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.



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”:

Repeated failure to appoint Chief, other commissioners undermining RTI Act

By Anjali Bhardwaj, Amrita Johri* The post of the Chief Information Commissioner of the Central Information Commission (CIC) has fallen vacant with the retirement of Bimal Julka with effect from August 27, 2020. This is the fifth time in the last six years that the Commission has been rendered headless. Four posts of information commissioners are also vacant in the CIC. Currently more than 35,000 appeals and complaints are pending in the commission resulting in citizens having to wait for months, even years for their cases to be disposed, thereby frustrating peoples’ right to know. Since May 2014, not a single commissioner of the CIC has been appointed without citizens having to approach courts. The failure of the government to make timely appointments of commissioners is a flagrant violation of the directions of the Supreme Court. In its February 2019 judgment, the apex court had categorically stated that if the CIC does not have a Chief Information Commissioner or required strength

Ultimate champion in crisis, arguably best ever skipper: Created history in Aussie cricket

By Harsh Thakor  In the history of cricket few cricketers knit and propelled a cricket team or had such profound influence on the game as Ian Chappell. Ian Chappell was responsible for converting a bunch of talented individuals into a world beating side, giving a dramatic turn to Australian cricket. Few cricketers ever led such a renaissance.

BSF's unconstitutional, whimsical order violates life, livelihood of Dalits, minorities

Kirity Roy, Secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), writes to the Chairman, National Human Rights Commission: *** I want to attract your attention towards the illegitimate restrictions on the life and livelihood of the villagers of Paschim Sahebganj village under Dinhata - II Block and Sahebganj police station in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal by the Border Security Force personnel attached with Dharala Border Out Post under 138 Battalion BSF. The population of Paschim Sahebganj village is around 1480, where almost 75 percent of the villagers belong from Hindu Scheduled Caste (Dalit) and 25 percent from minority Muslim backgrounds.The main occupation of the villagers is agriculture. About 260 acres of cultivable land in the village that belongs to the villagers is located outside the border fencing, which is heavily guarded by the Border Security Force (BSF). The BSF regulates the ingress and egress of the villagers to their fields through the fencing gates that a

Largest democracy in world has become weakest at hands of fascist Hindutva forces

Note on “The Nazification of India”, a report released By Justice For All: *** This report, the Nazification of India, compares how Hindutva ideology not only is inspired by Nazis and Fascists of Europe, but their treatment of the Muslim minority closely follows developments that resulted in pushing Jews to the gas chambers. Situation is indeed quite alarming. The report says that the largest democracy in the world has become the weakest at the hands of the fascist Hindutva ideology. India today is ruled not just by a political party the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), but its mother organization the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Because the BJP’s government policies are linked to extra-legal enforcement by RSS paramilitary street power, this report has coined the term “The BJP-RSS regime” to reflect their intrinsic links and collaborative relationship. The Nazification of India report marks the anniversary of the Gujarat pogroms of 2002 against Muslims which propelled the BJP-RSS

Varanasi social worker who has devoted her life for the ultra-poor and the marginalized

Passion Vista and its partners profile Founder and Managing Trustee Shruti Nagvanshi as  someone whom women leaders look up to: *** Shruti Nagvanshi, a social worker and human rights activist based in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, has devoted her life to reaching out to the ultra-poor and marginalized communities in India. Born in Dashashwmedh, Varanasi on 2 January 1974, she married Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi on 22 February 1992 and has a son, Kabeer Karunik, a Business management Graduate who is also a national level snooker player.

An approach to lake/pond restoration by Ramveer Tanvar, Pond Man of India

By Monami Bhattacharya*, Mansee Bal Bhargava**  Lakes/ ponds are often referred to as an elixir of life, a living ecosystem that adds incremental value to the larger biota. Across the tropical landscape of the country lakes/ ponds are a common sight. Lakes/ponds have always shaped the life and livelihood of those dwelling in and around it. The dependence of the local population on these natural resources of water is noticeable since time immemorial. However, they are fading fast in both rural and urbanscapes from the popular parlance with the advance of humanity. It has been a popular notion to value land more than the waterscape and hence these nurturers of life are under stress in several areas. In many instances, these once beautiful waterscapes referred as the ‘Eye of the Earth’ are mostly now only dilapidated garbage dump yards emitting foul smell with no sign of a healthy ecosystem.

Urban crisis: Impact of erosion of democratic framework on Indian cities

By IMPRI Team  On 13th February, 2023, IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi in collaboration with ActionAid Association India arranged a book launch followed by lecture series under the title “India’s G20 Presidency & the Urban Agenda for the Developing Countries”. The event was held in Indian International Centre (IIC) Annex, New Delhi. The event began with the book inauguration session, under the honorary presence of Mr Sitaram Yechury, former Rajya Sabha member and General Secretary, CPI (M), accompanied by Mr Sandeep Chachra, executive director, ActionAid Association India. Session 1 | Book Launch: ‘Cities in Transition’ by Mr Tikender Singh Panwar The book launched was “Cities in Transition”, written by Mr Tikender Singh Panwar, former Deputy Mayor, Shimla and a Senior Fellow at IMPRI. Beginning with brief remarks on his book, Mr Panwar outlined the basic subject matter and the purpose behind writing the book, which he considers as a by-product of his experien

Panchayat funds defrauded: Roads without potholes a fundamental right but not here

Kirity Roy, Secretary Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), and National Convenor (PACTI) Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, writes to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission: *** Through this complaint, I want to draw your attention to the plight of the villagers of Nawdapara in the District of North 24 Parganas. The village is situated under the Bagdah Police Station, Bagdah Block and Mama Bhagina Post Office respectively. Nawdapara is a Muslim minority populated village. Indo Bangladesh Border Road (IBBR) passes through the middle of the village. There is a naka checking post of the BSF inside the village and BSF associated with Mama Bhagina Border Out Post, 68 Battalion, ‘B’ Company guard 24 hours in that check post. People have lived in this village since the independence of India. The market is about three to four kilometres away from Nawdapara village. One primary school is situated within the village but the high school is about five to six kilo

Riverscapes: mythology, iconography, folklore and origins amidst rising water problems

By Proshakha Maitra*, Mansee Bal Bhargava** Rivers are not just bodies of water and resources flowing across a landscape, but they are flows supporting a variety of cultural beliefs, values, and ways of life by linking people, places, and other forms of life (Anderson, et al., 2019). Since ancient times, rivers have been the ‘cradle of civilizations’ where the major civilizations of the world developed along the banks of the rivers. Even the earliest known urban culture of the Indian subcontinent, the Harappan (Indus Valley) Civilization developed along the banks of the Indus River that flows from the mountains of Tibet through India and Pakistan. Every river has its tales of mythology, iconography, folklore and origins which are worth knowing, especially in the current times when they are under severe distress of development. Since knowing these intangible aspects of the tangible resource/heritage is crucial to instigate emotional and spiritual connect which may in turn make people an