Skip to main content

West Bengal border area woman 'assaulted', relatives, villagers maltreated: NHRC told

Counterview Desk 

In a representation to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), human rights defender Kirity Roy, secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha, and national convenor, Programme Against Custodial Torture and Impunity, has said that a minority community woman from a border area village was "assaulted and molested" after Border Security Force (BSF) personnel "illegally" banged into her house.
Taking strong exception to police inaction despite complaint, Roy said, her family members and other villagers who tried to intervene were also maltreated. "The BSF personnel prevented the ambulance from reaching her residence for nearly 4 hours. This is an act of criminal conspiracy with the only motive being to prevent the injured from seeking treatment", he added.


With deep concerns, we would like to inform you about an incident of molestation and torture perpetrated upon a woman after trespassing into her residence by serving BSF (Border Security Force) personnel.
Name of the victim: Mrs. Kohinoor Bibi, 35 years, wife of Mr. Sirajul Hoque, Muslim, village Vorum Payasthi, Morakuthi, Block Dinhata 1, Panchayet Gitaldaha ll, PS Dinhata, District Cooch Behar, West Bengal. Profession Household activities. Aadhar Card No. 725050415375 and many others.
Date, time and place of occurrence: On 10 October 2023 from 7 am onwards at victims’ house and at village road.
Name of the perpetrators: Under the leadership of Mr. Pappu Meena, Coy Commander of Gitaldaha BOP, 90 BN BSF a group of 40/50 armed forces.
Violation of rights: Rights enshrined in Indian Constitution, International Laws, domestic criminal laws.
Fact of the case: Mrs Kohinoor Bibi, a resident of Voram Payasthi Morakuthi village in Gitaldaha gram panchayat of Coochbehar district of West Bengal faced the ordeal on 10/10/2023 at around 7 AM. 40-50 male BSF personnel led by Assistant Company Commander Mr. Pappu Meena criminally trespassed into her property on that date and time and assaulted Mrs Bibi with the sticks, fists and blows they were carrying. They also molested Mrs Bibi and touched her inappropriately intending to outrage her modesty. Finally, she felt unconscious after suffering a powerful blow to her chest. Visible marks of blood clots can be observed on her, conveying the nature of the assault. The perpetrators also attacked, ransacked other 20/25 villagers and assaulted their family members.
When Mrs Kohinoor was facing such torture, her sister-in-law tried to intervene and she also was attacked with sticks. Meanwhile, the neighbours got to know about the situation at hand from cries for help and tried to reason with the BSF personnel to leave the premises of the house. The personnel rained blows with their sticks on the women who tried to rescue them. The women had to bear the humiliation of being called names and some suffered injuries owing to the assault.
Mrs Kohinoor Bibi was writhing in pain and the neighbours decided to call an ambulance to take her to a nearby medical facility. Then also, the BSF personnel prevented the ambulance from reaching her residence for nearly 4 hours. This is an act of criminal conspiracy with the only motive being to prevent the injured women from seeking treatment, which especially put the life of Mrs Bibi in grave danger owing to the nature of her injuries. They only let Mrs Bibi and the other women leave for a medical facility in the ambulance after the intervention of the Dinhata Police Station, which has jurisdiction over the concerned area. The other women were discharged after administering first aid and necessary medical treatment.
Mrs Bibi had to be admitted to the Dinhata Sub Divisional Hospital owing to the seriousness of the degree of injuries. It must also be noted that she was recuperating from a gallbladder surgery, operated at Divine Nursing Home, Saradapally, Dinhata in mid-May 2023 and hence was already in a vulnerable state. On 10th October many of the victims were treated at Dinhata hospital vide registration no. 42436.
The Dinhata Police Station has received a written complaint (the receipted copy and other relevant documents have been attached) but no notable action has been taken against the perpetrators to date.
We would urge you and your office to take immediate cognizance of the matter and conduct a speedy and impartial enquiry by Your investigating wing. We demand strong action against the perpetrators and especially against the Assistant Company Commander, Mr. Pappu Meena which should set a precedence in the future.
We urge you and your Commission to also compensate Mrs Kohinur Bibi and other women who have faced torture at the hands of BSF personnel and direct the concerned authorities to provide protection to the victims so that they can testify against the perpetrators without any fear of retribution in open court of law. All possible medical assistance should be provided to Mrs Bibi and other victims by the relevant authorities.
Lastly, we demand proper steps to be taken against the Inspector in Charge of Dinhata Police Station for not taking due recourse against the offenders even police received written complaint disclosing cognizable offenses, police received injury reports of the victims from the hospital, and more so, Dinhata Police reached the venue with car when BSF barricaded the road to stop the movement of ambulance for carrying the injured victims.
Thanking you, in anticipation of a favourable response from your end.



