Two suspected Bangladeshi teenagers were today shot dead by Border Security Force (BSF) early in the morning when they were trying to cross over to Pakistan from the Indian side at Mullankot post near Attari. BSF officers said that during routine night patrolling, their jawans witnessed hectic activity on the border and they challenged the two boys to stop, but when they ignored the warnings, BSF opened fire.
Officials said the two boys were first identified as Muslims during the medical check-up of the bodies and later a note written in the Bangla language in Arabic script was recovered from them.
"Nothing is recovered that establishes that they are Bangladeshi. But the note gives us hints that they are from Bangladesh. Moreover, there have been more that 10 such attempts by Bangladeshis to cross into Pakistan in the last one year," said DIG, BSF, Sanjiv Bhanot. He said Rs 500 in Indian currency was also recovered from one of the bodies.
Bhanot said the boys were trying to sneak across the border under cover of the mustard crop. "One of the boys had jumped the barbed fence on the border and was rushing towards Pakistan. The second was following him closely. They were repeatedly warned to stop but they did not respond. They were then shot at,"said BSF officials. Bhanot said investigations to identify the boys are on.
According to the DIG, instances of Bangladeshis trying to cross the 553-km-long Punjab border have been witnessed earlier also.
"Last year, more than 25 Bangladeshi nationals were arrested roaming near the border. They disclosed during interrogation that they were duped by travel agents who lured them to go to Pakistan for greener pastures but dumped them near the border after bringing them via West Bengal and Delhi," said Bhanot.
Officials said these persons are mostly from the poorest of the poor strata of society and still pay up to Rs 30,000 to travel agents to go to Pakistan. "Surprisingly, they feel that they will get good earnings in Pakistan. Many are now cooling their heels in jails here now. Most of these persons are innocent, as nothing objectionable is ever recovered from them. But they are a major hassle for security reasons," said officials.