“Trigger Happy”

Excessive Use of Force by Indian Troops at the Bangladesh Border

Map of India and Bangladesh

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Map of Bangladesh and West Bengal Province in India

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Summary

This report documents a pattern of grave abuses by India’s Border Security Force (BSF) against both Bangladeshi and Indian nationals in the border area along India’s 2,000 kilometer long international fontier with Bangladesh in West Bengal state. The abuses include cases of indiscriminate killing and torture.

Most of the abuses documented in this report are related to efforts by the Indian government to deal with cross-border smuggling, particularly cattle-rustling. However, as this report shows, the abusive methods used by the BSF are disproportionate to the problems that the Indian government faces on its eastern border. Numerous ordinary Indian and Bangladeshi citizens resident in the border area end up as the victims of BSF abuses, which range from verbal abuse and intimidation to torture, beatings, and killings. Furthermore, because of the near total absence of effective accountability mechanisms for abuses carried out by members of the BSF, even the most serious abuses by border guards go unpunished. This sends a clear message that the Indian government finds such abuses acceptable.

The border area between India and Bangladesh is heavily populated and acutely poor. Many farmers on both sides of the border have also lost their farms and livelihoods to river erosion. Illegal cross-border activities, such as cattle-rustling, and trafficking in persons and narcotics, have flourished. In several of the cases documented in this report, victims were beaten up or killed while smuggling cattle across the border at night. Others were tortured or killed merely on suspicion of being involved in cattle-rustling. Children, reportedly employed by smugglers to reduce the risk of detection, are among the victims whose cases are documented below.

Several survivors and eyewitnesses of attacks allege that the BSF engaged in indiscriminate shooting without warning. Seventeen-year-old Bangladeshi Shyamol Karmokar sneaked into India to visit relatives. On January 26, 2010, he decided to return to Bangladesh with the assistance of cattle-rustlers. Mohammad Zahid, who had agreed to bring Shyamol back to Bangladesh, said that they were detected by the BSF close to the border. Instead of attempting to arrest them, BSF officers immediately opened fire. Shyamol was killed.

Torture is also rife. On January 25, 2010, Motiar Rahman, a Bangladeshi national strayed across the border while cutting grass, a common mistake since there are no clear markers. According to Motiar Rahman, he was captured by two BSF soldiers:

They blindfolded me and took me to the BSF camp. I thought that the BSF were going to kill me. After reaching the camp, the BSF personnel removed the blindfold and tied me to a tree. They left me there for over 15 hours, until 11 p.m. at night. Then they gave me some food.But once I had had finished my meal, the BSF started torturing me. I was beaten severely with a bamboo stick on my back and feet by the same soldier who brought me the food. I was kicked several times and as a result started bleeding from my penis. Another soldier started beating me on my head with a bamboo stick. This went on for at least 45 minutes… The BSF men jumped on my chest, and kicked me on my head and face with their boots.

Indian villagers residing in the border areas also accuse the BSF of not just indiscriminate shooting, but unprovoked beatings. Indian national Halima Bibi said her 12-year-old daughter was slapped and beaten by three BSF personnel on September 5, 2009 outside their home close to the border with Bangladesh. When Halima Bibi protested, she was verbally abused with sexual insults.

Nirsingha Mondal, from India’s Murshidabad district, said that on May 10, 2009, he had gone out as usual in the morning to collect firewood for cooking. He was dragged into a nearby BSF camp by two soldiers, who beat him up and accused him of stealing flowers from their garden.

The Indian government says it is seeking to contain the smuggling and mass economic migration from Bangladesh. In recent years, India has also alleged that separatist militants in its northeastern states find sanctuary in Bangladesh and cross into India to perpetrate terrorist attacks. However few of those killed by the BSF have ever been shown to have been involved in terrorism. In an effort to secure the border the Indian government is constructing a large 3,200 kilometer fence. But in densely populated areas of the border, where land is cultivated right up to the international boundary, the border fence is already exacerbating the problems faced by residents of the border areas.

The BSF justifies the killing of suspected smugglers by claiming that they were evading arrest, or that its personnel had to fire in self-defense. But suspicion of a crime or evasion of arrest cannot alone justify the use of lethal force. In fact, even India’s domestic laws which allow “all means necessary” in case a person attempts to use force to resist arrest, specifically forbid causing the death of a person who is not accused of an offense punishable by death or a life term.

In all the cases we investigated, the alleged criminals were either unarmed or armed with only sickles, sticks, and knives, which suggest that in shooting victims, the border guards are likely to have used excessive force. In a number of cases, the victims were shot in the back, suggesting that they were running away. In others, injuries indicate the person was shot at close range, with witnesses often alleging that the person was tortured and killed in BSF custody. Other victims appear to have fallen victim to bullets because they were too close to the border.

When someone is killed during a BSF operation, the BSF is required to file a report with the police. In such cases the BSF usually justifies the killing by accusing the victim of obstructing a public servant while performing his duties, unlawful assembly, or attempted murder. In none of the cases investigated by Human Rights Watch did the BSF show that it had recovered lethal weapons or explosives that could pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury that might justify killings in self-defense.

The Bangladeshi authorities have repeatedly complained about the rampant killing of its nationals by the BSF, as have human rights groups in both countries. Odhikar has documented cases of nearly a 1000 Bangladeshi nationals that have been killed by BSF over the last decade. Describing the BSF as “trigger happy,” Bangladesh Home Minister, Sahara Khatun, said in May 2010 that she would again ask New Delhi to stop these incidents.

Despite these strong comments from Khatun, the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), which is responsible for guarding the border from the Bangladeshi side and reports to the Bangladeshi Home Ministry, often fails to defend the rights of Bangladeshi citizens. The BDR is deployed to contain the smuggling of weapons, explosives, and narcotic substances including Phensedyl, a cough syrup that is banned in Bangladesh, but commonly used as a recreational drug. However, the Indian border authorities complain that their Bangladeshi counterparts do not do enough to prevent illegal cross-border smuggling.

