Border Guards Bangladesh on Thursday opened fire on a Border Security Force party in West Bengal that was trying to trace a missing Indian fisherman, killing a constable, ANI reported. Relations between the two forces had been cordial so far.

On Thursday morning, three Indian fishermen went to Padma river at the India-Bangladesh border near the state’s Berhampore area in Murshidabad district. Two of the fishermen returned, and approached the BSF’s Kakmarichar border post. They told the security personnel that Bangladeshi forces had called the BSF post commander for a flag meeting.

The commanders of the two forces met at 10.30 am, Hindustan Times reported. The Border Security Force commander was accompanied by five soldiers. They approached the Bangladeshi patrol in a water channel.

“During the flag meeting, the BGB patrol did not release Indian fisherman and also tried to cordon BSF troops,” said a spokesperson. “Sensing the situation [was] worsening, BSF party immediately returned...BGB troops opened fire on the returning BSF party.”

Head Constable Vijay Bhan Singh was shot in the head while the other constable was wounded on his hand, according to ANI. They were rushed to the nearest medical facility. However, Singh was dead by then. The other constable was taken to a hospital in the Berhampore.

Meanwhile, the third fisherman, identified as Pranab Mandal, is still in the custody of Border Guards Bangladesh, BBC reported.

Border Guards Bangladesh claimed it informed the Indian security personnel that they had also entered the country illegally, and would be handed over as per the procedure, ANI reported. The Bangladeshi paramilitary organisation claimed that the BSF personnel were forced to flee the scene, and accused them of firing at its personnel after being stopped. “Speedboats continued to enter India,” the news agency quoted the border guards as saying. “The BGB then fired in self-defence. Later, it was reported that one BSF member was killed.”

Border Security Force chief VK Johri reportedly contacted his Bangladeshi counterpart Major General Shafeenul Islam after the incident, News18 reported. Unidentified officials claimed the Border Guard Bangladesh director general had assured the incident would be investigated. Security along the border was stepped up following the episode.

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