Friday, June 08, 2001

Shetubondhon - Post Roumary Debates with Sukhamaya Bain - 4

Dear Mr.Sukhamaya Bain :

My comments: These testify the sorry state of the border between Bangladesh and India. The fact that Bangladesh also adversely possesses a large number of Indian territories testifies that India is not acting so much like a big power belittling Bangladesh.

One can't deny the fact that Bangladesh ratified the 1974 Indira-Mujib Border Treaty in 1975. Unfortunately India has not done so for that many years, so the onus is pretty much on India to exonerate themselves from this 'big brother' allegation that we make as a pathological habit! In terms of acreage of land : India's still has a higher chunk in its 'adverse' or other possession - and please refer my piece with Fazlous Satter, 'India: save Your Mangoes and Gunnybag!' in this same forum to give you a clearer insight.

"Some bitter statistics: Bangladesh has a 4156 kilometers of border with India out of which 3976 kilometers are land and the rest 180 kilometers are navigable. 6.4 kilometers of this huge border remains undemarcated i.e 2 kilometres in Muhurirchar, 1.5 kilometers in Balibaree and 3 kilometers in Lathitila. Conversely India has 'adverse possession' (read occupation!) of 3500 acres of Bangladesh territory and Bangladesh has 3000 acres of Indian Territory."
My comments: Murder and torture of alleged criminals in police custody are quite common in Bangladesh. Bangladesh should do a thorough and honest investigation of the allegation made by India, and punish the criminals.Otherwise, Bangladesh has very little to apologize for on these two incidents.

Murder and "torture" in police custody are not defensible. But murder and 'torture' in police custody (which indeed I had a first hand taste in 1999) is not only common in Bangladesh but also in India as also other countries in our pompous 'Sub continent'. Can we forget the blinding of criminals in Bihar in the late eighties?

While Bangladesh needs to its part, we must not be partisan if we desire fairness, Mr. Bain. How about asking the Indian Authorities to conduct a 'thorough and honest investigation' to the hundred of murders, kidnaps, rapes and mutilation that Bangladesh 'civilians' living around our borders have had to endure for all these years? Chronoligically it would make some sense if we accepted these investigations on a 'first come first served basis', i.e first murder investigation first and on and on ....

About soldiers being 'murdered' in custody ... Mr. Bain, there is a secret buzz in the Bangladesh's defense circle, that I wish to make public now, that many of the BSF were killed in 'friendly fire'. Given the unplanned, and bizzarely executed 'rambo' like attack that the BSF launched, where they thought they could have a 'clean walkover', we should not rule out the possibility that the BSF in the confusion of darkness, fear of the unexpected and ferocious counter attack of the BDR and dissipated morales reigning supreme at the time, could have well killed their own men! This has happened in many wars - even in Vietnam.

The Hindu-Muslm hatred and conflict problem should have been addressed in terms of social reforms, in terms of educating the masses, not in terms of creating some more permanent divides.

For Iswar sake Mr. Bain - lets not get into this Hindu-Muslim fervour, when the irony of the whole tragedy in Roumari is out of the 15 Indian dead, 2 of the BSF men were Muslims!

This is pretty much a Bangladesh-India dispute - not a Hindu-Muslim dispute.


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