In researching this report, the Bangladeshi human rights organization Odhikar and Human Rights Watch interviewed several BDR officials about Bangladeshi victims. In most cases, if the BSF presented evidence of smuggling, the BDR did not complain about Bangladeshi nationals being killed. For instance, with respect to the killing of Shyamol Karmokar, the BDR Camp Commander at Wahedpur border, Subedar Sirajul Islam, said that while his death was “unfortunate and sad,” the BSF had opened fire believing him to be a cattle trader because he was with a group of rustlers. “Thus there was nothing wrong with the fact that the BSF has shot him.”

In March 2010, BDR chief Maj. Gen. Mainul Islam, explaining that there was a history of “people and cattle trafficking during darkness,” said of the killings: “We should not be worried about such incidents…. We have discussed the matter and will ensure that no innocent people will be killed.” During an official visit to Bangladesh in September 2010, Raman Srivastava, Director General of the BSF, responded to Bandgladesh’s complaints that the BSF were killing “innocent, unarmed” Bangladeshi civilians by saying: “We fire at criminals who violate the border norms. The deaths have occurred in Indian territory and mostly during night, so how can they be innocent?”

These comments suggest that officials of both governments believe that it is legal to use lethal force against those suspected of being engaged in smuggling or other illegal activities. This amounts to a de facto shoot-to-kill policy for smugglers, and violates both national and international standards on the right to life and the presumption of innocence which are applicable in India and Bangladesh.

The BDR raises serious concerns with the BSF only when cases of indiscriminate firing lead to the death of villagers not involved in smuggling. For instance, on March 13, 2009, a BSF trooper got into an argument with a boy fishing in a lake, barely 20 meters from the international border. According to eyewitnesses, when the altercation became heated, the soldier opened fire, hitting two boys who were grazing their buffaloes nearby. Thirteen-year-old Abdur Rakib was shot in the chest and died instantly. Mohammad Omar Faruq, 15, was injured and later described the indiscriminate firing. A flag meeting was held between the BDR and the BSF the next day to discuss the incident. The BSF initially tried to insist that the victims were illegal cattle traders, but the BDR personnel presented witness accounts countering this version. Some villagers who were present during the flag meeting said that the BSF eventually apologized and promised that the soldier responsible would be punished. It is not clear if any disciplinary action was taken.

Members of the BSF are described by local residents as unsympathetic, aggressive, and violent. This may be explained by the fact that many are deployed to the region after difficult and tense tours of duty on the India-Pakistan border in Kashmir. Human Rights Watch researchers witnessed BSF troopers shouting at villagers, calling them names, and often making them wait for hours as each person was searched and signed as they crossed BSF outposts, to reach their fields or homes which adjoin the border.

To prevent the accidental shooting of villagers, an informal curfew is imposed on both sides of the border at night. But the restriction of movement after dark causes numerous difficulties. In India, the BSF patrols are deployed in posts a few kilometers inside Indian territory. They restrict access to areas beyond the outposts, effectively cutting people off from their farms or markets. To prevent infiltration by Bangladeshi nationals, the BSF require residents to surrender their identity or citizenship cards when they cross the border outposts and to claim them on return. Mithoo Sheikh, a young man in Murshidabad, said that there are long queues as the BSF checks each identity:

Sometimes by the time we get to the field it is noon. And we have stop work by 4 p.m. because they stop us from returning after dark. The BSF does not understand cultivation problems. We cannot water our fields at noon. Sometimes we only get water at night, but they will not let us remain in the field. If we disobey, we get beatings or they file false charges… We are treated as outsiders in our country.

The police are unwilling to lodge complaints against the BSF. When Tutan Sheikh, an Indian national, complained to the police that he and his brothers were subjected to unprovoked beatings by the BSF, he was told by the police officer on duty that the BSF trooper had committed no crime since the BSF was there to “beat the people.” In another case, after Indian national Noor Hossain was killed by the BSF, police told family members who wanted to lodge a complaint: “Why do you bother? What will happen to the BSF? Nothing can happen to the BSF. The BSF will say that the … border area is under their control.”

The Indian NGO Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), one of Human Rights Watch’s partners in researching this report, has repeatedly approached the courts, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the National Minorities Commission, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as well as the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, to hold abusers accountable. None of the cases raised have been brought to a satisfactory conclusion. According to Kirity Roy, who heads MASUM, “As the de facto complainant, we were never summoned to appear or depose before any inquiry conducted by the BSF. However, we are aware that in some cases, family members or victims did appear before the BSF court of inquiry.” No verdicts were made public.

According to the Bangladeshi authorities, India has never provided details of any BSF personnel who have been prosecuted for human rights violations. Until India ends its legal protection of security forces and civilian officials implicated in criminal offenses, a culture of impunity will prevail and abuses will continue.

The BSF, which has a long record of severe human rights abuses and members of India’s other security forces, are exempt from criminal prosecution unless specific approval is granted by the Indian government to undertake a prosecution in a particular case. This legally sanctioned impunity is even included in a new bill to prohibit torture under consideration in the Indian parliament. The bill, as presently drafted, will require approval from the central or a state government for a court to have jurisdiction over an offense committed by a public servant.

BSF personnel are in theory liable to be produced before an internal court for making false accusations, or for “disgraceful conduct of a cruel, indecent or unnatural kind.” Although the BSF claims that these courts are routinely used to prosecute those that commit crimes or violate the Border Security Force Act, there are no publicly known cases in which a BSF member was convicted of a crime for a human rights abuse at the India-Bangladesh border. It is time for the Indian government, which claims to follow the rule of law and respect basic rights, to take strong steps to end abuses and hold those responsible to account.

