To 28 May 2017
National Human Rights Commission,
Manav Adhikar Bhawan,
Block-C, GPO Complex, INA,
New Delhi- 110023
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.