A BSF jawan was hacked to death by a group of cattle smugglers at the Indo-Bangla international border early Thursday.
The incident took place at the Bongaon border outpost in North-24 parganas.The jawan, identified as Rashikul Mondal, was also shot in his right eye while he was chasing the smugglers — reportedly from Bangladesh. He was rushed to a Basirhat hospital from where he was referred to R G Kar Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata.
However, he was declared dead on arrival by the hospital authorities.
Around 150 cattle smugglers, armed with countrymade weapons — including improvised guns, sharp-edged weapons and bamboo sticks — were reportedly trying to cross over to Bangladesh with a large number of cattle around 4.30 am.
Following a tip-off, a group of BSF jawans intercepted the smugglers, who opened fire. In retaliation, the BSF personnel fired a few rounds of pump action gun — a non-lethal weapon. Significantly, BSF jawans are restricted from using lethal weapons following a treaty between India and Bangladesh in this regard.
The smugglers also fired upon an additional force that was rushed to the spot. In the crossfire, an Indian associate of the smugglers too sustained a bullet injury. He has been identified as Bilas Biswas, said a source.
Following the incident, a flag meeting was held between the countries where India lodged a protest. A complaint was also lodged at the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) headquarters in Dhaka.
In 2014, at least 78 BSF jawans sustained serious injuries after being attacked by smugglers, said a BSF spokesperson.