Joint Statement: Call for Asian Countries to End the Death Penalty and Respect the Right to Life

(Bangkok, 10 October 2018) – The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and 28 civil society organisations in Asia condemn the recent imposition of the death penalty by the Singaporean authorities on Abdul Wahid Bin Ismail, Mohsen Bin Na’im, and Zainudin bin Mohamed. All three were convicted of drug-related offences and were executed on 5 October 2018. As a network of human rights organisations, FORUM-ASIA sees the death penalty as a grave violation of the right to life – the most fundamental and essential human right for other rights to be realised. It serves no purpose to the State and its people in their pursuit of justice. We therefore call on the Government of Singapore, and other Governments in Asia that retain the death penalty to immediately impose a moratorium to the death penalty, as the first step towards its abolition.

The use of the death penalty has seen a global decline in recent years, signifying a movement towards more effective ways of deterring crimes.[1]  Despite this global trend, several Governments in Asia continue to use the death penalty. Just this year, India expanded the scope of crimes covered by the death penalty. The numbers of those sentenced to capital punishment in Bangladesh yearly remains unabated. The region has also seen an increased tendency to use the death penalty for drug-related offences. Indonesia has been executing primarily those convicted of drug trafficking in recent years. It is estimated that China executes hundreds to thousands yearly for drug trafficking or murder, although exact figures are hard to find. The Sri Lankan Cabinet recently approved the President’s proposal to take steps towards implementing the capital punishment to those sentenced to death for drug offences and who continue to operate ‘drug rackets’ while in prison. In the Philippines, several State officials continue to push for the revival of the death penalty, despite having previously committed itself to its abolition.

Governments continue to retain the death penalty despite troubling concerns. There is no convincing evidence to support that the death penalty deters crime. In Mongolia, the death penalty was abolished after it was recognised that the threat of execution did not have a deterrent effect.[2]  Arguments for its use are based more on public opinion rather than on solid scientific evidence. The effect of the death penalty disproportionately affects those who are often the poor and the most marginalised, as they have limited access to resource and power. Judicial systems worldwide are all susceptible to abuse. In Vietnam, the cases of Ho Duy Hai and Le Van Manh, who were sentenced to death despite gaps in evidence and allegations of police impunity, cast strong doubts on the credibility of the judicial system. Capital punishment is irreversible; it violates the right to life and the right to live free from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment – fundamental rights of all human beings. It goes against our goals of promoting rehabilitation for the convicted, and the values and standards of universal human rights we all stand for.

On the World Day against the Death Penalty, we express our grave concern on the continuing use of the death penalty in Asia. We call on all Governments to work for the abolition of the death penalty and to create a justice system that can respect human rights for all, including the perpetrators and the victims.  Only when we respect the right to life and dignity of all can we move towards a global humane society.

The statement is endorsed by:

  1. Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), India
  2. Bytes for All, Pakistan
  3. Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), Cambodia
  4. Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence – Komisi untuk Orang Hilang dan Korban Tindak Kekerasan (KontraS), Indonesia
  5. Community Resource Centre, Thailand
  6. Community Self Reliance Centre (CSRC), Nepal
  7. Equality Myanmar, Myanmar
  8. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Pakistan
  9. Human Rights Alert, India
  10. INFORM, Sri Lanka
  11. Law & Society Trust, Sri Lanka
  12. National (Catholic) Commission for Justice and Peace
  13. Madaripur Legal Aid Association (MLAA), Bangladesh
  14. Maldivian Democracy Network, the Maldives
  15. National (Catholic) Commission for Justice and Peace, Pakistan
  16. Odhikar, Bangladesh
  17. People’s Watch, India
  18. People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), South Korea
  19. People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), India
  20. Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), the Philippines
  21. Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU), University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
  22. South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM), India
  23. Suara Rakyat Malaysia, Malaysia
  24. Taiwan Association for Human Rights, Taiwan
  25. Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), the Philippines
  26. Think Centre, Singapore
  27. Vietnamese Women for Human Rights, Vietnam
  28. Yayasan Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Indonesia/ Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation (YLBH), Indonesia

Statement on 3 years completion of Land Boundary Agreement

30.07.2018

 

The plight of enclave dwellers and the status of erstwhile enclaves in India is something that rarely catches the attention of the media and is therefore an issue that few know or understand.  Succeeding to Partition in 1947, a number of enclaves were created within the territory of India and Bangladesh, due to cartographical and other errors. Enclaves are parcels of land that are part of the territory of another country – in the context of this statement, Bangladesh – despite their geographic location being within Indian territory, primarily in Assam, Tripura, and West Bengal. These enclaves have been the subject of diplomatic disputes between India and Bangladesh since the creation of the latter and the dispute was between India and Pakistan before Bangladesh independence, and it was only in 2015, when the Land Boundary Agreement came into effect, that the governments of both nations attempted to resolve the matter by transferring territorial sovereignty of the enclave to the nation in whose geographical boundary it existed. Therefore, a number of Bangladeshi enclaves in Indian territory now officially became part of India (vice versa, Indian enclaves are now became part of Bangladesh), and the residents of the enclaves were given a choice of citizenship in either India or Bangladesh.

