DHAKA Jan 19 Bangladesh has ordered its border
troops to "shoot on sight" to stop the smuggling of goods,
especially fertiliser, out of the country, a senior security
official said on Monday.
Bangladesh's new government cut fertiliser prices by more
than half and that of diesel by 4.35 percent last week in line
with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's promise to help farmers
grow more rice and help build food security for the country's
more than 140 million people.
Fertilisers are a key input for farming while diesel is
required to run irrigation systems in the fields.
Government officials said they feared the price cuts could
lead to more smuggling of those commodities to neighbouring
India and Myanmar, where prices for those inputs are often
Bangladesh shares a 4,000-km (2,500-mile), porous border
"The authorities have ordered Bangladesh Rifles (paramilitary
border guards) to shoot on sight, if required, to check the
smuggling, on top of normal patrolling," a Rifles spokesman
Bangladesh's annual fertiliser demand is around 2.85
million tonnes, of which 1.7 million tonnes are produced at
home and the rest imported, mainly from the Middle East, China,
Tunisia and Australia.
Hasina took office on Jan. 6 following her party's
landslide victory in the Dec. 29 parliamentary election that
returned the south Asian country to democracy after two years
of rule by an army-backed interim government.
(Reporting by Ruma Paul; Writing by Anis Ahmed; Editing by