Skip to main content

Prosecute BSF personnel for torturing woman near West Bengal border fence

Kirity Roy, Secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), writes to the Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, on a woman physically assaulted by BSF in routine manner in public place and falsely implicated:

I would like to draw your immediate attention to the incident of Mrs. Sahida Bibi, 42 years of age, resides at village Gobra (Brahmonpara) under Block & Police Station Swarupnagar at North 24 Parganas in West Bengal, who suffered torture by a BSF person from D Company, 112 Battalion of BOP Mihir (Gobindapur).
Around 9 am on 27th December 2022, Sahida Bibi was on the way to her field. At Gate No 18 of the border fences, Avijit Sil, a BSF man questioned about the lunch box she was carrying and found beef meat. He suddenly kicked the lunch box, the food littered on the ground and severely beat her while the victim lady fell on the ground.
The incident entails an apparent violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of which India is a party. The incident and subsequent impunity legitimize our long-standing demand for immediate ratification of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishment.
Hence, I seek your intervention in the aforementioned incident with the following demands to get justice:
1. Under the particular law, should prosecute the perpetrator BSF personnel under appropriate penal provisions in an open court of law based on the complaint by the victim to the Officer in Charge of Swarupnagar Police Station, North 24 Parganas.
2. Recommend the authorities take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological security and integrity of the victim.
3. BSF authority should compensate her for all the medical expenses the victim incurred.
4. BSF of Mihir (Gobindapur) BOP should immediately withdraw the false FIR against Sahida Bibi.
5. Training needed for BSF persons that they should be devoid of communal identity while dealing with people who reside at the border area.

Fact-finding Report

Around 9 am on 19th December 2022, Sahida Bibi was on her way to work, accompanied by her son Omar Osman Khan, who is a fifth-grade student. On the CPWD road at the Gate No 18 at the border fence, where she met BSF Constable Avijit Seal, who enquired about the tiffin box she was carrying. The box had her lunch – rice and a few pieces of beef meat. About to show him of the content in the box, the constable was furious knowing the beef items he immediately kicked for which all the eatable items littered on the ground. The lady protested and questioned his behavior, while the constable used filthy languages. Suddenly the constable started beating her with a stick, pushed her on the ground but the thrashing continued. And in the course of action, the constable tore her saree and blouse. In the meantime, Post Commander of BOP Gobra, arrived on the spot and repeatedly ordered the constable To stop doing the nuisance and let him leave the lady. But the Avijit Seal ignored the order and continued thrashing. Later the lady complained of the incident to the Company Commander of BOP Mihir (Gobindapur) but no action was taken by him against the offender. Later in the day, the lady sensing a medical urgency visited the emergency department at Sarapul Rural Hospital at Swarupnagar Block. Sahida Bibi lodged a complaint to the local police station and based on that complaint Swarupnagar P.S. (Case No.1195/2022 dated 27th December 2022) was registered against the perpetrator BSF Avijit Seal, 112 Battalion. She narrated the whole incident to the Officer in Charge of Swarupnagar Police Station, a copy of FIR was attached along with this mail. I have attached the scan copies of her medical reports and FIR, along with this complaint. Zakir Hossain Fakir, a farmer, was the sole witness to the incident with Sahida Bibi. Based on her complaint on the night of 27th December 2022, the officers from Swarupnagar PS spoke to some of the witnesses of the incident and then they met the concerned person at the Gobra BOP. In retaliation, BSF too filed a complaint at Swarupnagar P.S. (Case No.1199/22 dated 27th December 2022 under section 188/506) against the victim Sahida Bibi. During the fact-finding MASUM noted that many people who were witness to the incident, due to the fear of BSF, had kept mum. In the meantime, the FIR by BSF against Sahida Bibi, the ACJM Basirhat had granted bail which she was falsely subjected to. On 22nd January 2023, two BSF men visited her house with a letter written in English, and asked her to sign on the paper. The lady is illiterate and does not understand what is written on the paper. Sensing some abnormality, on the advice of the panchayat Pradhan and other villagers she refused to sign the letter. Since the incident, BSF men are pressing her to withdraw the case against them by forcing her to sign on a written statement which is ineligible to her.



Dev Anand ably acted as westernised, urban educated, modern hero, as also anti-hero

By Harsh Thakor  On September 26th we celebrated the birth centenary of legendary actor Dev Anand. Dev Saab carved out a new epoch or made a path breaking contribution in portraying romanticism and action in Bollywood cinema, giving his style or mannerisms a new colour. Arguably no Bollywood star manifested glamour in such a dignified or serene manner or struck the core of an audience’s soul in romantic melodies. Possibly we missed this evergreen star being cast in a Hollywood film. Dev Anand is like an inextinguishable soul of Bollywood. Although not as artistic or intense as Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor or Ashok Kumar ,Dev Anand surpassed them all for liveliness or flamboyance, with his performances radiating g energy on the screen, in realms rarely transcended. In his own right, Dev Saab, was a craftsman, like his classical contemporaries, with a characteristic composure. Perhaps never was a Bollywood star so suave, bubbling or charming as Dev Anand, who often looked like an Indian versi

Why Govt of India, Sangh Parivar want to stop the use of ‘India’? What's in a name?