Key Recommendations

  • The Indian government should publicly order the Border Security Force (BSF) and other security forces to abide by the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. This requires officials to apply, as far as possible, non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms. Even in self-defense, intentional lethal use of firearms may only be made when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life. International law also requires security forces to give a clear warning of their intent to use firearms, and sufficient time to surrender.
  • Given the continuing failure of the BSF’s internal justice system to prosecute its own members for human rights abuses, personnel of all ranks implicated in serious rights abuses should be investigated by civilian authorities and prosecuted in civilian courts. In cases of abuses against Indian and Bangladeshi nationals, the police must register complaints filed against the BSF. Guidelines as laid down by the National Human Rights Commission to investigate all cases of deaths in armed encounters should be applied to the BSF.
  • The Indian government should establish an independent and impartial commission of inquiry into serious violations of international human rights law by the BSF. The government should invite both Indian and Bangladeshi nationals to submit evidence and bring complaints to such a commission. The inquiry should be time bound and transparent, and should have the ability to provide protection to witnesses.
  • The Indian government should repeal all legal provisions that require approval of the executive branch for prosecutions against members of the security forces to proceed, including in article 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Similar provisions in the Indian Prevention of Torture Bill currently in front of the Indian parliament should be deleted. Such provisions provide effective immunity to the security forces and violate the principles of equality under the law enshrined in both the Indian Constitution and international law.
  • The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations should inform the Indian government that those BSF personnel responsible for human rights violations should be excluded from peacekeeping duties.
  • The Government of India and Bangladesh should agree upon the request of the special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, and arbitrary executions to visit the country, pending since 2000 for India and since 2006 for Bangladesh. The Special Rapporteur should also include in his program, visits the border areas between India and Bangladesh.

Methodology

Human Rights Watch teams worked in Bangladesh and India to document allegations of human rights violations by border guards. We initially investigated both the Indian and Bangladeshi border forces, but we found that virtually all serious allegations of torture and killings were against the Indian Border Security Forces (BSF).

Human Rights Watch interviews were conducted in collaboration with two local NGOs: Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), based in Kolkata, and Odhikar, based in Dhaka. The primary investigations in a number of cases documented in this report were carried out by MASUM or Odhikar.

MASUM conducts regular fact-finding missions to investigate abuses by the BSF in West Bengal state and submits its reports to concerned Indian national commissions for further action. While headquartered in Kolkata, MASUM maintains field-based staff members who assist affected families to register police complaints and seek the intervention of the courts to force investigations. MASUM works with community leaders, local politicians, and media to ensure better protection of human rights. Many of the victims and their families told Human Rights Watch that it is because of MASUM’s advocacy that the BSF and police have, in some cases, been responsive to their complaints. For instance, in at least three cases, the BSF asked victims, or their family members to testify in the internal courts of inquiry. In some cases, senior officials have also visited victim families after allegations of abuse.

Odhikar is a Dhaka-based human rights monitoring group that collates information about human rights violations from media reports and also its network of local human rights defenders. It also conducts some fact-finding missions. It submits updated information on human rights issues to the authorities and to the media, and has long campaigned for an end to BSF abuses against Bangladeshi nationals. Odhikar’s advocacy on this issue has contributed to force the Bangladeshi government to take up these problems in their bilateral meetings with India. For this project, Odhikar worked with Human Rights Watch to interview victims, family members, eyewitnesses, police, and members of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) to investigate allegations of killings and torture by the BSF.

Altogether MASUM, Odhikar, and Human Rights Watch interviewed over 100 individuals, including victims, witnesses, human rights defenders, journalists, law enforcement officials, and members of the BSF and BDR. We have listed all the cases documented by Odhikar and MASUM since 2007 in an annex to the report.

The principle aim of the investigations was to determine whether there was a pattern of serious abuse. The interviews were conducted in Bengali. Human Rights Watch has Bengali speaking staff. Our NGO partners provided translations when needed.

I. Background: Risk of Attacks by Border Guards

India and Bangladesh share an international border of 4,095 kilometers (2,545 miles).[1] Several Indian states, including West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura, adjoin a total of 28 Bangladesh districts at the border.[2] Drawn by the British in 1947, there is little geographical or ethnic logic to the border. The populations on both sides share cultural, linguistic, religious, economic, and, crucially, kinship ties.

This report primarily looks at the international border in West Bengal state, which comprises about half of the total India-Bangladesh border. On the Indian side, we examine cases from the districts of Murshidabad, Nadia, Coochbehar, and North 24 Parganas. In Bangladesh, we look at cases in the districts of Jessore, Satkhira, Naogaon, Chapainababganj, Chuadanga, Meherpur, Thakurgaon, Kurigram, Panchagar, and Dinajpur.

In West Bengal, just one of the five Indian states that share a border with Bangladesh, the Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), a non-governmental organization based in India, has investigated at least 61 killings by India’s Border Security Force (BSF) since 2007; many other Indian nationals were killed in the remaining four states. That trend is reflected by Odhikar, a Bangladesh human rights monitoring group, which has documented that at least 315 Bangladeshi nationals were killed by BSF, all across the border with India since 2007.[3] According to the BSF, a total of 164 Indian nationals and 347 Bangladeshi nationals have been killed in BSF firing since 2006.[4] The Indian government insists that in recent years, it has ordered the BSF to exercise restraint.