In the meantime, the residents of these enclaves have suffered greatly due to their peculiar status; the Standing Committee on External Affairs in their report to the Lok Sabha noted that they have long complained of lack of access to basic amenities and facilities, which had long been attributed to the complexities of administration in the enclaves. Despite their location, they were subject to the laws of the country to which the enclave officially belonged, but were rendered as de facto stateless persons due to their inability to access rights and remedies. However, the same report suggested that, by passing the requisite 119th Constitutional Amendment – mandated by the Supreme Court in the opinion of In Re: Berubari [AIR 1960 SC 845] – and by transferring the territory, these administrative issues too would recede, permitting residents to access rights available to them as Indian citizens. Three years after the ratification of the Land Boundary Agreement, it appears that not much has changed for the residents of these erstwhile enclaves.

The India-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement—has implications not only for foreign relations but also for larger questions of human rights and the right to livelihood of more than 100000 human being; estimated by independent researches. A land swap agreement would also give citizenship rights to close to 52,000 people: 37,000 on the Bangladesh side and close to 15,000 on the Indian side (governmental estimation).

Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) observed the situation at the enclaves was euphoric after the passing of 119 Constitutional Amendment Bill in Rajya Sabha and after the signing of protocol between the Bangladeshi and Indian prime ministers at Dhaka- Bangladesh, the ecstasy reached its epitome. Majority of the populace found this action as a ray of hope and civil society from both the countries found a respite regarding this long pending issue of bilateral concern. But as MASUM already voiced its concerns that this act in haste by the governments and their attitude to exclude the populace from decision making would open up a Pandora’s Box of distress and conflict; became a reality.

Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) is working in its small resource for the erstwhile enclave dwellers from 2013. From the process of regularization of LBA, both the Governments of India and Bangladesh just fixed the entitlement of the land but except some verbal assurance, Government of India and West Bengal just overlooked the 14864 Bangladeshi erstwhile enclave dwellers. This is mentioned in Government Database that population of 51 erstwhile Bangladeshi enclaves is 14864 and 37334 erstwhile enclave dwellers are belonging in 111 erstwhile Indian enclaves. MASUM received a number of complaints from the erstwhile enclave dwellers from both the countries that they were not included in the joint headcounts in 2011 and 2015. Besides that, MASUM also experiencing the overall apathetic attitude of governmental departments and agencies and how the erstwhile enclave dwellers are being systematically neglected and their legitimate rights have been denounced.

We wish to discuss bellow few major issues related to the rights of erstwhile enclave dwellers in India and its status

Citizenship- According to The Citizenship Act, 1955 in section 7 it is specifically explained that “Citizenship by incorporation of territory.―If any territory becomes a part of India, the Central Government may, by order notified in the Official Gazette, specify the persons who shall be citizens of India by reason of their connection with that territory; and those persons shall be citizens of India as from the date to be specified in the order.” But in reality the mentioned process was not properly followed to include erstwhile enclave dwellers in the citizenry list. Only a letter from Ministry of Home Affairs sent to the District Magistrate of Cooch Behar with a list of names of erstwhile enclave dwellers (List is attached below). This incomplete list is the only document available from governmental agency over the issue and their initiation over this important and major issue. The erstwhile enclave dwellers were given voter identity card with serious flaws and incomplete or incorrect information but that too not fulfilling the purpose. Few months back MASUM did one fact finding where one erstwhile enclave dweller was arrested in Delhi with a doubt that he is a Bangladeshi intruder. He produced his voter identity card before the police but the police personnel opined that the EPIC is forged. He was deported to Bangladesh. This incident proves that the identities or facilities through EPIC or AADHAR distributed to erstwhile enclave dwellers are with serious defects and their names have not been included to the citizenry list of the country.

MHA Citizenship order CBR

Land – After execution of Land Boundary Agreement the total land has been swapped; the erstwhile enclave land with private ownership of erstwhile enclave dwellers from Bangladesh has been included to the Indian territory and government assured the dwellers that the land will be handed over to them by land registration after land survey and checking of land documents. Three years passed after this announcement, but the land survey has not been completed yet and lands are still with the government not with its actual owner. Erstwhile enclave dwellers cannot mortgage or sell his/her land in any emergency.

After one and half year from execution of Land Boundary Agreement, constructional work of roadways has been started at erstwhile enclaves and Public Works Department acquired lands for this purpose but the erstwhile enclave dwellers were not compensated for loss of their land. MASUM made complaints before National Human Rights Commission and other administrative departments on behalf of land losers but till date the matter is remained unsolved.

On the other hand 945 erstwhile Indian enclave dwellers came to India after LBA execution. These people were promised by the Indian Government to get proper rehabilitation and compensation. After 3 years of LBA execution, these people are still kept in 3 rehabilitation camps situated at Dinhata, Mekhliganj and Haldibari in Cooch Behar district with any adequate rehabilitation and compensation package.

