After security personnel in Kashmir, guards at the Indo-Bangla will carry non-lethal weapons. The Border Security Force on Saturday agreed to try using non-lethal weapons as its first response against suspected smugglers and criminals.
This would be the first time that a border force uses non-lethal weapons.
BSF personnel would, however, continue to carry regular weapons as well.
“We have decided to induct non-lethal weaponry along the Bangladesh border in certain selected vulnerable areas as an experiment,” BSF director general Raman Srivastava announced on Saturday at the end of five-day talks with Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB).
Raman said if the experiment works, “if it contributes to the lessening of causalities and more effective border controls, we will expand this to cover the entire border.
BGB chief major general Rafiqul Islam had called for a non-lethal response during the talks. “Every individual, be it smuggler, drug trafficker... has a right to survive till he or she is found guilty in the court of law... please avoid firing that kills people. You arrest them,” he said. BSF officials acknowledged that killings in such firings led to resentment amongst the border population.