AGARTALA, March 17: In a barbaric assault, three men were killed and two others seriously injured as BSF jawans opened fire on a group of villagers at Chittabari border of Sabroom sub-division this evening.
The villagers have later filed FIR against the personnel of BSF’s 31 Battalion at Srinagar Police Outposts accusing a group of the border guards to have attempted to rape a tribal girl in the area. On being challenged by local residents, the BSF men opened indiscriminate fire on the villagers that led to the death of three and grave injury of two, the FIR said.
There was no information of anybody being arrested in connection with the case till latest reports came in.
Meanwhile, the BSF authorities have stated that they had secret intel about a group of men were harbouring large number of livestock to smuggle them across the border. The intel was cross-checked, confirmed and a group of two officials – Assistant Sub Inspector of BSF Abhoy Singh and Constable Rabi Dutta went to recover the cattle, a senior officer of the border guards told TNT-The Northeast Today
When asked about the issue, SP (Operations) said that Superintendent of Police (South) Tapan Debbarma, Officer-in-Charge of Manubazaar Police Station Alamgir Hossain, Commandant of 31 Battalion BSF P.S. Negi were camping in the area since the incident occurred.
Inspector General (Law and Order) K.V. Sreejesh, District Magistrate (South) CK Jamatia and others have visited the area to ensure that tension didn’t escalate any further.
The police has said that the deceased were identified as Suralaxmi Tripura (20), Min Kumar Tripura (38) and Padma Kumar Tripura (37). Two others severely injured in the firing were identified as Shyam Kumar Tripura (33) and Jiban Tripura (22).
Local sources said that Min Kumar Tripura was busy in his rubber plantation with 6 others since this morning. His plantation, barely 750 meters away from the Indo-Bangla international border, often saw BSF jawans passing by.
Suralaxmi Tripura, a young wife and mother of an infant, reportedly excused herself from work earlier than usual at 3:15 PM. On her way back, the lady was allegedly attacked and molested by a group of BSF jawans.
Hearing her cries, her colleagues from the plantation rushed to rescue and attacked the border guards.
Facing resistance, the BSF men opened fire that killed three and injured two, the villagers later said in a FIR filed with the local police station.
In their counter-narrative, BSF has stated that a group of villagers were found trying to smuggle nearly 40 cows across the border to Bangladesh. On being challenged, the villagers deployed women armed with domestic weapons.
The attackers were tried to be dispersed with blank fires, the BSF said adding that when all measures failed, they resorted to fire upon the villagers in self defense.
In a press statement later this evening, CPI (M) state committee demanded immediate arrest of accused BSF jawans and said that such degeneration of law and order in the hands of security personnel couldn’t be put up with.
“This is a rare incident of a central security force trying to rape someone and then doing their best to erase evidence. We condole all those who suffered during this incident and demand strict punishment for all the culprits concerned”, the communist party said in a statement this evening.
Reacting to the incident, Pradesh Congress spokesperson Tapas De condoled the death of three persons and the assault sustained by others. He called for a proper investigation on the issue and demanded that the culprits should be identified and punished.
Featured image(courtesy): DNA India