Many Bangladeshis seek to cross the border into India in order to visit relatives.[5] Many others are driven by harsh economic realities. India offers better employment opportunities for cheap labor, and so hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshi nationals cross into India annually to seek temporary jobs. Some also choose to settle in India.[6]

The border area is densely populated, occupied primarily by farmers and landless peasants. But a growing population, poor irrigation, flooding, and continuous river erosion, are undermining the ability of farmers on both sides of the border to make a living. Smuggling, cattle-rustling, and human trafficking are all on the increase in the border region.[7] India also remains concerned about insurgent groups operating from within Bangladeshi territory. In March, BDR chief Maj.Gen Mainul Islam, promised to take action, saying: “My government has a big responsibility to ensure the security and development of the people. We have no time and space to harbor terrorists on our land.”[8]

India’s principle objectives on the Bangladesh border are to contain the unauthorized influx of Bangladeshi economic migrants; to prevent the smuggling of narcotics, fake currency, cattle; and to inhibit the intrusion of militants into Indian territory.[9] The Bangladeshi authorities’ main aims are to to control the smuggling of weapons, explosives, and narcotic substances, including Phensedyl, a cough syrup that is illegal in Bangladesh but commonly used as a “recreational” drug.[10]

Border Guards

The Border Security Force (BSF) is deployed on the Indian border while the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) protects the border in Bangladesh.

The BSF was established on December 1, 1965 to protect India's land border during peace time and to prevent transnational crimes.[11] It is a central government force under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs.[12] With about 220,000 personnel, it is currently among the world’s largest border forces.[13]Its peace time duties include preventing trans-border crimes such as smuggling, and preventing unauthorized entry and exit from India.[14] In addition to guarding the border, over the last two decades the BSF has also been used as a counter-insurgency force to combat the secessionist militant campaign in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.[15]

In West Bengal, the BSF has no counter-insurgency responsibilities. But villagers living in the border areas complain that they often find the BSF to be unsympathetic and violent.[16]They say that BSF personnel often do not speak or understand the local languages, and treat everyone with suspicion and agression. This may partly be explained by fact that many are deployed to West Bengal after difficult and tense tours of duty at the India-Pakistan border.

On several occasions, Human Rights Watch researchers witnessed BSF soldiers shouting at villagers, calling them names, and making them wait for hours as they were searched and their details recorded as they crossed border outposts. E.N. Rammohan, a former head of the BSF, said that it was always difficult to operate in heavily inhabited areas: “To operate successfully, a border force needs a corridor that has no habitation. In West Bengal, I had recommended that all these villages be re-sited so that these problems for civilians don’t occur.”[17]Some villagers too, said they would prefer to have the BSF operate at the border itself. “The BSF should shift their posts to a few yards from the actual border, not be here, in our villages,” said an Indian man who was beaten up while bringing grain from the market and accused of smuggling.[18]

BSF personnel are not accountable to the local administration, the police, or to human rights institutions. The police, in fact, often refuse to register complaints against the BSF. Under India’s Border Security Force Act, BSF personnel cannot be prosecuted in civilian courts without approval from the federal home ministrypermission that is seldom granted. Authorities say that BSF personnel are prosecuted by internal courts, where the hearings and verdicts are not public.[19] Not surprisingly, this deeply flawed system of accountability has failed to serve as effective deterrence against human rights violations.

The BSF has been accused of human rights violations in other parts of India where it operates. But there is very little information available on whether those responsible are properly prosecuted and punished. While the Indian government often claims that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) acts as a watchdog, the Commission cannot independently investigate allegations against federal forces including the BSF. Soon after the NHRC was formed, it did try. After 37 people were killed by the BSF in October 1993 in Jammu and Kashmir, the NHRC sent notices to the Home Ministry.[20] Based on the government’s report, the NHRC then recommended immediate interim compensation to the victims’ families and said that, apart from disciplinary proceedings under the Border Security Force Act, there should be parallel criminal prosecution proceedings. The government provided compensation, but said criminal proceedings were not necessary because the BSF was conducting its own internal trial in the Staff Court of Inquiry.[21] However, the government refused to provide the NHRC with transcripts of the trial. The NHRC was, therefore, unable to vouch for the fairness of the proceedings. According to press reports, all those charged with murder were acquitted.[22]

In a meeting with Human Rights Watch, Sunil Krishna, Director General (Investigation) at the NHRC, said that the Commission did receive a number of complaints about BSF operations at the Bangladesh border.[23] “We have questioned the BSF, but usually they say that the forces challenge smugglers and they are killed when they try to run away. However, I agree that if there are killings, it is highly disproportionate to the crime.”[24]While the NHRC cannot independently investigate allegations against the BSF, it can recommend compensations and also prosecution. However, it is rare that members of the BSF face trial in a civilian court.[25]Victim families thus seldom know if justice has been done because proceedings of the internal courts are not made public. According to Kirity Roy, who heads MASUM, “As the de facto complainant, we were never summoned to appear or depose before any inquiry conducted by the BSF. However, we are aware that in some cases, family members or victims did appear before the BSF court of inquiry.”[26]

The BSF says that most of the civilians killed by its personnel are smugglers, cattle-rustlers, or others gaining unauthorized entry.[27] The BSF also points out that it has a duty to prevent illegal activities.[28] During an official visit to Bangladesh and talks between the BSF and the BDR in September 2010, Raman Srivastava, Director General of the BSF, reportedly said in response to allegations that BSF troopers were killing innocent and unarmed Bangladeshi civilians: “We have made it clear that we have objection to the word ‘killing,’ as it suggests that we are intentionally killing people. We fire at criminals who violate the border norms.” Claiming that smuggling and illegal infiltration was rampant, he said: “The deaths have occurred in Indian territory and mostly during night, so how can they be innocent?”[29]

The Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) is also an armed border security force. It reports to the Minister of Home Affairs, but its commanding officers are drawn from the Bangladesh Army.[30] The force has a total strength of roughly 67,000 personnel across Bangladesh.[31] Unlike the BSF, the BDR is not under pressure either to restrain the migration of its people into India or to restrict the smuggling of cattle or rice. Its primary concern is to stop the inflow of the cough syrup Phensedyl and other drugs. In the September 2010 meeting between the BSF and BDR, while the BSF demanded action against militant camps, the BDR asked India to shut down illegal factories near the border that were manufacturing Phensedyl.[32]

The BDR has occasionally been accused of seriously abusing smugglers and cattle-rustlers who fail to pay the expected bribes. For example on August 17, 2010, Rashidul Islam, 27 years old, was, according to family members and villagers, picked up by a BDR patrol near the Mogholhat border area in Lalmonirhaat and beaten to death on the river bank. His body was then thrown into the river. His father alleged that the incident might have been related to an altercation with the BDR over non-payment of bribes. The company commander of Mogholhat camp said Rashidul Islam jumped into the river to evade arrest when BDR chased him and other members of a smuggling ring.[33]

While BDR is primarily responsible for border security, it regularly assists the police and other law enforcement agencies with riot and mob control. It has on several occasions been accused of using excessive force in breaking up demonstrations.

