Skip to main content

Bangladeshi dacoits loot villagers' cattle, yet BSF 'doesn't guard' Ichamati river border

Counterview Desk 

Bringing to light the case of one Basudeb Adhikari, who earns livelihood by cattle rearing and working as agricultural labour, a senior human rights activist has pointed towards how in the middle of a September night, Bangladeshi miscreants illegally trespassed into his house, situated near Indo-Bangladesh borders, broke the lock in the gate of the cowshed and stole his cow.
Stating that such incidents are not uncommon, Kirity Roy, secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), Hooghly, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said, the village where this person lives, Pipli, is next to the river Ichamati, which is the international border between two countries.
There is no fencing in this area, he said, regretting, here, at the International Border Pillar (IBP) Border Security Force personnel are never posted. This leads to the villagers experiencing severe harassment from hooligans from Bangladesh. Often Bangladeshi miscreants illegally enter the mainland of India and ransack the property of the residents of the said village.
Despite several complaints, the authorities have remained indifferent, he added.

Text:

I am writing this to inform you regarding the incidents of harassment upon one villager of Pipli under Ramnagar Gram Panchayat, Gaighata Block and Police Station in the district of North 24 Parganas, West Bengal by the hooligans from Bangladesh and the Border Security Force personnel attached with Pipli Border Out Post under Tetulberia Head Border Out Post, ‘E’ Company, 158 Battalion and the local administration do not take any steps to inhibit the miscreants.
This village of Pipli is located near the Indo-Bangladesh border. Here river Ichamati is the international border between two countries. There is no fencing in this area. The Central Public Works Department never constructed any fencing beside the Indo-Bangladesh Border Road as there are locality, schools and markets on both sides of the IBB road. Present IBB road is actually the village road previously maintained by the local gram panchayat.
The people of the border are devoid of their basic rights and are subjected to immense torture, harassment and restrictions mostly enacted by the Border Security Force personnel, who are supposed to be posted at the international borders with intentions to protect the Indian citizenry. However, on the contrary, incidents of victimizing Indian citizens are being witnessed at large by the BSF. In the bordering villages of Pipli, Tetulberia and Garjala Border Security Force personnel never posted themselves at the International Border Pillar (IBP). They placed themselves very far from the actual border. In the village of Pipli Border Security Force personnel posted 3 kilometers inside from the International Border Pillar (IBP). As the BSF is not posted at the International Border Pillar, the acres of Indian land are being unprotected. The villagers of Pipli experience severe harassment from hooligans from Bangladesh. Often Bangladeshi miscreants illegally enter the mainland of India and ransack the property of the residents of the said village.
Mr. Basudeb Adhikari resides in the village of Pipli. Distance between the International Border Pillar (IBP) and his residence is about 600 to 700 meter. No BSF present in this area for security purposes. BSF personnel guard the border, placing themselves by the side of Tetulberia and Sashadanga Baor (Big water body) which is 3 to 4 kilometer distance from the International Border Pillar (IBP).
Villagers demanded that Border Security Force personnel should be guarding at the international border by placing themselves in the bank of river Ichamati. If BSF people guard the river bank of Ichamati, no Bangladeshi miscreants can enter the mainland of India.
Mr. Basudeb Adhikari is a poor man. He has no agricultural land. He earns livelihood by cattle rearing and working as agricultural labour. He has one cow which produces 7-to-8-liter milk regularly. On 06.09.2022 in the middle of the night Bangladeshi miscreants illegally trespassed into the house of Mr. Basudeb Adhikari. They broke the lock in the gate of the cowshed and stole the cow. On 07.09.2022 in the morning when Mr. Basudeb discovered the incident, he immediately went to the Tetulberia Border Out Post and lodged one verbal complaint before the Company Commandant of Tetulberia Border Out Post. Company Commandant told him to lodge one written complaint before the concerned police station and then provided him with that complaint copy.
