New Delhi: Noting that the BSF is exercising maximum restraint along the Indo-Bangla border, the chief of the force on Thursday warned that his troops will fire if criminals dare them.

"If despite their (BSF personnel) efforts (of exercising restraint) they get into a situation where they are threatened and their life is in danger, then they will use the force available with them to save their lives or the lives of their companions. That means they will fire," BSF Director General Utthan K Bansal told in an interview here.
The BSF chief, however, made it clear that firing will be the last resort and that the force has put in a number of measures to avert any casualty.

"They (BSF personnel) will fire with the available may be a non-lethal weapon, it may be a lethal weapon...every patrol company will have both the weapons but if a person is under attack and he is holding a rifle he will fire from his rifle.

"Even that firing he will do as far as possible with intent not to kill but if the casualty occurs...we will have to tolerate it as an inescapable alternative," the DG said.
The issue is expected to be deliberated in the meeting between Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and his Bangladeshi counterpart Shahara Khatun, who is beginning her three-day visit to India from Thursday.

"It gives me no pleasure in killing any civilians. We have the best of relations with Bangladesh. We want to improve those relations...but we certainly cannot sacrifice the lives of our officers and men and we also have to complete our mandate which is border guarding and, therefore, we are trying to strike a difficult balance between completing our task with as little force as possible," Bansal said.