Other Social Security Schemes –3 years passed from the execution of Land Boundary Agreement but till date most of the erstwhile enclave dwellers are out from social security schemes earmarked by Government of India. In many of the erstwhile enclaves; Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED) dug deep tube wells for drinking water and installed solar pump to meet the water requirements for agricultural purpose. But after few months the deep tube wells were not functioning. They repeatedly complained to PHED and District Magistrate. But till date the problem was not resolved. Almost same story is for solar pump too. At the time of installation it was propagated that 30-40 Bigha of land will be irrigated but only catering 5-6 Bigha of land. Only 7 erstwhile enclaves out of 51 got the electricity connection and in other erstwhile enclaves electric poles have been dug without wiring. The institutional deliverances from State has not been initiated yet, no new schools, ICDS centers, health delivery units and police station has been came in to existence to cater the erstwhile enclave dwellers, moreover few ICDS centers in the vicinity of erstwhile enclaves have been shut down. There are many erstwhile Bangladeshi enclaves where the work for roadways has not started yet or it has been stopped in half way. Number of times dwellers submitted written complaint but without any positive response from administration.

The erstwhile enclave dwellers are being systematically denounced to use their right to franchise during the recent Panchayat election few months back. Though there are ample provisions in manuals of Indian Election Commission to facilitate new voters to cast their votes but the government on the contrary tried to deter the erstwhile enclave dwellers from franchise. In manual of Election Commission they set up criteria of a new polling station during rationalization (P-23). They stated –

  • New polling station may be proposed if a village has more than 300 electors and a suitable Government building is available for the polling station.
  •  If a new colony with a number of dwelling units has cropped up, then new polling station may be created.

But the erstwhile enclave dwellers asked to cast their vote in the polling station at their adjacent villages. Most of the erstwhile enclaves consists more than 300 voters but no new polling booth has been proposed for erstwhile enclave dwellers.

 Situation at Rehabilitation Camps

 In November 2015 total 945 erstwhile enclave dwellers came from Bangladesh. Government of India took their all responsibilities. First they were located in 3 rehabilitation camps situated in Dinhata, Mekhliganj and Haldibari. Every family received one tiny corrugated roof room with a small piece of area as kitchen. Each family is getting 30 kg of rice, 5 liters of mustard oil, 5 liters of kerosene oil, 1 kg of salt, 1 kg of powder milk and 1 kg of lentil as monthly ration. This arbitrary rationing and space provided is inhumane as a family with 7-10 persons has to accommodate in the space provided and quantity of ration. There is no scope for earning and government has not created any job opportunity for them and as a result, after few months, a sizable numbers of erstwhile enclave dwellers from camps migrated to other places in search of job. Till date government has not announce a clear cut compensation and rehabilitation package for them.

Few months back government started constructing flats/ apartments for the dwellers having knowledge that they belong to rural background and not comfortable with urban settings  and the dwellers showed their non acceptance. For Mekhliganj camp dwellers, flats are constructed at a remote place and at the bank of a eroding river. The main road is minimum 10 kilometers away from the site.

This is the situation of the affected people after 3 years from execution of well trumpeted Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh. The euphoria and hullaballoo subsided, the promises by the governments is fading its impacts on the memories of subjugated erstwhile enclave dwellers for whom appropriate adjective was used as persona non gratabut question is whether they came out of this bracket of identity or they still person of nowhere? The government of India has obligation to answer this question.

Muslim youth killed by BSF by stone pelting in 2014. Now the family members under series of attack by police, having nexus with BSF. False charges, arrest, threat

To

The Chairman

National Human Rights Commission

Manav Adhikar Bhawan

Block-C, G.P.O. Complex, INA

New Delhi-110023

 

Respected Sir,

 

I want to draw your attention over an incident of illegal detention of a person and implicating him in a fabricated and false criminal case. The aggrieved is a poor agrarian labour and was uncle of extra judicially killed youth; who was killed by the BSF personnel in year 2014 and we made complaint over the incident to the Commission on 5th May 2014, which was duly registered as NHRC Case No. 666/25/15/2014-PF. We also made an update available to NHRC on 17th December 2016. BSF in connivance with local police are hell-bent for withdrawal of the complaint which the family members are not ready to.

The incident was in total contravention of Article 22 and 21 of Indian Constitution and other specific procedures for arrest, detention, search and seizure. The incident was in contravention of Article 9 (1) and (3) of ICCPR and Article 8 of Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials; Adopted by General Assembly resolution 34/169 of 17 December 1979.

