Director General BSF
Block 10, CGO Complex
Lodhi Road, New Delhi -03
Fax: +91 11 24360016
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Dear Director General of BSF,
Name of victim:
Mr. Chhanarul Mondal, son of Mr. Chaharuddin Mondal, aged about 20 years, residing at Ramnarayanpur village, under the jurisdiction of Jalangi police station, Murshidabad district, West Bengal
Names of alleged perpetrators:
BSF Officers stationed at (i) Jalangi BSF Company Head Quarter, (2) Singhpara BSF Company Head Quarter and (3) Farajipara BSF BOP Camp
Date of incident: 2 March 2012
Place of incident: Within the jurisdiction of Jalangi Police Station, West Bengal
I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human Rights Ambassador for Salem News.com. I am writing to express concern regarding yet another case of police torture and fabricated charges registered by the Border Security Force stationed along the Indo-Bangladesh Border in Murshidabad district, West Bengal, India. The details of the case are as follows:
The victim in the case is Mr. Chhanarul Mondal. He is the relative of Mr. Janmohammad Seikh living in Biswaspara village under the jurisdiction of Jalangi Police Station in Murshidabad district. Biswaspara is near the Indo-Bangladesh border.
On 29 February 2012 Chhanarul went to the house of Janmohammad to visit him. At about 5 am on 2 March the victim went to attend nature’s call in the neighborhood beside the Karimpur – Baharampur road. The road is near the local Customs office. While he was to Janmohammad’s house, the BSF detained him, having found Chhanarul near the border road in front of Jalangi BSF Company Head Quarter. The four BSF officers were returning to the Head Quarter after border patrolling.
The officers assaulted Chhanarul with the wooden sticks they were carrying and with the rifle butts. The officers then brought Chhanarul to the Jalangi BSF Company Head Quarter where he was confined in a room. Then the Company-in-Charge came into the room accompanied with another BSF officer and assaulted Chhanarul mercilessly.
On the same day at about 11 am The BSF brought Chhanarul to the Singhpara BSF Company Head Quarter in a BSF vehicle. At about 3.30 pm the Company-in-Charge of both Jalangi BSF Company Head Quarter and Singhpara BSF Company Head Quarter accompanied with 12 to 13 BSF officers took the victim to an isolated place beside the banks of River Padma which is about three kilometers away towards east from the Singhpara BSF Company Head Quarter. There they assaulted Chhanarul again.
At this time Chhanarul realized that the BSF was making preparations to murder him at the spot. Realising that Chhanarul would be killed, he started begging and pleading with the BSF to spare him. The officers felt sympathy for Chhanarul and brought him back to Farajipara BSF Border Out Post Camp at about 4.30 pm. From there by about 5 pm the Company-in-Charge of Jalangi BSF Company Head Quarter accompanied by five BSF officers took Chhanarul to the Sadhikhardiar Primary Health Centre. There they obtained a medical certificate in the victim’s name to show that he is medically fit. Dr. Krishnendu Roy at the health centre issued the certificate.
Then they brought Chhanarul to the Jalangi Police Station. The police officer on duty refused to take custody of the victim considering his bad physical condition and demanded that the BSF should arrange for proper medical treatment of the victim. At this the BSF officers once again brought Chhanarul to Sadikhardiar Primary Health Centre where he was admitted for treatment.
On the next day, that is on 3 March they referred Chhanarul to be admitted at the Berhampore New General Hospital. Accordingly Chhanarul was admitted at the Berhampore New General Hospital. There, Chhanarul received treatment for seven days.
On 3 March the Chhanarulâ€™s father went to the Jalangi Police Station with a written complaint narrating the entire incident. He urged the police to initiate an investigation in the case and to take immediate legal actions against the BSF. The police though received the written complaint have not taken any action till date upon the complaint.
On 7 March the victim was discharged from the hospital and he returned home. He is still undergoing medical treatment and is staying at home. In the meantime the Jalangi police informed Chhanarul that a criminal case is registered against the victim vide Jalangi PS Case No. 144 / 2012 dated 2 March 2012. In the case it is accused that Chhanarul has violated section 12 the Indian Passport Act 1967. The complaint also alleges that it is initiated on the basis of a complaint received by the police against Chhanarul filed by Mr. N. S. Negi, Inspector, â€˜Bâ€™ Company of 91 BN BSF.
Chhanarul was apprehended by the BSF near the Customs Office and BSF Company Head Quarter building. However in the complaint before police, the BSF has stated that Chhanarul was apprehended from Border Post No. 157/17 R. MASUM has came to know that Chhanarul does not possess a passport. The allegation made against the victim is fabricated.
On 12 March the victim went to the Jalangi Police Station to produce himself for investigation on the case now accused against him. The police took Chhanarul to the Berhampore Chief Judicial Magistrate Court. On the same day the court released the victim on bail.
On 20 March at about 1 pm MASUM met Dr. Krishnendu Roy of Sadhikhardiar Primary Health Centre. When asked about Chhanarul and the report Dr. Krishnendu had prepared in Chhanarul’s case the doctor could not give any cogent explanation. However by this time the physical condition of Chhanarul became such that he could not move alone. MASUM thus made arrangements to shift Chhanarul to Sramajibi Hospital, Belur, Howrah. There, Chhanarul received treatment for another three days. MASUM kept Chhanarul at a shelter run by MASUM under the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture project. As of now Chhanarul continues receiving treatment.
I therefore request you:
1. That the statement of the victim is immediately recorded and the case investigated;
2. Immediate criminal actions taken against the BSF officers against torture;
3. The victim who is hurt be immediately provided medical treatment;
5. The victim paid an interim compensation by the government.
Please note that as Human Rights Ambassador for Salem News.com, a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment calling for further intervention in this case, was also submitted.
William Nicholas Gomes
Human Rights Ambassador for Salem News.com