25 March 2019
National Human Rights Commission
Manav Adhikar Bhawan
Block- C, GPO Complex, INA
New Delhi- 110023
I want to draw your attention towards an incident of immense physical torture upon a first year student of Bachelor of Arts. The victim’s resident is at the alluvial plain, commonly known as Char (island of river Padma) and belongs to scheduled caste; Chain community. His residential village is adjoining to the international border between India and Bangladesh. Though he is studying in a college, the victim used to work as daily labour and sharecropper to maintain his studying expenses and fend his family. They had 2 bighas (less than an acre) of land but they lost it due to river erosion. The village of the victim, Mahismari is among one of the village of Nirmal Char, where displaced people resettled after subsequent spates of river erosions. Understandably continuation of settlement-displacement-
Absence of governmental project to revamp normal life of eroded villagers in the char area and lack of planning for an enduring structure to control river erosion mainly causes poverty, migration and unemployment. The brilliant performance of the victim in the Higher Secondary Examination in 2017 gave him ‘Chain Merit Scholarship-2017 Award’ from a national level organization of Chain community. But all the effort and dream of a meritorious student was ignored and destroyed when BSF personnel not only physically tortured him but verbally abused with filthiest language; once again exposed the brutality and disobedience towards rule of law by bordering guards. His body became sore and swelled. His left hand was fractured and he bled profusely. BSF personnel threaten him by holding revolver on his chest and kicked him on his chest. He was admitted in the Murshidabad Medical College Hospital, Berhampore, Murshidabad district. Later, the victim made a written complaint before the Superintendent of Police; Murshidabad but it was not registered though more than two and half months passed.
The incident shows gross violation of the human rights of the victim. The victim’s right to life under Article 21 of Indian Constitution was completely violated by the perpetrator BSF personnel who still believe that they are the law unto themselves and are free to commit heinous physical assault upon the victim and enjoy impunity. The police authority on the other hand has not registered the complaint of the victim which is again a violation of the guidelines issued by the Apex Court passed in the case of Lalita Kumari vs. State of U.P. & others (reported in AIR2014SC187). 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
Under the circumstances we demand:
· The whole incident must be investigated by investigation wing of the Commission
· The guilty Border Security Force personnel must be booked and prosecuted in specific criminal charges
· Proper sections of The Scheduled Castes and The Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015 to be charged against the perpetrators, on duty BSF personnel
· The victim must be duly compensated for his injury and medical expenditure
· Security and safety of the victim, his family and witnesses must be protected.
National Convener, PACTI
Details of the victims
Mr. Biswajit Mondal (age-21 years) son of Mr. Hemkant Mondal, lives in Village- Mahismari, Post Office- Jajira Char Dumuria, Police Station- Ranitola, Block-Bhagabangola-II, District- Murshidabad. Scheduled Caste, by birth.
Details of the perpetrators
BSF personnel of Battalion Number-117 of Harudanga Border Outpost (Camp)
Details of the secondary victims
Ms. Bhanubati Mondal; aged 50 years; mother of the victim, Mr. Hemkanta Mondal; aged 55 years; father of the victim, Mr. Shankar Mondal; aged 23 years; brother of the victim, and Ms. Bisakha Mondal; aged 17 years; sister in law of the victim
Details of the incident
Biswajit Mondal is a first year student in Bachelor of Arts at Rani Dhanya Kumari College, Jiagunj, Murshidabad district. His family belongs to a poor agricultural labour family; he himself is working as wage land labour to maintain expenses of his education. Being a BPL listed family; his family received a pucca house from Government. He has Scheduled Caste certificate. There is no road, no health care center, no provision of pure drinking water, no electricity connection at his village.
On 9th January, 2019 at around 3.30pm, Mr. Biswajit Mondal went to look after agricultural land (Dag number-256/460, Khatian -258, Quantity of land- .60 decimal) of Mr. Nagen Mondal (son of Mr. Choitanya Mondal) as he is cultivating the land as a sharecropper. While the victim was busy at the mentioned land, three BSF jawans of Battalion Number 117 of 7 No. Outpost under Harudanga Camp came at the spot by a blue coloured tractor and asked him, why you are here? But without taking any reply from the victim, they started beating him using sticks without any reason. Then the BSF personnel brought him to the 7 number OP where another three BSF jawans joined in physically torture the victim. The BSF jawans verbally abused the victim in Hindi and named his mother and sister in sexually explicit. The BSF jawans hit at every part of Biswajit’s body, his left hand got thrashed and fractured by this beating and blood clotted on his back. The BSF jawans kicked him on his chest by their boot clad feet. Biswajit repeatedly requested the BSF personnel to leave him and told them that he is a student and have no connection with illegal activities but the brutal BSF personnel only increased the intensity of torture after hearing his pleas. Later he was released from custody of BSF without framing any charge.
Next day, on 10.1.2019, Mr. Biswajit Mondal visited Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital at Berhampore and received treatment. Mr. Biswajit Mondal sent a written complaint to the Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad against BSF personnel on 10.1.2019. But no action has been taken yet.