I am attaching herewith a brief case detail which is self explanatory in nature and request for your immediate intervention over the incident through under mentioned directions:-

 

  • The incident must be investigated by the Commission’s own investigating unit
  • The continuous threat and inducement by the police and BSF over the family members of the extra judicially killed Sohag Sahaji must end
  • The false and fabricated charges against the aggrieved must be withdrawn
  • The police personnel involved in illegal detention and fabrication must be booked under specific criminal charges
  • Fabrication with manufacturing of government (police) records and using those false records as evidence to be dealt with strong hands.
  • The family must be duly protected and compensated

 

Name and details of the victim: Mr. Din Islam Sahaji; son of Late Ghanu Sahaji; aged about 40 years, by faith- Muslim, resident of village- Hakimpur- Uttarpara, Post Office- Hakimpur, Police Station- Swarupnagar, 24 Parganas (North), West Bengal

Name of the secondary victims: Ms. Rehana Khatun; wife and Ms. Salma Sahaji; daughter

Name and details of the perpetrators: 1. Mr. Satyam Ghosh; Officer in Charge of Swarupnagar Police Station 2. Mr. Maloy Mondal; Sub Inspector- Swarupnagar PS 3. Mr. Siddhartha Mondal; Sub Inspector- Swarupnagar PS and other police personnel of Swarupnagar Police Station

Place of the incident: Idgah at Daharkanda; adjacent to Outpost No. 10 and Point No. 9 of Border Security Force

Date and Time of the incident: at around 7.00 PM on 06/05/2017

Case Detail

Mr. Din Islam Sahaji is a poor agrarian labour and he was the uncle of Late Sohag Sahaji; who was killed by the BSF personnel in year 2014 and we made complaint over the incident to the Commission on 5th May 2014, which was duly registered as NHRC Case No. 666/25/15/2014-PF. We also made an update available to NHRC on 17th December 2016, informing the Commission about the BSF’s effort to influence and allure the witnesses of the case; which is also being pending before the BSF Court and the case was initiated after Commission’s intervention. BSF in connivance with local police are hell-bent for withdrawal of the complaint which the family members are not ready to.

On 06/05/2017 at around 7.00 PM, Mr. Sahaji came to Swarupdah market through his bicycle; which is nearly 2 kilometers away from his home. After spending half an hour at the market, he was returning to his home and while reached at Idgah of Daharkanda; adjacent to Outpost No. 10 and Point No. 9 of Border Security Force; Mr. Adhir Chowdhury; a Border Security Force personal asked him to stop. It was also learnt that the BSF officer just below the rank of Company Commandant also present at the spot with his vehicle. The police personnel from Swarupnagar Police Station were also present at the spot with their vehicle and taken Mr. Sahaji on their vehicle. On 06/05/2017; the BSF personal; Mr. Adhir Chowdhury visited Mr. Sahaji’s home and handed over the bicycle to the family and informed that he was being apprehended by Swarupnagar police station.

On the other hand; Swarupnagar police cooked up a story that Mr. Sahaji was arrested from Dak Bungalow Road at Hakimpur Mathpara on 07/05/2017 with firearms on a tip off from their informer and initiated a case against Mr. Sahaji vides Swarupnagar PS Case No. 363/17 dated 07/05/2017 under sections 25(1)(a) and 27 of Indian Arms Act.  He was produced before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court- Basirhat on08/05/2017 and sent to judicial custody. He was detained for more than 24 hours at Swarupnagar Police Station and in between, elected Gram Panchayet member; Mr. Pintu Kundu and other villagers visited the police station in subsequence and requested for release of the innocent person but the Officer in Charge of the Swarupnagar PS; dillydallying over the issue; on 7th May 2017 morning, he told the assemblage that Mr. Sahaji would be released in evening and on the same day evening the OC said he would be released on next day morning; 8thMay morning but Mr. Sahaji was sent to court on 8th May afternoon.

On 12th May 2017, nearly 250 villagers with member of Bithari- Hakimpur Gram Panchayet submitted memorandum to the Superintendent of Police; 24 Parganas (North), Sub Divisional Police Officer; Basirhat, Block Development Officer- Swarupnagar and Officer in Charge of Swarupnagar Police Station and demanded for withdrawal of false and fabricated criminal case against Mr. Sahaji.

The concocted story by Swarupnagar police has many gaps and falsification was evident; few of them are mentioned bellow:-

  • Mr. Sahaji was arrested on 6th May 2017 at around 7.30 PM in presence of BSF officials from road and his bicycle was handed over to the family on the same night by a BSF personal but police shown arrest on 7th May at around 10:45 PM; only to evade charges of illegal detention of Mr. Sahaji at Swarupnagar Police Station. In between, on 7th May; a local Gram Panchayet member and many villagers visited the police station and discussed with the Officer in Charge for his release and withdrawal of false case.
  • According to the Swarupnagar Police; they seized an impoverished country made firearm from Mr. Sahaji but in the seizure list, the witnesses were only police personnel, not a single passerby or resident of the locality; whereas the place of arrest shown by the police is a busy thoroughfare of the area.

Custodial death allegedly by torture. Normal procedures violated by the administration to shield the perpetrators

To

The Chairman

National Human Rights Commission

Manav Adhikar Bhawan

Block-C, G.P.O. Complex, INA

New Delhi-110023

Respected Sir,
I lodge this present complaint in the matter of alleged murder of the victim Nur Haque Ali in the custody of Dinhata Sub-Correctional Home, District-Cooch Behar. In gist it is alleged by the family of the victim that he was arrested by the police of Dinhata Police Station on 05.04.2017 at night from his residence and later he was sentenced by the court to undergo imprisonment for one month in connection with a maintenance case filed by his wife. Accordingly he was in detention at Dinhata Sub-Correctional Home, Dinhata, but on 08.05.2017 he died an unnatural death while in custody at the correctional home. The victim’s family in writing lodged complaint at Dinhata Police Station on 09.05.2017 that the victim was murdered in the said correctional home. Though the complaint was registered as FIR no action has been taken against the accused persons till date. Our attached fact finding report gives details of the incident.

