Editorial : Bangla aggression on the border

India has lodged strong protest with Bangladesh against aggressive acts in that country's borders with Meghalaya and Assam and asking Dhaka to desist from such inimical activities. In the wake of the series of such incidents-first at Pyrduwah village where BDR personnel encircled the BSF post, killed one BSF jawan and took some of the injured personnel captive, drove out the villagers and settled Bangladeshi civilians on indisputably Indian territory and then shot down a BSF patrol party inside Indian territory at Boraibari also in Meghalaya. These incidents happened without any provocation and the BSF maintained extreme restraint despite the BDR's vandalism backed by regular Bangla Army personnel. The BDR also started unprovoked shelling of Kakripara border grievously injuring ten farmers who were going to their fields. The BDR used mortars and rockets in that unprovoked attack from Kurigram side to Assam's South Salmara-Mankachar subdivision.

The actual motive behind these unprovoked acts of hostility is not precisely known. But our External Affairs Ministry has rightly reminded Dhaka about its responsibility in maintaining friendly and good-neighbourly relations and restoration of status quo ante.

As Bangladesh is going to the polls in October next, the political climate there is hotting up. The challenge from the Islamic fundamentalists and the clout of Pakistan's ISI have pushed Begum Hasina Wazed to the wall and she appears to be forced to appease the influential Bangla Army and a section of India-baiters. The latest aggressive acts on borders of Meghalaya and Assam may be linked with Sheikh Hasina's efforts to woo the Army and a section of India-baiters.

In this backdrop the overall scenario concerning Indo-Bangla relations is bound to acquire new dimension and India will have to keep a tab on developments in Bangladesh. As a country friendly to the people and the government in Bangladesh, India has to maintain a discreet relationship of both non-intervention and friendship. Keeping within these parameters, India has a role to play without getting unnecessarily worked up over these incidents. But that does not mean that we have to condone Bangla misdemeanour. Rather Bangla has to be told in unambiguous term that we are no longer prepared to countenance nefarious activities of trigger-happy BDR backed by Bangla Army.

New Delhi has the responsibility to strengthen internal security and border vigilance. The eastern and northeastern borders require to be treated on equal footing with the western borders as the vigilance on that side is much more in view of the threat perception.

The proper lesson must be taken from the recent happenings on the Bangla border.