Since the BSF outposts are usually located almost 10 kilometers away from the actual border line, Indian villagers who cross into their farmlands beyond are often at risk of arrest or abuse by the BDR. For instance, MASUM has documented the case of two Indian nationals, Haider Ali and Aptar Sarder, residents of Murshidabad district, who were beaten severely by BDR troopers in September 2009.[34]

Both the Indian and the Bagladeshi border forces accuse each other of corruption. The BDR alleges that drug smugglers receive BSF protection, while the BSF, in turn, says that the BDR provides cover to cattle-rustlers and criminals, leaving it to the BSF to contain such activities on their own.[35] The reality is that some officials, border guards, and politicians on both sides are almost certainly involved in the smuggling. A senior BSF official admitted as much to Human Rights Watch: “There are a lot of people involved, including our chaps. That is why only these farmers, with one or two cows are caught, not groups that ferry large consignments of cattle or drugs.”[36]

Crimes in Border Areas

Migration of Bangladeshi nationals into India is common. Millions of Bangladeshis are alleged to be living illegally in India.[37] This is a source of serious political tension, with hardline Hindu political groups claiming that influx of Muslim Bangladeshis could alter the country’s demography.[38] Every year, thousands of women and children are also trafficked into India from Bangladesh, and then sold into brothels in Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkata or sent to Pakistan and the Middle East. Others end up as domestic labor.[39]

Smuggling is an important source of livelihood for many in the West Bengal border area. The cough syrup Phensedyl, other drugs, and rice are among the most common items smuggled into Bangladesh. But the most lucrative is the cattle trade. Some estimates suggest that as many as 20,000-25,000 animals enter into Bangladesh through West Bengal daily.[40] While the cross-border trade in cattle is illegal in India, sales of Indian livestock in Bangladesh are legal and taxable, and in fact the BDR often facilitates the cattle trade.[41]

The cattle-rustlers are well-organized. But the traders themselves are rarely the ones in the BSF’s line of fire. It is the local villagers, paid a small fee by the smugglers to ferry the cattle across the border, who suffer the most serious consequences for their involvement in this business. For them smuggling is often the only means of livelihood since there are few employment opportunities in the area. In several cases of killing and torture documented in this report, the victims were engaged in cross-border cattle-rustling. However, in other cases, villagers had simply mistakenly crossed the border since there are no clear markers.

In an effort to contain the problem of illegal immigration, trafficking, smuggling, and the infiltration of militants, India has embarked upon constructing a fence inside its border. Over 2,500 kilometers of fencing has been completed.[42] Border posts are set up at intervals of 4.5 kilometers which will be shortened to 2.9 kilometers once the fencing is completed.[43]

A number of Indian and Bangladeshi nationals remain in jails on the other side of the border, arrested for the violation of the Foreigners Act, when they crossed the border. Some, convicted for smuggling or trafficking, have already served their term. The Bangladeshi and Indian authorities are yet to develop a mechanism that can facilitate the return of their nationals.[44]

Problems for Border Residents

On the Indian side of the border, BSF guards restrict access through the fence, which has effectively cut off some Indian border residents from their farms or markets. In order to prevent infiltration by Bangladeshi nationals, the BSF obliges residents to surrender their identity or citizenship cards when they cross the border outposts and to claim them back on their return. Even in the border area in Murshidabad district, where the riverine plains are impossible to fence, residents have to surrender their papers at the BSF border outpost before crossing to the areas adjoining the border.[45]

The district administration or the BSF arbitrarily determine the timings for entry and exit, controlling the access of farmers to their own land. Many villagers complain that there is little consideration for agrarian needs, and that the BSF violate their freedom of movement. Mithoo Sheikh, a young man in Murshidabad said that there are long queues as the BSF checks each identity:

Sometimes by the time we get to the field it is noon. And we have to stop work by 4 p.m. because they stop us from returning after dark. The BSF does not understand cultivation problems. We cannot water our fields at noon. Sometimes we only get water at night, but they will not let us remain in the field. If we disobey, they beat us and file false charges…We are treated as outsiders in our own country.[46]

The failure by BSF personnel to respect rural habits and customs often causes grievances and conflict. Arguments can often have deadly results, as in the case presented below of Basirun Bibi and her six-month-old grandson who were killed when the BSF opened fire after an altercation with villagers at Dakshin Dhadial village in Coochbehar district.

In talks between the BSF and the BDR, held on March 9, 2010, both sides agreed to contain violent attacks on civilians. BSF Director General Raman Srivastava said, “We have agreed to ensure that no innocent civilian is shot by the troops. We have no reason to fire at innocent civilians.”[47] After signing a Joint Record of Discussions, the Director General of BDR Major General Mainul Islam, who led the Bangladeshi team at the talks, said the Indian side “clearly conveyed to us that they would maintain zero tolerance to killing of innocent Bangladeshis at the borders.”[48] However, Bangladesh also accepted in this context that it too “needs to motivate its people” not to undertake any illegal act across the border.

II. Excessive Use of Force and Indiscriminate Killings by the BSF

The Indian Border Security Force (BSF) justifies the killing of suspects by claiming that they were evading arrest, or that they had to fire in self-defense. However, in the cases investigated by Human Rights Watch, the alleged criminals were armed with nothing but sickles, sticks, and knives, commonly carried by villagers in the area. The police reports filed by the BSF seldom mention injuries received by the BSF’s own personnel which suggest that the border guards may have used lethal force instead of attempting arrest. In a number of cases, the victims were shot in the back, indicating that they may have been shot while running away. In others, injuries indicating victims were shot at close range, support allegations that they may have been killed while in custody.

