Sunday, February 5, 2023

Kolkata human rights body accuses BSF of extra-judicial killing


Kolkata, Dec 10 (IANS) A state-based human rights organisation has written to the National Human Rights Commission demanding a magisterial enquiry into the alleged extra-judicial killing of a Bangladeshi youth by Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district.

“Md. Moslem Sardar (31), a resident of Satkhira in Bangladesh, was shot at the back of his head by a BSF personnel at the Border Post No.11/6-S of BOP Amudia in Swarupnagar in the afternoon of November 15,” Kirity Roy, Secretary of Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) said in the letter.

The victim, allegedly involved in cross border smuggling, was shot while trying to smuggle cattle from India to Bangladesh along the Amudia-Khalsi border on that day, Roy said.

Though the BSF claimed the victim was killed during an encounter, Roy alleged a gunshot at the back of his head hints otherwise.

He claimed the BSF had lodged a complaint before the officer in-charge of Swarupnagar Police Station stating an encounter took place between the BSF personnel and smugglers at the Amudia-Khalsi border on that day and the BSF personnel fired a shot in self defence that hit the smuggler.

“However, the gunshot injury on the back of his head shows that the victim was on the retreat and was not in a position to fight back,” the human rights activist said.

Roy further alleged that no investigation was conducted by the concerned police station in compliance with the Commission’s revised guidelines in case of encounter deaths.

“Though a criminal case was registered under Swarupnagar police station, no enquiry or investigation has taken place till date,” he said.

Roy sought action by the Commission and a magisterial enquiry.

“The authorities concerned should be directed to take action to find out the possibility of any foul play in the extra-judicial killing of the victim,” Roy said.

“The whole matter should be investigated by the investigation wing of the Commission. A magisterial enquiry must be held as per the revised guidelines issued by NHRC dated 2/12/2003 in case of encounter death so that the people are assured that the rule of law rather than the rule of the gun is operative,” he added in the missive.

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