” Arya said.