To 27 April 2017
National Human Rights Commission
Manav Adhikar Bhawan
Block-C, G. P. O. Complex, INA
Frightening trend of Border Security Force in the bordering areas of District-Cooch Behar, West Bengal resorting to torture upon innocent villagers became daily affairs. The victimwomen namely Ms. Sahiran Bibi and Ms. Rabeya Bibi (names changed) of village-Chhatnotaphela, Post Office-Shalmara, Police Station- Dinhata, District:- Cooch Behar was mercilessly assaulted by the perpetrator Border Security Force personnel on 03.02.2017. One written complaint has been received at Dinhata Police Station on the incident but the police did not register the complaint as FIR till date. Our attached fact finding report gives details of the case.
The above incident again shows the violent nature of the law enforcing agencies in the bordering areas where torture upon the innocent villagers are rampant whether they are involved with any crime or not as the law enforcing agencies including the police enjoy an absolute impunity in the area.
The perpetrator BSF personnel not only violated the rights guaranteed in Article 21 of Indian Constitution but also violated Articles 2, 5, 7 and 8 of the UN Code of Conduct for law Enforcement Officials. They also violated Articles 7 and 17 of ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political rights). The incident and subsequent impunity legitimize our long standing demand for immediate ratification of United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishment.
Hence we seek your urgent intervention in the following manner amongst others:-
- The whole incident must be investigated by a neutral agency appointed by the Commission
- The written complaint received at Dinhata Police Station must be treated as FIR and investigation must be done under the appropriate penal provision against the involved BSF personnel.
- The accused Border Security Force personnel for entreating torture upon the victims must be booked under the law and punished for their alleged assault upon the victims by initiating an independent inquiry into the matter.
- The victims must be given adequate compensation, support and protection.
National Convener- PACTI
Name of the Victims:- (1) Ms. Sahiran Bibi, (name changed) wife of Mr. Mazibar, aged about-55 years; (2) Ms. Rabeya Bibi, (name changed) daughter of Mr. Majibar Sk, both by faith-Islam, residing at village-Chhatnotaphela, Post Office-Shalmara, Police Station- Dinhata, District:- Cooch Behar, West Bengal, India.
Name of the Perpetrators: About 10/15 Border Security Force personnel and out of them one is named as Mr. Fakir Singh. They belonged to Jhaljholi BSF BOP Camp, Battalion-98 under Dinhata Police Station, District-Cooch Behar.
Date & time of the incident: On 03.02.2017 at about 8 am
Place of the incident:- Inside the residence of Mr. Chobir Sk at village-Chhatnotaphela, Post Office-Shalmara, Police Station- Dinhata, District:- Cooch Behar
Fact Finding Details:-
It is revealed during the fact finding that Mr. Chobir Sk resides in Chhatnotaphela with his family members. In his residence the victims also reside with other family members jointly. The residence is located beside Torsa and Kaljani rivers and Indo-Bangladesh border is located about 2 kilometers away. The family members are dependent on cultivation for their livelihood.
On the date of the incident i.e. on 03.02.2017 at about 8am Ms. Rabeya Bibi was going to toilet. At that time one BSF jawan from Jhaljholi BSF BOP, Battalion-98 entered into residence and forcibly held her under his arms with intention to outrage her modesty. Ms. Rabeya Bibi shouted for help. Hearing her voice, Ms. Sahiran Bibi, Mr. Chobir Sk and Mr. Kajimuddin rushed to the spot. Then immediately about 10/15 BSF jawans came to the spot and hurled smoke bomb using abusive languages. As a result the whole courtyard filled up with smoke and taking advantage of the situation the BSF jawans started to beat the family members indiscriminately by rifle butts. The BSF jawans also molested Ms. Kedona Bibi (name changed) and Ms. Sahiran Bibi by pulling their dress i.e. saree. As a result of assault Ms. Rabeya Bibi sustained bleeding injuries on her head and left eye. Besides that Ms. Bedona Bibi, Ms. Sahiran Bibi and Mr. Chobir Sk sustained swelling and bleeding injuries on several region on their body. At the time of leaving the place of occurrence the BSF personnel committed mischief by breaking the tin walls of the house of Ms. Sahiran Bibi and Mr. Chobir Sk. for which they sustained loss of Rs.5000/-
On 03.02.2017 Ms. Rabeya Bibi, Ms. Sahiran Bibi and Mr. Chobir Sk. received medical treatment from Dinhata Sub-Divisional Hospital. Ms. Rabeya Bibi, Ms. Sahiran Bibi were admitted in the said hospital. They were discharged from the hospital on 05.02.2017. Their medical record recorded that they sustained injuries due to physical assault.
On 03.02.2017 Ms. Kedona Bibi submitted a written complaint before the Inspector-in-Charge of Dinhata Police Station stating the entire incident. The written complaint was duly received at the police station but not registered as FIR though the complaint disclosed commission of cognizable offences by the accused BSF personnel. In the written complaint the particulars of the accused BSF personnel were mentioned and it was stated that the complainant can identify the accused BSF personnel by face and one of the accused BSF personnel is known to her by name and his name is Mr. Fakir Singh. The victims and the family members stated that the police from Dinhata Police Station had once came to visit the place of occurrence but till date no further action has been taken against the perpetrator BSF personnel.