By Ram Puniyani  Coincidentally after the opposition parties came together to form INDIA (Indian National Democratic Inclusive Alliance), the ruling BJP is desisting from the use of word India in official communiqués and its parent organizations RSS has issued a fatwa that only word Bharat should be used for our country. While inviting the representative’s participants of G 20, the President issued the invitation in the name of ‘Rashtrapati of Bharat’. Since then BJP is on the track of avoiding the use of the word India in all its pronouncements, saying this word smacks of colonial legacy since this word was given to the country by British colonial rulers. Mr. Hemant Biswa Sarma of BJP said that word India is part of the colonial legacy and should be removed. RSS chief and other functionaries have intensified this message. Speaking at a function at Guwahati Mr. Bhagwat, stated “We must stop using the word India and start using Bharat. At times we use India to make those who speak Eng

Significant step towards empowering and particularly engaging with informal workers

ActionAid note on drive to empower informal sector workers Odisha with the support of District Labour Department: *** The Odisha Unorganised Workers Social Security Board (OUWSSB) facilitated an Unorganized Workers Awareness Camp at the Red Cross Bhawan in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The event took place in collaboration with the District Labour Department at Khordha, Centre for Child and Women Development and ActionAid Association. This informative event aimed at empowering informal sector workers by disseminating crucial information regarding their eligibility for various social security schemes provided by the Government of Odisha.

Grassroots NGO enlightens people of Kupwara with intricacies of Right to Information

J&K RTI Foundation and Founder Civil Rights Movement Kupwara note on how RTI Pend is empowering Kupwara with insights on Right to Information Act: *** RTI Pend, the grassroots initiative aimed at democratizing access to information, hosted its 2nd event in Kupwara. On the request of the Civil Rights Movement Kupwara, this event was tailored to enlighten the people of Kupwara with the intricacies of the Right to Information Act, presented in their local language and dialects. The event successfully bridged both offline and online participation, addressing queries on the spot and offering applicants practical solutions.

Abrogation of Art 370: Increasing alienation, relentless repression, simmering conflict

One year after the abrogation by the Central Government of Art. 370 in Kashmir, what is the situation in the Valley. Have the promises of peace, normalcy and development been realised? What is the current status in the Valley? Here is a detailed note by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties , “Jammu & Kashmir: One Year after Abrogation of Art. 370: Increasing Alienation, Relentless Repression, Simmering Conflict”:

Why originality of Gandhi's thoughts, example of his life still inspire people world over

By Moin Qazi*  Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary reopens a familiar debate around his legacy every year. How could a frail man use his moral strength to galvanize 400 million Indians in their struggle for independence from the mighty British Empire? How did Gandhi inspire ordinary people to turn fear into fearlessness and anger into love? What were his tools for fighting colonialism? How could he inspire the world to embrace his philosophy of nonviolence? What can we learn from him today? And is he still relevant?

Regretful: Kapil Dev retired not leaving Indian cricket with integrity he upheld

By Harsh Thakor  Kapil Dev scaled heights as an entertainer and a player upholding the spirit of the game almost unparalleled in his era. In his time he was cricket’s ultimate mascot of sportsmanship On his day Kapil could dazzle in all departments to turn the tempo of game in the manner of a Tsunami breaking in. He radiated r energy, at a level rarely scaled in his era on a cricket field. Few ever blended aggression with artistry so comprehenisively. Although fast medium, he could be as daunting with the ball as the very best, with his crafty outswinger, offcutter, slower ball and ball that kicked from a good length. Inspite of bowling on docile tracks on the subcontinent, Kapil had 434 scalps, with virtually no assistance. I can never forget how he obtained pace and movement on flat pancakes, trapping the great Vivian Richards in Front or getting Geoff Boycott or Zaheer Abbas caught behind. No paceman carried the workload of his team’s bowling attack on his shoulders in his eras muc

Sewer workers not given ESI cards that would ensure health benefits they need the most

A note by the Dalit Adivasi Shakti Adhikar Manch (DASAM), an organization working for the issues of sanitation workers in Delhi NCR, on right to life and dignity which still seems light years away for sewer workers: *** Exploitation of Sewer workers is not just a labour issue, but it is rooted in the caste system and cannot be separated from the historical socio-religious-cultural-economic exploitation of the Dalit community! Stated Mr. Y.S. Gill, Senior Journalist and Documentary Film maker in the press conference organised by Dalit Adivasi Shakti Adhikar Manch (DASAM) in Integrated Social Initiatives (ISI), Lodhi Road, New Delhi on issues of sewer workers in Delhi. The press conference was attended by a number of community members, activists, members of the civil society, students etc.

Agro-biodiversity through seed identification, conservation, replication, crop selection

By Kuntal Mukherjee, Basant Yadav, Shivnath Yadav* This article is mainly based on a journey of the three of us since 2010 based on field experience, study of different articles, reflective journeys with local community based organisations, villagers and practitioners in Chhattisgarh. The slow growth of Agriculture in India with near stagnation in productivity since mid ‘80s in contrast to the remarkable growth during the green revolution period has come to the front as a great concern. In post WTO era Indian Agriculture has been witnessing structural changes, uncontrolled influx of agriculture goods and commodities from foreign countries due to open market nature. The gradual reduction in subsidies from internal production leads to increasing cost of production of agriculture produces at the farm gate. It causes gradual decrease in internal production as well as productivity and posing threats to small farm and stakeholders. 

How the slogan Jai Bhim gained momentum as movement of popularity and revolution

By Dr Kapilendra Das*  India is an incomprehensible plural country loaded with diversities of religions, castes, cultures, languages, dialects, tribes, societies, costumes, etc. The Indians have good manners/etiquette (decent social conduct, gesture, courtesy, politeness) that build healthy relationships and take them ahead to life. In many parts of India, in many situations, and on formal occasions, it is common for people of India to express and exchange respect, greetings, and salutation for which we people usually use words and phrases like- Namaskar, Namaste, Pranam, Ram Ram, Jai Ram ji, Jai Sriram, Good morning, shubha sakal, Radhe Radhe, Jai Bajarangabali, Jai Gopal, Jai Jai, Supravat, Good night, Shuvaratri, Jai Bhole, Salaam walekam, Walekam salaam, Radhaswami, Namo Buddhaya, Jai Bhim, Hello, and so on.