ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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India-Bangladesh Relations : Unquiet Border

Two hitherto unheard-of villages on the Bangladesh border, Pyrdiwah and Boraibari, have hogged headlines in the national media of late. The clashes between the BSF and its counterpart in Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), would have passed off as routine border exchanges, but for the pictures flashed across the print media and on television of the bodies of the 16 BSF soldiers killed in the fighting. Four days later, following high-level contacts between the two governments, including an extended telephone conversation between the two prime ministers, the situation on the border has reverted to status quo ante. India and Bangladesh will now do their best to underplay the incident – calling it a localised affair, very likely contrived by anti-India elements in Bangladesh seeking to embarrass the Sheikh Hasina government, perceived to be pro-India, as a part of the build-up to elections there later this year. The BJP-led NDA government, already besieged by a series of crises beginning with the Tehelka expose and followed by the stock market scam and the revelation of corruption on a huge scale in the customs department, can also do without having to face charges of yet another intelligence failure, this time on the border with Bangladesh. By way of pre-emptive action it has announced the appointment of two enquiry committees to probe the incidents on the border. With elections due next month in two states bordering Bangladesh, Assam and West Bengal, the government would rather play down the trouble.

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