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This study investigates the factors affecting the violations of human rights at the borderlands between Bangladesh and India. It sheds a new light on the question: What are the main reasons behind the border killings between Bangladesh and India? Based on both official data and a field survey, it is argued that the issue of border killings is a gross violation of human rights. This study provides Bangladeshi perspectives on the issue of border killings and deaths. A section of India's Border Security Force (BSF) is the main violator of human rights at the borderlands between the two countries. The continued culture of border killings hampers the bilateral relationships between India and Bangladesh by creating a climate of fear and mutual mistrust. A conceptual framework is proposed to provide a deeper understanding of border killings. The findings reveal the nature and causes of killings of Bangladeshi people by India's BSF. Cross-border migrations, illicit economic activities, the Indian fence scheme, border disputes and the BSF's 'shoot-to-kill' policies are, among other factors, principal reasons for border killings. This empirical analysis of Indo-Bangladesh border killings might contribute to the development of a border theory.