A Border Security Force (BSF) soldier was killed and another seriously injured when their patrol came under fire from the Bangladeshi Border Guards after a flag meeting along the India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal's Murshidabad.
"This morning, three Indian fishermen went fishing in River Padma in the border area. Two fishermen returned and approached the Kakmarichar BSF post, saying that the Border Guard Bangladesh had apprehended them and later released two of them," BSF said in a statement.
BSF said the Bangladesh Guards called a flag meeting over the issue.
"Around 1030 hrs, the Post Commander and five troopers approached the BGB (Border Guard Bangladesh) patrol in a BSF boat. During the flag meeting, the BGB patrol not only refused to release the Indian fisherman but also tried to cordon the BSF troops. Sensing that the situation is worsening, the BSF party immediately returned. BGB troops opened fire on the returning BSF party," it added.
Both soldiers were evacuated to the nearest medical facility, where Head Constable Vijay Bhan Singh was declared dead on arrival. The injured soldier is being treated in a hospital.
Mr Singh, 50, was a resident of Uttar Pradesh's Firozabad.
The Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) claimed they "fired in self-defence".
The Bangladeshi Border Guards said that it told the BSF if they want to take the prisoners back, they would be given a formal return with the flag meeting. "BGB patrol team informed them that you too came to Bangladesh illegally, so you too will be handed over through official flag meeting," the BGB said in a statement, according to news agency ANI.
The BGB further said, "The BSF members were then forced to flee. When BGB stopped them, the BSF members started firing. Speedboats continued to enter India. The BGB then fired in self-defence."
BSF chief VK Johri later called up his Bangladesh counterpart Major General Shafeenul Islam over a hotline, apprising him of the incident, news agency PTI reported. Major General Islam has assured a probe into the incident.
Relations between the two border forces have been cordial for decades and efforts are on to ensure that the situation does not deteriorate, the agency added.
With inputs from PTI and ANI