It is further came out during the fact finding that no enquiry by any judicial magistrate has taken place till date in compliance of section 176(1-A) of the Criminal Procedure Code. Moreover till date the information of the custodial death of the victim as well as the video recording of the post mortem examination of the victim was not sent to the Commission which is a blatant violation of the guidelines issued by the Commission in case of custodial death.

Under the circumstances, I pray for immediate intervention of the Commission in the present complaint on the following points:-
· The whole matter should be inquired by the Commission’s own investigating wing.

· An inquiry by a Judicial Magistrate must be held to ascertain the actual cause of death of the victim in custody.

· The perpetrators/accused persons must be arrested forthwith and they must be punished in accordance with law.

· The concerned authorities must be directed to take action in compliance of the guidelines issued by the Commission in case of custodial death.

· The Government of West Bengal should be directed to provide compensation

 

Particulars of the victim: – Nur Haque Ali (deceased), son of Akkach Ali, aged about-65 years, by faith-Islam, residential address at village-Ratinandan Konamukta Payasti, Police Station-Dinhata, District-Cooch Behar, West Bengal, India.

Particulars of the perpetrators: – The Superintendent of Dinhata Sub-Correctional Home, District-Cooch Behar and the other involved personnel of the said correctional home.

Place of the incident: – At Dinhata Sub-Correctional Home.

Date of the incident: – On 08.05.2017

Fact Finding Details:-

It is revealed during the fact finding that the victim Nur Haque Ali was arrested from his residence by the police of Dinhata Police Station on 05.04.2017 at night. On the next day he was produced in the court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dinhata. He was sentenced to suffer one month imprisonment in correctional home in connection with a case for maintenance lodged by his wife Ms. Nurnahar Bibi. Accordingly he was sent to Dinhata Sub-Correctional Home to serve the sentence. He was supposed to be released from the correctional home on 08.05.2017.

On 09.05.2017 at about 3 am the police from Dinhata Police Station arrived at the residence of the victim and informed his family members that the victim was at Dinhata Sub-Divisional Hospital and asked them to sign on a paper. But they did not sign on the paper produced by the police. They reached at Dinhata Sub-Divisional Hospital and found that the victim was lying like a dead body beside the emergency ward of the said hospital and he had no cloth on upper portion his body except his body was covered with a blanket. The daughter of the victim asked the doctor Mr. Indrajit Das who was available there at that time about what happened with the victim. He stated that the victim was brought dead at the hospital at about 9pm on 08.05.2017. Mr. Mosufa Ali (son of the victim) and other family members who were present in the hospital at that time stated that they saw marks of injuries on several parts of the body of the victim. They further stated that there was no one present from the Dinhata Sub-Correctional Home when they were in the hospital and they heard that the personnel from the said correctional home left the hospital after leaving the victim’s body.

It is reported that one executive magistrate namely Mr. Manbind from Dinhata Sub-Division was present during the inquest conducted by Mr. B. K. Rai being the Sub-Inspector of Police of Dinhata Police Station.

The post mortem examination of the victim was held at M.J.N. Hospital, Cooch Behar on 09.05.2017. The cause of death of the victim is still pending due to non-receipt of chemical analysis report of viscera. The police of Dinhata Police Station registered one unnatural death case on the death of the victim vide Dinhata Police Station U. D. Case no.49/2017 dated 08.05.2017.

On 09.05.2017 Mr. Mosufa Ali submitted a written complaint before the Inspector-in-Charge of Dinhata Police Station alleging that he saw several marks of injuries on the body of his father i.e. the victim when he saw the body of his father lying at the hospital. He also alleged of murdering of his father i.e. the victim inside Dinhata Sub-Correctional Home in his written complaint. The complaint was registered as Dinhata Police Station Case no.456/2017 dated 09.05.2017 under sections 302/34 of Indian Penal Code against the Superintendent of Dinhata Sub-Correctional Home and other staffs of the said correctional home. However the Investigating Officer (I. O.) of the case is sitting idle on the investigation and he did not take any action against the accused persons till date.

It is further came out during the fact finding that no enquiry by any judicial magistrate has taken place till date in compliance of section 176(1-A) of the Criminal Procedure Code. Moreover, we came to know that till date the information of the custodial death of the victim as well as the video recording of the post mortem examination of the victim was not sent to the Commission which is a blatant violation of the guidelines issued by the Commission in case of custodial death.

