//In new window Print all Expand all Collapse all INDIA: BSF in West Bengal once again shows how ruthl

In new window Print all Expand all Collapse all INDIA: BSF in West Bengal once again shows how ruthl

9 oct 2011

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) concerning yet another case of absolute savagery by the Border Security Force (BSF) from Murshidabad district, West Bengal. This time, the BSF is accused of having intentionally refused an ailing woman to be taken to the hospital to save her life. While the lady was bleeding profusely, her husband pleaded with the BSF to let them pass. The BSF refused, and assaulted the husband and shouted literal filth at the couple. The public gathered and protested against the BSF behaviour and tried complaining to the senior officers who arrived at the scene.

The BSF however threatened the public that they will fire at them unless they disperse. Later the BSF arrested four persons, tortured them and later let them go. MASUM reports that now there is huge presence of the BSF at Char Parasur village to which many villagers who protested against the BSF belong. The males in the village due to fear of the BSF have fled. The tense situation continues today and could result in loss of life if an immediate and sensible intervention is not made to diffuse it.

CASE NARRATIVE:

A translation of the complaint made by one of the victims in the case, Mr Sirajul Mondal, to MASUM is provided below.

I am Sirajul Mondal aged 28 years, son of Kuddus Mondal, residing at Char Paraspur Sushil Colony, Dayarampur-Paraspur post, Murshidabad district. I am residing at the abovementioned village at the India – Bangladesh border area, which is on the eastern side of river Padma.

On 3 October 2011 my wife Tuluara Bibi alias Tulu became sick due to Menorrhagia (heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding) and I started fearing for her life. So I decided to take my wife for immediate treatment that she required. I took her in a Donga (a tiny boat made by tin). We soon reached near outpost number 2 under the Farazipara Border Outpost of the BSF. Two BSF personnel were posted there. I showed the officers my voter identification card and requested those two officers to allow us to cross the river Padma to go to Sadikhanr Dearh Hospital.

The officers made an entry of our names in their register book. They provided us a serial number “53” and asked us to wait at outpost for two hours. I informed them that the situation of my wife’s health is so critical and requested them to allow moving my wife as early as possible. Hearing this the two BSF personnel attacked me with sticks in their hand by saying, “Teri mother chod” (f**k your mother), “Bohin chod” (f**k your sister). Hearing this, my wife came down from the Donga and appealed to the BSF officers to let us go. My wife was crying at the time. The two BSF officers also used slang language to my wife and threatened to beat her too. Within 10-15 minutes after that, my wife became unconscious due to heavy bleeding. Suddenly two women from our village (1) Ms Hasina Bibi, wife of Jahangir Mondal and (2) the wife of Mr. Ejmal Sk. came to the spot to go to Roypara and they poured water on my wife’s head. When my wife regained her consciousness, they took her back into the Donga.

By this time, many people came to the Outpost to cross the river. They realized that my wife was in a critical condition and to save her she required immediate medical help. Some of them send message to the villagers of the Sushil Colony. Then about 300 people gathered at the Outpost and they requested the two BSF officers on duty to release us immediately. The BSF officers did not pay any heed to that.

Then the mob became furious and told me to run away with my ailing wife. When we came to the middle of the river, the BSF started indiscriminate baton charging of the people who had gathered there. However, the people took all the boats and crossed the river, reached Roypara and assembled and decided to organize a ‘road blockade’ to protest against the continuous harassment by the BSF.

When villagers were assembling at the public road near Ghoshpara bridge, three BSF vehicles reached there and the officers obstructed them from barricading the road. Suddenly the 2I Company Commandant from the 91 Battalion reached there by vehicle. Seeing this senior officer, the villagers started narrating their concerns like torture and humiliation of the villagers by the BSF. When villagers were busy with talking to senior officer, some BSF officers arrested four people from Char Paraspur village, namely, 1) Mr Intaz Mondal son of Arzan Mondal; 2) Mr Ekram Mollah son of Mr Nazir Mollah; 3) Mr Nuru Munshi son of Elahazi Mondal and 4) Mr Sabdal Mondal.

In the meanwhile Mr. Dwijen Pal son of Phani Bhusan Pal of Roypara was coming to the spot. The BSF arrested him also. All of the villagers were severely beaten with sticks, they were slapped, fisted and assaulted by the BSF officers. The officers then took them to Farazipara BSF Camp. The BSF officers present there threatened to fire at the mob. Seeing the aggressive attitude of the BSF, the people fled.

The four persons who were arrested were mercilessly beaten at BSF camp. Mr Dwijen Pal was severely bleeding from injuries he had sustained all over on his body. Hearing the news that Dwijen Pal was inhumanly tortured, the villagers of Roypara and Palpara, hundreds in number, reached the BSF camp and talked with Company Commandant of the BSF and informed him how an innocent person Mr Dwijen was tortured.

By this time, the Camp Commandant of Char Bhadra Border Outpost took the signature of Mr Dwijen Pal in a paper in which it was written that he was not tortured by the BSF and released him. Within a few moments, other three detainees were also released. But Mr Sabdal Mondal was forwarded to Jalangi Police Station from where he was forwarded to Sadikha Dearh hospital for routine check-up. But the doctor at the hospital wrote “no injury found” in the medical certificate. At the hospital there were couple of police and BSF officers. From the hospital Sabdal was sent to Chief Judicial Magistrate Court at Baharampur with false charges leveled against him.

Now the Char Paraspur village has a huge BSF presence. All the males have fled either to Bangladesh or to other near areas. Besides this, the BSF has seized all the boats and taken them to Farazipara BSF camp and also to other BSF posts. The life and livelihood of women, children and the elderly people of Char Paraspur is now under threat. Since the village is situated other side of Padma river, people residing at the village are completely denied their means to go to the market, hospital, schools or colleges. They cannot go to their relative’s house nor they can visit the villagers.

On 4 October I admitted my wife at the Sadikhan Dearh hospital. On 5 October I went to the Jalangi Police Station to lodge a complaint against the BSF for the atrocities they have committed. But Mr Shyama Prasad Saha, Sub Inspector of Police did not receive my written complaint; rather he threatened me to be arrested. So I ran away from the police station.

At this moment, my wife is being treated at Sadikhan Dearh hospital. Till now I have to bear about Rs. 5000 for her treatment. On other hand, my two children and aged parents are now at Char Paraspur Sushil Colony. I am very confused. I am a victim of torture and harassment by the BSF. I am guessing that my aged parents and my children would die for starving if I cannot reach them. I have no contacts with them.

In these circumstances, I pray to your good self to make a detailed investigation and punish the guilty BSF officers so that I can get justice.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

This is yet another case that depicts the inhumanness practiced by the BSF against the villagers
along the Indo-Bangladesh border. Yesterday MASUM and the AHRC had reported another case where the BSF is accused to have stoned a person to death. MASUM and the AHRC had reported more than 300 cases in the past where the BSF has engaged in similar or worse acts of violence against the villagers. If the situation is left un attended, it is very possible that it could escalate into a worse condition which may lead into firing by the BSF, or the arrest, torture and the registering of fabricated cases against the villagers by the BSF, which is their mode of operation whenever they are challenges by the people.

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-196-2011
7 October 2011