On the same day he lodged one written complaint to the Sutia Police Out Post which is under the Gaighata Police Station. They received the written complaint of the victim but did not register the complaint as a First Information Report. Police personnel of Sutia Police Out Post just put the incident in the General Diary book vide GDE no. 515 dated 07.09.2022. This violates section 154 of the Codeof Criminal Procedure and the apex court judgment in Lalita Kumari vs. State of U.P. & others (AIR 214SC187) which makes it mandatory for them to lodge a FIR in cases of cognizable offences. Mr. Basudeb again went to the Tetulberia Border Out Post and submitted the copy of the written complaint which was received by the Sutia Police Out Post. After more than one month, the concerned authority did not take any action in this respect. On 23.09.2022 the victim again submitted one written application to the Sub Divisional Officer, Bangaon and informed him the whole incident but till date the local and district administration is silent over the matter.
The house of the victim is located inside the Indian territory. There is no fencing on the border in the area
As the BSF is not posted beside the bank of river Ichamati as river Ichamati is the International Border between India and Bangladesh, therefore, a huge area of land is being unprotected. Bangladeshi people are taking advantage of this. They illegally entered the mainland of India and committed theft from the house of the Indian people but the Border Security Force would not take any steps to handle the situation.
The house of the victim is located inside the Indian territory. There is no fencing on the border in this village. BSF personnel are not posted at the border; they are posted well inside the Indian Territory. Bangladeshi miscreants came into the Indian Territory and entered the house of the victim and stole the cows from the cowshed and they managed to escape. The incident raises several questions on the safety and security of the Indian citizens residing along the border. Our concern is:
  • How can the miscreants from the neighboring country enter Indian Territory and steal the property of Indian citizen?
  • Why was BSF not posted at the international border to contain intruders from entering Indian Territory?
  • Why was BSF not able to protect the integrity of the international border?
  • Why was the concerned police authority failed to register the case after getting information that a cognizable offence happened?
  • Who is responsible for the safety and security of the Indian citizens residing at the border villages?
  • Why did SDO, Bangaon, not take any action based on the complaint of the victim? Is his only duty to issue the order of section 144 of the Cr.P.C in the bordering areas under his jurisdiction after hearing only the BSF people?
The incident attracts section 378 of the Indian Penal Code. ‘Life’ in Article 21 of the Constitution is not merely the physical act of breathing. It is much wider, including the right to live with human dignity and the right to livelihood. The cow which was stolen by Bangladeshi miscreants is the only source of livelihood of the victim. This also violates Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The incident and the subsequent action of the BSF attract Article 5 and 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which the Government of India did ratify. Non actions by the BSF and the administration also violate the Goal numbers 1, 8 and 16 of Sustainable Development Goal earmarked by the United Nations and the government of India is a party and has agreement in these international instruments.
Under the circumstances, I would request the Commission to look into the matter and take necessary actions in order to resolve the issue. I request your urgent intervention in this matter:
  • BSF should guard the actual borders and not be stationed inside villages.
  •  Immediately take proper action to trace the cows of the victim which was stolen by Bangladeshi miscreants.
  • BSF should protect the safety and security of citizens of India from intruders.
  • Punitive actions should be taken against the negligent BSF personnel.
  • Strict action must be taken against the concerned police officials who after knowing the fact that a cognizable crime happened failed to register a case.
  • Security and safety of the villagers must be ensured.
  • Immediately grant some financial assistance to the victim to run his family.

