21 oct 2011
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has once again received information from MASUM, a human rights organisation working in West Bengal, concerning the murder of an innocent person who was attempting to cross the Indo-Bangladesh border. The victim in the case Mr Khalil Sk. is a local medical practitioner who went across the border to treat his ailing relative. It is reported that the victim along with his relatives waited to cross the border and soon after they did, the Border Security Force (BSF) officers took the victim into custody. The victim was later found dead with his skull fractured. The police have refused to register a complaint on the case.
The victim in the case Mr Khalil Sk. is a village medicine man, offering Ayurvedic treatment to the villagers, though he has no medical degree in Ayurvedic medicine. MASUM’s fact-finding mission reveals that on 7 October 2011 Khalil came to know that one of his relatives, residing in Boroban village, in Rajsahi district of Bangladesh had fallen seriously ill. Khalil accompanied by his brother Mr Mikchar Sk. and brother-in-law Mr Mustafa Siraj went to the relative’s house on 7 October for which they crossed the Indo-Bangladesh border located near BSF Outpost no. 1 and 2 under the jurisdiction of Char Mourasi BSF camp.
After visiting his ailing relative, the victim, his brother Mikchar and brother-in-law Mustafa came to the border in the evening on 8 October. But at that time they did not get an opportunity to cross the border which caused them to wait for hours there. At about 11pm they were able to cross the border, but just when they came near to the BSF Outpost no. 1 and 2 the BSF officers (about 5 of them) standing there chased them away. Mikchar and Mustafa were able to flee but they witnessed that the victim was apprehended by the BSF personnel.
Mikchar and Mustafa at about 2.30 hours (on 9 October), informed the victim’s wife Ms. Parvina Bewa that the BSF has arrested Khalil. They informed her that they had witnessed Khalil’s arrest and that Khalil when the BSF found them near the outpost the officers chased them and while Mikchar and Mustafa were able to run away Khalil could not.
On the same day at about 10 am Parvina went to the BSF outposts 1 and 2 in order to meet her husband. There she came to know from the local persons that a dead body was lying in between the BSF Outposts 1 and 2. Parvina soon got notice that the said dead body was of her husband. Then the victim’s relatives, the BSF personnel from Kaharpara BSF Border Outpost Company Head Quarter and the police from Raninagar Police Station came to the scene. At about 8pm the victim’s body was brought to the hospital where he was declared dead. Then they brought the victim’s body to Raninagar Police Station.
Parvina and several other persons including the victim’s relatives who saw the Khalil’s body noticed that the body had several injuries, including that the skull was broken at several places and blood, oozing out from the injuries. The victim’s left eye was brutally injured and there was bleeding on the left eye. Two fingers of his left arm were completely smashed and there was numerous marks of beating on the body as if it Khalil was beaten with wooden sticks on all over his body. They sent Khalil’s body to Lalbagh hospital for post mortem examination, for which the family had to pay.
The police of Raninagar Police Station registered a case of unnatural death, vide Raninagar Police Station UD Case no. 20/2011 dated 9 October 2011. The post mortem examination of the victim was done at Lalbagh Sub-Divisional Hospital, Murshidabad on 10 October vide PM No. 211.
On 17 October at about 8am, the victim’s wife along with her 3-year-old daughter Khadija and 1-and half-year-old son Parvej went to Raninagar Police Station to lodge a complaint against the BSF officers of Outposts no. 1 and 2 for murdering her husband. However, the duty officer of Raninagar Police Station, Mr Sirajul Salehin, Assistant Sub Inspector received the written complaint but did not register a case. After waiting at police station until about 12.30pm MASUM’s staff member took Parvina to the office of District Superintendent of Police at Baharampur, where the written complaint was ultimately received. However the officer did not provide any reference number concerning the complaint. MASUM reports that the state police is yet to take any further action upon the complaint.
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.
Please write to the authorities listed below asking for their urgent intervention in this case. The AHRC is also writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment calling for an intervention in this case.
ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-210-2011