Vaccine nationalism? Covaxin isn't safe either, perhaps it's worse: Experts

By Rajiv Shah  I was a little awestruck: The news had already spread that Astrazeneca – whose Indian variant Covishield was delivered to nearly 80% of Indian vaccine recipients during the Covid-19 era – has been withdrawn by the manufacturers following the admission by its UK pharma giant that its Covid-19 vector-based vaccine in “rare” instances cause TTS, or “thrombocytopenia thrombosis syndrome”, which lead to the blood to clump and form clots. The vaccine reportedly led to at least 81 deaths in the UK.

'Scientifically flawed': 22 examples of the failure of vaccine passports

By Vratesh Srivastava*   Vaccine passports were introduced in late 2021 in a number of places across the world, with the primary objective of curtailing community spread and inducing "vaccine hesitant" people to get vaccinated, ostensibly to ensure herd immunity. The case for vaccine passports was scientifically flawed and ethically questionable.

'Misleading' ads: Are our celebrities and public figures acting responsibly?

By Deepika* It is imperative for celebrities and public figures to act responsibly while endorsing a consumer product, the Supreme Court said as it recently clamped down on misleading advertisements.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Palm oil industry deceptively using geenwashing to market products

By Athena*  Corporate hypocrisy is a masterclass in manipulation that mostly remains undetected by consumers and citizens. Companies often boast about their environmental and social responsibilities. Yet their actions betray these promises, creating a chasm between their public image and the grim on-the-ground reality. This duplicity and severely erodes public trust and undermines the strong foundations of our society.

'Fake encounter': 12 Adivasis killed being dubbed Maoists, says FACAM

Counterview Desk   The civil rights network* Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM), even as condemn what it has called "fake encounter" of 12 Adivasi villagers in Gangaloor, has taken strong exception to they being presented by the authorities as Maoists.

No compensation to family, reluctance to file FIR: Manual scavengers' death

By Arun Khote, Sanjeev Kumar*  Recently, there have been four instances of horrifying deaths of sewer/septic tank workers in Uttar Pradesh. On 2 May, 2024, Shobran Yadav, 56, and his son Sushil Yadav, 28, died from suffocation while cleaning a sewer line in Lucknow’s Wazirganj area. In another incident on 3 May 2024, two workers Nooni Mandal, 36 and Kokan Mandal aka Tapan Mandal, 40 were killed while cleaning the septic tank in a house in Noida, Sector 26. The two workers were residents of Malda district of West Bengal and lived in the slum area of Noida Sector 9. 

India 'not keen' on legally binding global treaty to reduce plastic production

By Rajiv Shah  Even as offering lip-service to the United Nations Environment Agency (UNEA) for the need to curb plastic production, the Government of India appears reluctant in reducing the production of plastic. A senior participant at the UNEP’s fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4), which took place in Ottawa in April last week, told a plastics pollution seminar that India, along with China and Russia, did not want any legally binding agreement for curbing plastic pollution.

Mired in controversy, India's polio jab programme 'led to suffering, misery'

By Vratesh Srivastava*  Following the 1988 World Health Assembly declaration to eradicate polio by the year 2000, to which India was a signatory, India ran intensive pulse polio immunization campaigns since 1995. After 19 years, in 2014, polio was declared officially eradicated in India. India was formally acknowledged by WHO as being free of polio.