A Muslim woman at 24 Pargans (North) district, West Bengal was tortured by Border Security Force personnel. The victim was shamelessly abused and tortured by the perpetrator Border Security Force personnel while she was teaching her children. The BSF personnel; all male, came to her house during night to take away her cow and calves from her cowshed, which she protested.
The victim woman lodged a complaint to the Sub Divisional Police Officer; Basirhat; 24 Parganas (North) but the accused BSF personnel are still at large and no appropriate action has been taken.
Acording to the Complaint to NHRC by human rights organisation MASUM, this is an act of offence by Border Security Force personnel and subsequent inactive role of police was against the pledge; which the Government of India has taken during the Fourth World Conference on Women; known as Beijing Declaration; where the government had said that they are determined to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. The act of the BSF personal was not only savage and brute but also against the national and international legal provisions. The perpetrator BSF personnel 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), Article 21 of the Constitution of India and legitimize our long standing demand for immediate ratification of United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishment. Our attached fact finding report gives details of the incident.
The complaint asked the NHRC to investigate the matter and book the the perpetrators , BSF personnel must be booked immediately, and they should treat The complaint made by the victim before the SDPO must be treated as an FIR.
NHRC should recommend the authorities to take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological security and integrity of the victims and witnesses and the victims must be provided with adequate financial compensations.
The details of the case are below
Name and other details of the victim: Ms. Jahanara Bibi; wife of Mr. Kuddus Sardar, aged about 26 years, homemaker, belongs to Oppressed Backward Caste Muslim, resident of village- Daharkanda, Police Station- Swarupnagar, District- 24 Parganas (North), West Bengal
Secondary victims: 1. Mr. Kuddus Sardar; aged about 32 years – husband 2. Master Ashraful Sardar; aged about 10 years- son 3. Ms. Rafija Khatun; aged about 4 years- daughter
Name of the perpetrators: Mr. Surjit Singh of ‘G’ Branch, Mr. Bhujraj Singh and other 5-6 Border Security Force personnel of Bithari BOP of 176 BSF Battalion
Date and time of the incident: 15.10.2016 at around 8 pm
Place of incident: Resident of the victim at village- Daharkanda, Police Station- Swarupnagar, District- 24 Parganas (North), West Bengal
The victim and her family belong to marginalized section and enlisted in BPL category. Though, the bordering populace of that area has involvement in cross border smuggling and movement but the family has no such connection. The family owns a milking cow and two she calves for domestic use. The local BSF personnel had eye on the cattle and frequently made visits to their house to take away those cattle but every time the neighbours protested and forced the BSF personnel to retreat. As the neighbours knew that the cattle are for their domestic uses and cattle rearing are very popular financial activity in bordering areas. In a previous occasion, on 17th July 2016 at evening, the mentioned BSF personal Mr. Surjit Singh and 4-5 other BSF personnel tried to take away the cattle from the victim’s house and created fuss but the locales thwarted the BSF’s ploy.
On 15.10.2016 at around 8.00 PM, the mentioned BSF personnel went to victim’s house. At that time the BSF party was without any female BSF personnel. The victim was busy in teaching her only son; Ashraful; who is a student of standard VI. She heard noises at their cowshed; she peeped and found that the BSF personnel were trying to untied the cattle. She came out from her room and protested. The husband of the victim; Mr. Kuddus Sardar was not present at the home at that time. The neighbours assembled at her home. The BSF personnel then started beating her with fists, feet, rifle butts and sticks. BSF personnel made several blows with sticks on her torso and she fell on the ground. Then the BSF personnel left the cattle there and returned.
Ms. Jahanar Bibi received medical treatment at Sarapul Rural Hospital on 16.10.2016 and on 08.11.2016 she made a complaint to the Sub Divisional Police Officer; Basirhat.
Ms. Morjina Bibi; wife of Mr. Nauser, Ms. Rahima Bibi; wife of Mr. Baki Sardar, Ms. Taslima Bibi; wife of Mr. Abbas Sardar and Mr. Surat Sardar; son of Mr. Ismail Sardar; all residents of village- Daharkanda, Police Station- Swarupnagar, District- 24 Parganas (North) were the eyewitnesses of this barbaric attack upon a woman by BSF personnel.