Erstwhile enclave dweller, Scheduled Caste, DALIT woman died in settlement camp due to total negligence of the government offices

To                                                                                                                                28 May 2017

The Chairman,

National Human Rights Commission,

Manav Adhikar Bhawan,

Block-C, GPO Complex, INA,

New Delhi- 110023

Respected Sir,

 

I want to draw your kind attention over an incident of death of an erstwhile Indian enclave dweller; Late Puti  Barman aged about 31 years. The deceased came to India with her family from 150 Dashiyar Chora; an erstwhile Indian enclave inside Bangladeshi territory. She was along many others who opted for Indian citizenship after implementation of Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) on 31st July of 2015. Government of India took her alongwith others, brought India and given temporary shelter under it’s custody.

 

On 29th November 2015, victim with her family members entered into India. As per the LBA the erstwhile Indian enclave dwellers from Bangladesh, located in 3 temporary rehabilitation camps until they are duly compensated and permanently rehabilitated. Deceased’s family was taken into the camp situated at Dinhata in Cooch Behar district. It was mentioned in LBA that the every livelihood issues of these people will be taken care of Indian Government. But the situation of them got worse by the time. The given ration was not sufficient for a family and these people have no way to income.

 

So most of them started work as a land labor and some of them migrated to other states. Like others, husband of the deceased; Mr. Pradip Barman was also engaged himself to work as a land labor. After some days victim’s health condition was deteriorated. Several times Mr. Pradip Barman asked for treatment for his wife to the concerned authorities of the said camp. But they did not pay any heed on this. Later victim got treatment from the monthly medical camps which we organized at the Cooch Behar supported by UNVFVT.

 

In the month of December, the health conditions of the deceased deteriorated further and she was admitted to Dinhata Sub Divisional Hospital and then transferred to Cooch Behar MJN Hospital. She was released after few days. On 11th March 2017, the deceased was losing her sense frequently and was suggested for a Computed Tomography (CT) Scan by Dr Tapas Kumar. The deceased was brought to Reddy Healthcare Private Limited at Siliguri and CT Scan was done there on the same day. But she died while she was returning to her place at Dinhata Camp by an ambulance hired by her husband. It was learnt that in between she was treated by private medical care facilities as well many pathological and other medical examinations were done at private institutions and the family incurred all the expenses. No health facility was there. Earlier, one doctor was deputed to check up the enclave dwellers once in a month. But that facility also stopped for 7 months.

 

This whole episode is actually reveal the total uncare and apathy by the government and its agencies who promised that the erstwhile enclave dwellers will provided with all citizenry benefits and services. The situations in rehabilitation camps for erstwhile enclave dwellers opted for Indian citizenship and came from Bangladesh are marred by total dehumanization and apathy; they are forced to live in sub human living conditions. In this reference I wish to inform you that nearly 6 persons have been died; as report available to us, from November 2015 to till date at three rehabilitation camps at Coochbehar district due to non- availability of proper food and medical attention. The situation is not only a case of departure from promise by a government but against the basic premises of providing human living to all inside a territory of country.

 

In this context I demand for:-

  • An investigation over the cause and reasons of death of Puti Barman

This death should be treated as “Death in Custody” and action be taken accordingly

  • Financial compensation for the family
  • Direction to the governments to keep its promise regarding citizenry rights of the dwellers in rehabilitation camps for erstwhile enclave dwellers
  • Proper rehabilitation and compensation to be done without further delay to the Indian enclave dwellers brought from Bangladesh.
  • Government of India and Government of West Bengal should pay respect to the report submitted in 119th Constitution Amendment Bill passed by the Parliament of India.
  • The governments should ensure all the benefits and rights regarding employment, livelihood, medical care, education and social security to all living in rehabilitation camps for erstwhile enclave dwellers.

 

Sincerely Yours

Kirity Roy

Secretary- MASUM

 

Victim is under serious and continuous threat from BSF, case is pending before NHRC. BSF warned to withdraw the complaint.. Police and BSF nexus

To                                                                                        

The Chairman

National Human Rights Commission

Manav Adhikar Bhawan

Block-C, GPO Complex, INA

New Delhi – 110023

Sir,

 I want to draw your kind attention on an incident where victim of torture is getting continuous threats and intimidation to withdraw his complaint which was lodged before the NHRC.  The complaint was made on 26thJanuary 2016 and registered vides NHRC Case Number – 258/25/13/2017-PF. The details of the victim was; Mr. Rahidul Sarkar, son of Mr. Mamtaj Sarkar, aged about-25 years, by faith-Muslim, , residing at village-Nolbona Lalkup, Block-Jalangi, Post Office-Bamnabad, Police Station-Raninagar, District-Murshidabad, West Bengal, India.