Section 46 of India’s Code of Criminal Procedure states that it is permissible to use “all means necessary” when a person attempts forcibly to resist arrest, but it also clearly forbids causing the death of a person who is not accused of an offence punishable by death or a life term.[49] Cattle-rustling is not such an offense. In other words, under domestic law, while authorities may use force to detain such a suspect, they cannot use lethal force to do so. However, no international law or standard permits the use of lethal force on the grounds that a person is suspected of a crime that carries life imprisonment or the death penalty. BSF members violate domestic and international laws when killing Indian and Bangladeshi nationals.

The United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials calls upon officials to apply, as far as possible, non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms. Even in self-defense, intentional lethal use of firearms is permitted only when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life. Officials are required to exercise restraint and “act in proportion to the seriousness of the offence.”[50]

A former BSF official told Human Rights Watch that about a decade ago orders were handed down to shoot at suspected smugglers at the Bangladesh border. The official said that the assumption underlying the policy was that it would deter such illegal activities. However, he agreed that those orders, instead of serving as deterrence, are now causing deaths.[51]

Attacks on Bangladeshi Nationals

According to Odhikar, between 2000 and September 2010, over 930 Bangladeshi nationals were killed in the border area by the Indian BSF, including at the international frontier in the state of West Bengal where we did our research. Below are some recent cases that were investigated by Odhikar in collaboration with Human Rights Watch for this report.[52] These cases provide evidence of the BSF’s failure to use proportional force to address the alleged crimes.

Killing of Farid Hossain

Farid Hossian was a rickshaw puller from Sharialjot village in Panchagar district of Bangladesh. On February 5, 2010, according to his wife Rina Khatun, the 23-year-old father of two left home at around 11:30 p.m. On February 6, 2010, at around 8 a.m., she heard from other villagers that Farid had been killed by the BSF during the night.[53] Rina’s brother-in-law Faruq said a man collecting stones near the river Mohananda had been told by the BSF that a man named Farid Hossain from the Sharialjot village had been shot inside Indian territory, and asked him to inform the family.

According to Mohammad Zahir, a cattle-rustler, Farid had offered to go bring a cow from India. Zahir, Farid, and five others crossed over through the Kazipara border by cutting the border fence constructed by the Indians.[54] They then went to Haptia village near the Indian Haptia BSF camp:

While returning, we were chased by the BSF. All of us were able to escape but Farid hid in a tea garden. On February 6, in the morning, I heard that Farid had been shot to death by the BSF. I was summoned by the BDR Camp Commander where I admitted all the facts.[55]

On February 6, at 7:40 p.m., the BSF handed over Farid’s body at a flag meeting.[56]Mohammad Niyat Ali, an older relative of Farid Hossain, attended the meeting. The BSF said that an autopsy had been conducted, and provided the report which said there were bullet wounds to the chest. The Bangladesh police then handed the body over to the family for burial.

Niyat Ali suspected that Farid had been tortured because there were injuries and broken bones.[57] However, Odhikar also interviewed the BDR camp commander Abu Baker Siddique who said that the body had severe scratches all over his face, which had been caused by a dog probably used by the BSF to chase suspects.

The BSF Camp Commander, Nirodh Kumar, alledgedly told the BDR that six or seven persons were seen cutting the border fence. When the BSF chased them, the group scattered and ran away. While the others escaped, Farid hid in a tea garden. The BSF used a trained dog to track Farid down. The soldiers shot him as he tried to evade arrest.

Killing of Shyamol Karmokar

Naren Karmokar, a resident of the border village of Bishroshiya in Chapainababganj district, said that his 17-year-old son, Shyamol, wanted to visit his aunt who lives in Malda, India. However, since the family could not afford a passport, there was no legal way to enter India.

On January 24, 2010, Shyamol left home without informing his family. The next morning, at around 10:30 a.m., Naren Karmokar received a call from Shyamol, who said that he had crossed illegally into India, but had not yet reached his aunt’s house:

Everyone in the family was worried… We were relieved to receive his call. I told him to come back without visiting his aunt. I also told him to return alone, and warned him not to take any help from cattle traders. Shyamol called me on January 26 to say that he would be back the next day and that he had found a Bangladeshi who would help him. At around 3:30 a.m., I heard gun shots near the border and immediately became anxious about Shyamol. Around 5:30 in the morning, Zahid came to our house and told me that Shyamol had been shot dead by the BSF.[58]

When Naren received Shyamol’s body from the BDR on January 29, he saw that his son had been shot three times, in the abdomen, chest, and neck.[59] According to Mohmmad Zahid, who was helping Shyamol cross the border, the BSF opened fire without warning:

I work with Abdul Mannan and Milon at a rice mill in Bangladesh, but sometimes we also work in the cattle business. That day we were bringing two cows to Bangladesh. I had told Shyamol to meet us near the border, and at around 3:30 a.m. we started the journey to Bangladesh. We had two cows with us. Milon, who was the lineman, arrived an hour earlier. Soon after we reached near the border area, the BSF spotted us and immediately opened fire. Shyamol fell on the ground, while Mannan and I ran away. I don’t know what had happened to Shyamol after that… Once we entered into Bangladesh, I went to Shyamol’s house with Mannan to inform his father.[60]

A flag meeting was held on January 28, 2010, when the BSF handed over the body to the BDR. Odhikar spoke to Subedar Sirajul Islam, the BDR Camp Commander at Wahedpur about the death of Shyamol Karmokar. He stated that in their investigation they found that Shaymol was a barber who hitched a ride back home with cattle traders. The BSF claimed at the meeting that they had assumed Shyamol was smuggling cows into Bangladesh. For that reason, according to the BDR Commander, the BSF was justified in shooting him.[61]

The local police said that Shyamol was killed when the BSF opened fire upon a group of cattle-rustlers to which he did not belong. “It is one of the most unfortunate incidents that happened in this area. This boy was innocent but was shot just for walking with cattle traders,” said Yameen Ali of the Shibganj Police Station.[62]

Killing of Nazrul Islam

Around 5 a.m. on January 22, 2010, Nazrul Islam, a 40-year-old laborer from Baribaka village in Meherpur district was shot and killed by the BSF as he tried to cross the border fence between India and Bangladesh.

