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India-Bangladesh Border Conflict

April, 2001

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Flag of Bangladesh

Flags of India and Bangladesh

NAME OF CONFLICT:
India-Bangladesh Border Conflict (2001)

ALTERNATE NAMES FOR CONFLICT:

BELLIGERENTS:

India

vs.

Bangladesh

DATES OF CONFLICT:
BEGAN: April 18, 2001

ENDED: April 21, 2001

TYPE(S) OF CONFLICT:
Inter-State Border Conflict

RELATED CONFLICTS:

PREDECESSOR: (Related conflicts that occurred before)
Bangladesh War of Independence (1971)

India-Bangladesh Muhurichar Island Border Conflict (1975)

India-Bangladesh Muhurichar Island Border Conflict (1979)

India-Bangladesh Muhurichar Island Border Conflict (1985)

 

CONCURRENT: (Related conflicts occurring at the same time)

SUCCESSOR: (Related conflicts that occur later)

CAUSES AND DESCRIPTION OF CONFLICT:

In 1971, India aided the people of Bangladesh (then known as East Pakistan), gain independence from Pakistan. According to the Bangladesh government, ever since that military intervention, Indian forces have occupied a small sliver of land along their border near the village of Pyrdiwah. On April 18, 2001, troops of the Bangladeshi Rifles (border troops) occupied the disputed village. In the fighting that followed, 15 members of India's border forces, the Border Security Force (BSF) were killed, along with several of the attacking soldiers. Indian forces responded and retook the village. Between 10,000 and 20,000 villagers living in the area fled the fighting, with at least 17 suffering wounds. The combat remained limited to the border troops of the respective nations, though mortars were used in addition to automatic weapons fire. Several villages were destroyed or heavily damaged in the fighting.

Several of the Indian dead appeared to have suffered brutal, non-combat deaths, which were blamed on mob violence perpetuated by Bangladesh civilians. The governments of both nations worked quickly to defuse the tension and end the fighting. Since the creation of Bangladesh, the neighbors have had largely cordial relations, though the BSR and Bangladeshi Rifles have exchanged fire in the past. Those incidents centered on Muhurichar Island further to the south. Conflicting claims to ownership of this river island provoked gunfire in 1975, 1979 and 1985. The violence in 2001 was by far the most serious in the history of Indian-Bangladeshi relations.

India and Bangladesh began border talks in March, 2002.

CONSEQUENCES OF CONFLICT:
Increased difficulties in relations and an upsurge in Bangladeshi nationalism and ill will toward India.
CASUALTY FIGURES:
Fewer than two dozen Indian dead, with smaller numbers of Bangladeshi casualties.

At least 17 Indian civilians were wounded.

UNIQUE FACTS OR TRENDS:

 This was the first "serious" military conflict between India and Bangladesh since Bangali independence.

SOURCES:
Yahoo News sources

BBC Online  

Bangladesh and India Begin Border Talks--From the BBC: March 23, 2002

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