 The gist of the complaint was as follows; on 17.12.2016 at about 10 am, Mr. Rahidul Sarkar, deposited his voter identity card and bicycle at BSF Out-Post no.4 and after recording his name in the register maintained at the BSF Out-Post he was going to his farming land. At that time two BSF personnel were on-duty at the said BSF Out-Post. Suddenly one of the BSF personnel called the victim back to the Out-Post and he started to abuse the victim in filthy languages. The said BSF personnel blamed on him that he would go to Bangladesh. The BSF personnel giving such false blame upon the victim started to assault him by wooden sticks. The victim repeatedly requested them to return his voter identity card and bicycle if he was not allowed to go to his farming land. But the BSF personnel did not pay any heed and they continued to assault the victim by wooden sticks. The victim told them not to hurt him on his left leg as he sustained fracture on the said leg two years ago in a road accident and he did not fully recovered. But the BSF personnel did not care and they intentionally and deliberately hurt on his left leg by wooden sticks repeatedly. The BSF personnel also tried to throttle his breath by holding his neck and forcibly squeezed his ears.    Some co-villagers of the victim rescued him and brought him to Godhanpara Block Primary Health Centre for medical treatment. On the next day he received medical treatment from Sagarpara Primary Health Centre. He was also medically treated at Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital. The medical history reports of the victim showed that he sustained swelling, pain and fracture injuries. The victim sent a written complaint to the the Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad on 22.12.2016 through registered post stating the incident of physical torture committed upon him by the perpetrator BSF personnel.

 UPDATE

In recent development the BSF personnel regularly visiting the victim and his family and pressurizing him to withdraw his complaint before the Commission. In subsequent occasions on 11, 12 and 21 April 2017. at around5-6 PM in previous two occasions and around 12-1 AM on last, the personnel made visits to victim’s house and intimidated him and his family. The BSF personnel also threatened him by saying that he will be prevented to visit his lands for farming and also would be arrested him in some false charges if not complied their dictum. In this circumstance the victim is living under threat and danger.

 On 18.04.2017 victim lodged one written complaint to the Superintendent of Police of Murshidabad narrating the whole incident but no action has been taken till.

 Hence we seek your urgent intervention in the following manner:-

·         The victim must be given full protection and district police and administration must be directed to provide full security and safety to the victim

·         Restrict the BSF personnel from any move to check the legal and legitimate movement of the victim

·         NHRC team should visit district Murshidabad and record the testimonies of numerous victims of torture and family members of extra judicially killed persons along with the witnesses and come out with a long term solution and remedy

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,

 Kirity Roy

Secretary, MASUM

&

National Convener, PACTI

Enclave dweller came from Bangladesh, got shelter at Dinhata Krishi Firm by Indian government, died without treatment in Delhi. No one is accountable.

To

The Chairman

National Human Rights Commission

Manav Adhikar Bhawan,

Block-C, GPO Complex, INA,

New Delhi – 110023

 

Respected Sir,

I with my present complaint bring to your attention the following facts and seek your intervention for the victim Ms. Laiju Begum and her two minor children.

The victim used to reside with her husband Md. Samsul Haque in an Indian enclave (Chhit no.150, Chhit name-Dasiar Chhara) surrounded by Bangladesh territory. After the execution of India-Bangladesh land Boundary Agreement, the victim’s husband opted to come to India with the victim. Accordingly he was issued Temporary Travel-cum-Identity Pass and he came to India and started to reside at Dinhata Krishi Mela which is one of the temporary shelters for the people who came to India from the erstwhile Indian enclaves surrounded by Bangladesh territory. There he used to reside at house No. 47 with his wife and his minor son Sadik Rahaman (age-4 years) but the condition of the shelter was not fit for human habitation in dearth of jobs, food, cloth and other basic necessities of life. It is revealed during the fact finding that about 58 families from Dasiar Chhara enclave were provided temporary shelter at Dinhata Krishi Mela but the facilities provided to them by the administration were not sufficient to meet their bare and minimum requirements.

Considering the circumstances he with many other people from the said shelter went to Delhi for earnings by working as day labour. He had to go out of the temporary shelter in search of earnings in the month of June, 2016 considering the situation that his wife was pregnant at that time coupled with duty to maintain his wife and the minor son. But unfortunately he died on 26.09.2016 while he was in Delhi. After his demise the victim gave birth to a female child and her name is Sadika Sultana. At present she is not physically well and unable to make any earning by herself. After demise of her husband she has been living in poor condition with her two minor children at Dinhata Krishi Mela.

The victim Ms. Laiju Begum filed a written application before the Sub-Divisional Officer, Dinhata on 21.10.2016 disclosing her appalling condition and she prayed for necessary help to sustain herself and her children. At the time of submitting the petition her daughter was only 4 days old. The Sub-Divisional Officer, Dinhata duly received the petition on 21.10.2016 but till date did not take any action for the victim by considering her human appeal. Due to insensitive attitude of the administration the victim is at the fag end of living a life with dignity with her minor children.

Under the circumstances, I seek your urgent intervention on my present complaint and I hope that the Commission would consider my following demands for the victim:-

  • The whole matter should be inquired into by one neutral authority.
  • Direction to the concerned authorities for immediate assistance to the victim and her two children for their proper and permanent rehabilitation and arrangement of basic requirements of life for them.
  • Necessary action for proper and permanent rehabilitation and adequate compensation to all the people living in subhuman condition in the temporary shelter.
  • Any other action as the Commission may deem fit and proper.