Comments

TRENDING

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Union budget 'mum' on relief to marginalised communities facing climate change impact

Counterview Desk  ActionAid, an international advocacy group which claims to work for a world without poverty, patriarchy and injustice, has wondered if the Union budget 2023-24, which is being acclaimed for providing succour to the middle classes, has anything to offer to the India's poor. In a statement, it said, while the budget may have "prioritised inclusive development", the financial outlay for ensuring it "does not show the zeal as hoped." Stating that the Finance Minister said Rs 35,000 crore revenue would have to be "forgone" due to a reduction in personal income taxes, "fiscal prudence is not enough to expand public employment, social security, welfare, education and health expenditures considerably." "The need of the hour is to raise revenues through the reduction of revenues forgone and innovative mechanisms such as wealth tax on super accumulation of wealth", it added. Text: The Union Budget 2023 has given significant

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

How lead petitioner was rendered homeless when GM mustard matter came up in SC

By Rosamma Thomas*  On January 5, 2023, the Supreme Court stayed a December 20, 2022 direction of the Uttarakhand High Court to the Indian Railways and the district administration of Haldwani to use paramilitary forces to evict thousands of poor families occupying land that belonged to the railways.  Justice AS Oka remarked that it was not right to order the bringing in of paramilitary forces. The SC held that even those who had no rights, but were living there for years, needed to be rehabilitated. On December 21, 2022, just as she was getting ready to celebrate Christmas, researcher Aruna Rodrigues was abruptly evicted from her home in Mhow Cantonment, Madhya Pradesh – no eviction notice was served, and nearly 30 Indian Army soldiers bearing arms were part of the eviction process. What is noteworthy in this case is that the records establishing possession of the house date back to 1892 – the title deed with the name of Dr VP Cardoza, Rodrigues’ great grandfather, is dated November 14

Why no information with Assam state agency about female rhino poaching for a year?

By Nava Thakuria   According to official claims, incidents of poaching related to rhinoceros in various forest reserves of Assam in northeast India have decreased drastically. Brutal laws against the poachers, strengthening of ground staff inside the protected forest areas and increasing public awareness in the fringe localities of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries across the State are the reasons cited for positively impacting the mission to save the one-horned rhinos. Officials records suggest, only two rhinos were poached in Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve since 1 January 2021 till date. The last incident took place probably in the last week of December 2021, as a decomposed carcass of a fully-grown (around 30 years old) female rhino was recovered inside the world-famous forest reserve next month. As the precious horn was missing, for which the gigantic animal was apparently hunted down, it could not be a natural death. Ironically, however, it was not confirmed when

Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

By Our Representative  Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was "no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence." Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Addressed by family members of the political prisoners, academics, as well as social activists, it was highlighted how cases were sought to be fabricated against progressive individuals, democratic activists and intellectuals, who spoke out against "corporate loot of Indian resources, suppression of basic democratic

Kerala natural rubber producers 'squeezed', attend to their plight: Govt of India told

By Rosamma Thomas   Babu Joseph, general secretary of the National Federation of Rubber Producers Societies (NFRPS) at a recent discussion at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, explained that it is high time the Union government paid greater heed to the troubles plaguing the rubber production sector in India – rubber is a strategic product, important for the military establishment and for industry, since natural rubber is still used in the manufacture of tyres for large vehicles and aeroplanes. Synthetic rubber is now quite widespread, but styrene, which is used in making synthetic rubber and plastics, and also butadiene, another major constituent of synthetic rubber, are both hazardous. Prolonged exposure to these even in recycled rubber can cause neurological damage. Kerala produces the bulk of India’s natural rubber. In 2019-20, Kerala’s share in the national production of rubber was over 74%. Over 20% of the gross cropped area in the state is under rubber cultivation, with total

Lack of welfare schemes, BSF curbs force West Bengal farmers to migrate far away

Counteview Desk  In a representation to the National Human Rights Commission chairperson, a senior West Bengal based activist has complained that villagers living near the border with Bangladesh are forced to migrate to as far away as Mumbai and Kerala because of lack of government sensitivity towards their welfare in original villages. Giving specific instances, Kirity Roy, secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), said, if the Border Security Force (BSF) had not put any restriction on agricultural activities, and if villages had properly implemented welfare schemes, these people would never migrate to other States. Text: I want to attract your immediate attention to the inhumane condition of the migrated workers of Gobra village, Swarupnagar Block in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal to seek your urgent intervention to protect the rights of these people. Gobra is a village situated near the Indo-Bangladesh Border where the border fencing is about 500 meters i

Bangladesh 'rights violations': US softens stance, fears increased clout of China, India

By Tilottama Rani Charulata*  In December 2021, in addition to the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the United States imposed sanctions on seven former and current officers of the force, alleging serious human rights violations. Benazir Ahmed and former RAB-7 commander Miftah Uddin Ahmed were banned from entering the US. RAB as an institution was also canceled the support it was getting from the US and its allies. At the same time, those under the ban have been notified of confiscation of assets held abroad. The anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, RAB is the elite force consisting of members of the Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Civil Service and Bangladesh Ansar, and has been criticized by rights groups for its use of extrajudicial killings and is accused of forced disappearances. The government of Bangladesh has been insisting about lifting the ban on RAB, but the US had till recen