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Youth shot near border: does BSF have judicial power to kill a victim? Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk 

Alleging that a youth was shot dead from close range by "trigger happy" Border Security Force (BSF) jawans, which suggests "impunity in the system", Kirity Roy, secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), and national convenor, Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity (PACTI), in a complaint to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman, has wondered by the BSF often chooses to torture or kill the victim in cold blood.
"The question arises, whether the BSF have judicial powers by which they can decide upon the fate of a guilty person? Do they have the right to take away the life of a guilty person as a means of punishment?", he asks.

Text:

Here I want to draw your attention towards another incident of extra-judicial execution of a poor Muslim youth belonging from Other Backward Caste of Kharija Haridas village under Dinhata police station area of Coochbehar district in West Bengal. The victim, Mofajjel Hossain, aged about 38 years was shot on his head by the Border Security Force personnel attached with Gitaldaha Border Outpost of the Border Security Force, 90 Battalion, G Company.
Mofajjel Hossain, a small-scale peasant by profession is the only wage earner in a family of four. Mofajjel was also involved in illegal cross-border cattle rattling when he had no job to do as his earnings were low. On 29.06.2022, at around 11 pm, he was involved in cattle rattling into Bangladesh through the Gitaldaha Chara border when the perpetrator BSF personnel apprehended the victim and shot on his forehead from point blank range. The BSF posted at Gitaldaha Chara border can easily apprehend Mr. Mofajjel Hossain.
1) In the SOP issued by the Health Directorate on Post Mortem Examination, order no. HPT/2BP-1-95/2(150) dated 01/08/1995, where it is clearly mentioned that all autopsy should be done between 12 noon to 4 pm. But in this particular case, the autopsy was done after a stipulated period. Why so urgency?
2) In section 174 and 176 (4) of Criminal Procedure Code of India clearly stated “inform the relatives of the deceased whose names and addresses are known, and shall allow them to remain present at the inquiry”. Why were no steps taken to inform family members at the time of said inquiry by the authorities?
3) On the fateful date and time about 200-250 cattle were smuggled from that place of occurrence in two groups. On duty BSF personnel allowed them to smuggle. But in 3rd group, where Mofajjel Hossain was there, was shot from close range. Why? Is it for sudden enhanced demand for bribes?
4) Post Mortem Examination Report was done in an erroneous format, not in the format prescribed by your Commission, nor in a form suggested in Minnesota Protocol. The Government of West Bengal does not comply with the recommendations to record properly the injuries of victims. Why?
Such incidents at the Indo-Bangladesh border reflect the trigger-happy nature of the BSF, where they could have arrested the victim and produced before the court of law for justice. However, the BSF often chooses to torture or kill the victim in cold blood. The question arises, whether the BSF have judicial powers by which they can decide upon the fate of a guilty person? Do they have the right to take away the life of a guilty person as a means of punishment?
Under the circumstances we demand:
  • The BSF must be posted in actual borders and not inside villages.
  • The whole incident must be investigated by a neutral agency appointed by the Commission.
  • The guilty Border Security Force personnel, the police and the doctor involved must be booked and prosecuted.
  • The family of the victim must be compensated.
  • Security and safety of the witnesses and the family of the victim must be protected.

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