 

Thanking You,

Yours truly,

 

Kirity Roy

Secretary, MASUM

&

National Convener, PACTI

 

 

 

 

 

Scheduled caste man (DALIT) tortured with electric shock

To                                                                                                                                19 May 2017

The Chairman

National Human Rights Commission

Manav Adhikar Bhawan

Block-C, GPO Complex, INA

New Delhi-110023

 

Respected Sir,

 

I lodge this present complaint where the victim a Scheduled Caste youth from district-Murshidabad, West Bengal was subjected to severe physical torture and even administered electric shock on his body parts by the perpetrator Border Security Force personnel on 24th April 2017 at about 9 am in the morning. He lodged a complaint before the Raningar police station of Murshidabad district and the complaint has been registered vide Raninagar PS Case No. 243/17 dated 25.04.2017 under sections 379/324/506/34 of Indian Penal Code,  but no appropriate action has been taken till date. He was illegally being captivated by the BSF personnel and no medical attention has been provided though he was severely injured by the torturous acts of BSF personnel.

The incident was in total contravention of Article 21 of Indian Constitution; which guarantee life and liberty to all. The BSF personnel also violated the international obligations stated in article 7 of ICCPR and article 2,3,5,6 and 8 of Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials; Adopted by General Assembly resolution 34/169 of 17 December 1979.

 

Our attached fact finding gives details of the incident

 

Hence I seek your urgent intervention in this present complaint with prayer to consider following demands:-

  • The whole matter should be inquired by one independent investigating agency preferably by the Commission’s own investigating wing.
  • The perpetrator BSF personnel should be booked under the law and be punished in accordance with law.(The Scheduled Castes and The Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 2015 (1 of 2016).
  •  Proper investigation must be commenced forthwith on the complaint made by the victim and registered by the Raninagar Police Station.
  • The victim and his family should be provided with adequate compensation and protection.

 

Thanking you,

Yours truly

 

Kirity Roy

Secretary, MASUM

&

National Convener, PACTI

 

 

 

Name and details of the victim: Mr. Rabi Mondal; son of Mr. Biswanath Mondal; aged about 20 years and resident of village- Borderpara under Raninagar Police Station of Murshidabad district of West Bengal, belongs to Schedule Caste community

 

Name and details of the perpetrators: Border Security Force personnel of Harudanga Border Outpost under 83 Number Border Security Force Battalion under Raninagar Police Station Jurisdiction

 

Name of the secondary victims: Mr. Biswanath Mondal; aged 56 years (father), Ms. Patani Mondal; aged 50 years (mother), Ms. Madhabi Mondal; aged 20 years (wife), Ms. Ruma Mondal; aged 4 years (daughter) and Master Rahul Mondal; aged 6 years (son)

 

Place of the incident: At the adjacent Mahadebpur Ghat; the agrarian land of the victim under Raninagar Police Station

 

Date and time of the incident: On 24th April 2017 at around 9 A.M.

 

Case Detail

 

Mr. Rabi Mondal belongs to Schedule Caste community and living under penury with his extended family of parents, spouse and children. The family lives in mud house and the father of the victim possess a small piece of land.  Though the family has ration cards under Food Security Scheme but not enlisted in BPL category.

 

On 24th April 2017 at 9 AM, the victim went to above mentioned land of his father to cut and gather fodder for their livestock. The land is demarcated under Dag No. 70, Khatian No. 23 under Char Bansgora Mouza. The victim took two buffalos and a cart to the agrarian field to collect and bring the fodder to their home. All of a sudden, he found two BSF jawans were chasing two persons with two buffalos from the side of 7 No, BSF Outpost and almost reached the Mahadebpur Ghat which is situated just adjacent to their agrarian land and almost 3 kilometers inside the Indian border. The BSF jawans failed to catch the two persons with buffalos till they reached the Mahadebpur Ghat and found two buffalos and cart of Mr. Rabi Mondal at that place. The BSF jawans then untied the buffalos of the victim from the cart and about to leave the spot. At that moment Mr. Rabi Mondal asked the BSF jawans about the reason of confiscating the buffalos owned by him. The question made the BSF jawans furious and they started indiscriminate thrashing of the victim. The BSF jawans caught hold of the collar of the victim and started slapping and kicking on his whole body. He was beaten by the batons of the BSF jawans and throughout the inhuman physical torture, he was verbally abused with filthiest language. The victim was then brought to 7 No, Outpost of BSF Battalion- 83 and detained and physically tortured till 10 AM. Then he was brought to Harudanga Camp of 83 BSF Battalion where he was beaten again and administered electric shocks on his left leg and left hand. He was then asked to leave the camp and somehow he returned to his home.

 

He received medical attention from Dr. Ramakanta Mondal on 27th April 2017. The victim made a written complaint to the Raninagar Police Station on 25.04.2017 and the complaint was registered as Raninagar PS Case No. 243/17 dated 25.04.2017 under sections 379/324/506/34 of Indian Penal Code. Mr. Halim Biswas; Assistant Sub Inspector of Raninagar Police Station appointed as Investigating Officer. On 13th May 2017, we called the Circle Inspector of Domkal and enquired about the progress of the case but he failed to provide any information.