Suspected Smuggler Killed in BSF Firing Near Indo-Bangla Border in Meghalaya

A suspected sugar smuggler was shot dead by security forces in Meghalaya near the Indo-Bangladesh border, with his accomplice injured in the firing.

Security forces in Meghalaya allegedly shot dead a suspected sugar smuggler while his accomplice was injured in firing near the Indo-Bangladesh international border, officials reported on Saturday. The incident occurred on March 1 when Asen M Marak, in his mid-forties, was killed in firing from the BSF Meghalaya Frontier.

Authorities are currently determining the identity and whereabouts of the injured accomplice, believed to have been hit in the leg, according to officials.

Confirming the incident, Sohra sub-divisional officer (Civil) Salon Verma stated that the matter is under inquiry and all formalities are being followed. She mentioned, “I will personally conduct the inquest after the investigating team returns to the base with all relevant information gathered. The postmortem will be conducted here in Sohra, and thereafter, the law will take its course towards a logical conclusion.”

The incident took place at Dalia village near Shella in Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district around 8 pm when a BSF posse on duty encountered a group of individuals allegedly attempting to smuggle sugar, onions, and other materials to Bangladesh.

Providing preliminary details, a senior BSF officer stated that while such incidents are frequent, this one differed as approximately 300 people from both sides of the international border gathered at the site and confronted the BSF team. After exhausting all legal measures to control the crowd, the BSF team resorted to two rounds of firing, resulting in Marak’s death.

Almost 300 people from both sides of the border converged at the site to confront the BSF personnel. While a group engaged with the BSF personnel, another group quickly took the contraband to remove any evidence of smuggling along with the person who was alive then, to the village where he succumbed to his injuries,” explained the officer.

Despite initially using non-lethal measures such as chilli grenades, stun grenades, and a pump action gun to deter the aggressive crowd, the situation escalated as the crowd attacked the team with machetes, knives, and other weapons. The team fired once in the air and subsequently fired again, resulting in the injury of two persons. Marak was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries.

“As per convention, unlike the western border, there is a treaty wherein non-lethal measures will be first adopted in cases of border confrontation or skirmishes, and the team had to resort to the last resort to save themselves,” added the officer.