In the evening of January 21, Nazrul Islam had told his wife, Surjan, that he planned to help some cattle traders bring cows from India to Bangladesh. Before dawn the next morning Surjan and other villagers heard shots being fired near the border. Surjan told Human Rights Watch that she immediately suspected that her husband had been shot. Five months earlier, another cattle-rustler had been killed by the BSF. One of the villagers confirmed shortly afterwards that her husband had been killed close to Nabin Nagor village.[63] When Mohammad Ershad, a cousin, heard about the killing, he went to the area and saw Nazrul Islam’s body tangled in the barbed wire of the border fence.[64]

Surjan said that Nazrul used to work as a day-laborer. But since the money he made was not enough to support his wife, two daughters, and an elderly mother, he also took to cattle-rustling to pay off debts and the mortgage on their land.[65] According to Nazrul Islam’s son, Tutul, his father used to cross the border three or four times a month to smuggle cattle, and was able to make about 500 to 1000 taka (USD 7-14) each trip.[66] Nazrul Islam had apparently gone that morning as well, but had been spotted by the BSF and shot.

On January 23, the 92nd Battalion of the BSF handed over Nazrul’s dead body to members of BDR’s 32nd Battalion. According to a BDR commander, two bullets hit Nazrul in the abdomen after he was caught in the barbed wire on his way back to Bangladesh.[67] The investigating police officer at Meherpur district police station, however, told Human Rights Watch that Nazrul was hit with one bullet fired from a distance.[68] An autopsy was conducted, and the report issued by Meherpur general hospital in Bangladesh states that Nazrul died from “hemorrhage and shock as a result of gunshot injury which was ante-mortem and homicidal in nature.”[69]

While Nazrul’s family members told Human Rights Watch that he was operating together with others the night he was killed, no villagers were able to identify anyone who had witnessed the killing.[70] The police was also unable to find anyone who was present.

According to Subedar Habibur Rahman, Company Commander of the Buripota BDR camp, a flag meeting was organized with the BSF on January 22, 2010. The BSF claimed that the deceased, Nazrul Islam, was a cattle trader, returning from India with a cow and that he had cut a section of the fence and was trying to push the cow through. BSF also mentioned that Nazrul’s body was trapped in the fence and that they had recovered a cow from the spot.[71]

Killing of Shahidul Islam

Shahidul Islam, 37, was shot and killed by BSF along the Kazipur border in Meherpur district in the early hours of January 15, 2010.

According to his wife Kamala Khatun, Meherpur district resident Shahidul Islam had spent three years in an Indian prison, detained on charges of cattle smuggling.[72] He was released in November 2009, and returned to work as a laborer in Kazipur village where he lived with his mother, wife, and two daughters.

On January 14, 2010, Shahidul left home at 4 p.m. saying that he would be back by dinner time. However, Kamala was not surprised when Shahidul did not return as promised because he was often not back until midnight. The next morning, Kamala heard that her husband had been killed by the BSF during the night. She was told that her husband was shot near the Kazipur BDR camp about 1.5 km from their village.[73]

There are different accounts as to exactly when Shahidul was killed. Villagers interviewed by Human Rights Watch say they heard gunshots in the border area around 9 p.m. on January 14.[74] However, according to the records of a nearby BDR camp, no gunshots were fired until 4:30 a.m. on January 15.[75]

At a flag meeting between the Kazipur BDR camp and Fulbari BSF camp held on January 17, 2010, the BSF handed over Shahidul’s body and allegedly told BDR officials that he was shot while smuggling cattle. The BDR camp commander told Odhikar that Shahidul was a criminal who had been released from an Indian jail just a few weeks ago.[76] Shahidul was buried by his family the same day. Family members and police told Human Rights Watch that Shahidul had been shot with one bullet in the abdomen. Family members also say that the body had several bruises and broken bones and that there was a wound at the back of the head.[77] However, the investigating police officer, Osman Goni, said that the inquest found that he had been shot in abdomen, but did not find any signs of torture.[78]

Odhikar and Human Rights Watch have not been able to obtain further details as to the exact circumstances of Shahidul’s death. The killing took place at night at a place located 1.5 kilometers from the nearest settlement. The BDR, police, and villagers all say that there were no witnesses on the Bangladeshi side of the border.

Killing of Monirul Islam

It appears that Monirul Islam, a 23-year-old resident of Chapainobabganj district, was killed by the BSF after he had managed to cross back into Bangladeshi territory. Abdul Kaiyum said that on January 8, 2010, his son Monirul worked in the field with him and had dinner with him. At around 9 p.m. Abdul Kaiyum then went to bed. He now assumes that his son then secretly went out to meet cattle-rustlers.[79] Abdul Latif, 21, one of those who were with Monirul on the night of the incident, said:

Some of us including Monirul crossed into India around midnight to bring cows. We entered into Bangladesh through the Shing Nagar border around 6:30 a.m., when we discovered that we were being chased by the BSF. At that time we had already crossed the Chulkani Bil, which is 200 yards inside Bangladesh territory. The BSF started shooting at us from the no man’s land. As gunshots were fired, everyone scattered but Monirul fell to the ground. He had been shot in the chest… Later the BSF tried to fetch Monirul’s body and take it back to India. But in the meantime, a lot of villagers had already gathered around, and the BSF had to go back, leaving Monirul’s body.[80]

