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Security personnel in West Bengal 'torture' poor farmer: 'particular section targeted'

By Our Representative 

In a gruesome incident, a poor farmer is alleged to have been tortured by two constables of the Border Security Force (BSF) and one G branch officer attached with Bithari Border outpost, Naga Company, 112 Battalion, West Bengal. The victim and his family reside in Daharkanda village under Swarupnagar block and police station in the North 24 Parganas district.
Kirity Roy, secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), and national convener, Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity (PACTI), in a complaint to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman, said, "When Isarul Dafadar went into the field to fetch his cow, the BSF personnel stopped him and they beat him repeatedly with bamboo sticks, gravely injuring him on head, back and leg. Blood clotted in the injured part of his body."
Roy added, "There is about one kilometre distance between the International Border Pillar and the place of the incident. That means BSF personnel without guarding the border at the zero point, placed themselves one kilometre backside within the Indian territory."
After being treated in the Sarapul Rural Hospital, Dafadar filed a written complaint to the Superintendent of Police, Basirhat Police District, "but till date no FIR has been lodged against the perpetrators", the Hooghly-based activist said.
According to Roy, "This incident is among a spate of other incidents of torture, physical assault, illegal detention and extrajudicial killings, specifically on the Muslim minority community. The arbitrariness of the violence committed on the victims is evidence that it is motivated by an intention to discriminate against and target a particular section of society on the basis of religion."
He said, "The incident entails a clear violation of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India. The police have violated the Supreme Court Guidelines in the Lalita Kumari Judgment which makes it mandatory for them to lodge a FIR in cases of cognizable offences."
"The incident also violates Article 3 (Right to life, liberty and security); Article 5 (freedom from torture, cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment); Article 7 (equality before law and equal protection of laws) and Article 8 (right to effective remedy) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and Article 6 (right to life) and Article 7 (right not to be tortured) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and in both two international instruments India is party to and signed the documents", added.
Roy further noted, "The incident also violated Article 6 (Right to work) and Article 9 (right to social security) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). The victim Dafadar is an illiterate person of 35 years of age."
"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 (UNCAT)," he added.
Roy demanded, those who have been accused of committing the torture upon the victim should be immediately brought under trial and prosecuted, adding, "The local police station should be directed to lodge the FIR in this incident and start the investigation. The victim should be compensated for the injuries inflicted on him."

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