Major Nazrul Islam, BDR commander of the 29th Battalion posted at the Shing Nagar border said that on January 9, 2010, BDR was informed by villagers that a body had been found at Chulkani Bil. Monirul’s body had a gunshot wound on the left side of his chest. BDR claimed that Monirul was a cattle-rustler.[81]

Constable Yameen Ali said that on January 9, 2010, the police found that the BSF had shot a villager and the body was found inside Bangladesh. It appeared that the BSF had spotted the cattle-rustlers once the group had already entered into Bangladesh. He confirmed that Monirul Islam was involved with the cattle smugglers.[82]

Killing of Shafiqul Islam

At around 4 p.m. on January 1, 2010, 27-year-old Shafiqul Islam, a resident of Sheetalpur village in Satkhira District, crossed into India with some others to bring cattle. On January 9, while they were swimming a river to cross back into Bangladesh, they were allegedly spotted by some BSF guards, who chased them on a speedboat. While his accomplices were able to escape with the cattle, they say that they saw Shafiqul caught by the BSF.

One of the witnesses, Shahadat, met his mother-in-law, Masura Begum, on his return and asked her to inform Shafiqul Islam’s family of his death. He told Masura Begum that BSF personnel from Barunhat Camp stabbed and killed Shafiqul Islam and threw his body in the river.[83]

According to Masura Begum, the men were crossing the Kalindi River at night with the cows when the BSF gave chase to them in a patrol boat. Shahadat left the cows in the water and hid in the bushes at the river bank. He saw BSF guards chase Shafiqul and heard him shout a few times as the BSF kicked him. He saw some BSF guards stab Shafiqul with a knife. They were swearing in Hindi. Later the BSF threw him in the river and left the scene on their boat. Shahadat and his accomplice then went back, picked up the cows, and swam into Bangladesh.[84]

Shafiqul’s mother, Saleha Begum admitted that cattle traders used to pay Shafiqul 2500-3000 taka [USD 35-40] to ferry cows from India into Bangladesh:

Shafiqul and Shahadat of Khainja village and another person were bringing some cows from India. Even though I repeatedly told him not to go, Shafiqul left the house that day and crossed the Kalindi River. Shahadat and the other person were able to return alive with cattle from India on January 9, 2010, but my son did not come back alive….When Masura Begum told me of my son’s death, I began looking for Shafiqul’s body in the Kalindi River. On January 13, a woman from Uksa village told me that Shafiqul’s body was lying on the bank of the river adjacent to the BDR camp at the Uksa border. I went there with Shafiqul’s wife Anjuara… After recognizing Shafiqul’s body, I sent Anjuara to the Uksa BDR camp to inform them.[85]

Mosammat Fatema Begum, who found Shafiqul’s body, said that it was nude, with a black tube around the chest. There were cuts on the left cheek and on the feet.[86]

Sub-Inspector Abdul Huq recovered Shafiqul’s body on January 13, 2010. It was sent for autopsy on the following day and then handed to the family for burial. The police officer said that Shafiqul, a cattle-rustler, was swimming back to Bangladesh holding the tail of a cow, and wearing a tube around his chest, when members of the BSF ran a speedboat over him. Shafiqul’s body was cut by the blades of the speedboat.[87] He said that although the police did investigate the death, the Bangladesh police had no authority to bring charges against the BSF.

Killing of Abdur Rakib, a 13-year-old boy

Abdur Rakib, aged 13, was also killed inside Bangladeshi territory. On March 13, 2009, a BSF trooper had an argument with a boy who was fishing in the Dohalkhari Lake, barely 20 meters from an international border. The soldier opened fire, and hit two other boys who were grazing their buffaloes nearby. Abdur Rakib was shot in the chest and died instantly. Mohammad Omar Faruq, aged 15, was injured. He said:

I had taken our three buffaloes for grazing in the field. This field was about 50 yards from the border. It is a common grazing ground and a lot of other boys were feeding their buffaloes in the same field. There is a lake called Dohalkhari about 30-40 yards from that field towards the border. A young boy was catching fish in the lake. Everything was going on as usual when I heard a sound coming from the lake. A BSF soldier was standing at the border and loudly talking to the boy who was catching fish. It seemed that he wanted the boy to give him some free fish. This went on for about half-an-hour and it started to become very heated. I thought that the BSF soldier might be drunk.... Soon they started to verbally abusing each other and then the BSF pointed a gun at the boy. The boy ran and the soldier started to shoot. I think maybe about seven to ten rounds were fired… I was hit on the right hip and fell down. Everyone else around me was running to hide, leaving their buffaloes… I crawled to a paddy field and waited for help.[88]

Toriqul Alam, 22, who was working on his farm nearby, heard the gunshots and then saw Omar Faruq crying and crawling away. He and some others ran to pull him to safety. Toriqul Alam says that he also saw that Abur Rakib was lying on the ground, dead.[89]

Mohammad Abu Bakar, Rakib’s uncle, also witnessed parts of the incident. He was irrigating his fields when he heard gunshots. He ran to a paddy field nearby to hide after hearing the first shot. From there, he saw that his nephew had been shot by a BSF soldier. Later, he saw the soldier, a black cloth covering his face, carrying a gun in his right hand, dragging Rakib’s lifeless body by his right leg through the field over a culvert on the Indian side. The soldier then walked two buffaloes close to the border so that it appeared that they were brought from India. After that, he made a call on his mobile phone. A little later, Abu Bakar saw about a dozen BSF personnel arrive in a van, who took Abdur Rakib’s body away.[90]

A flag meeting was held between the BDR and the BSF on March 14, to discuss the incident. The BSF tried to insist that the victims were illegal cattle traders, but the BDR personnel presented witness accounts countering this version. Some villagers who were present during the flag meeting said that the BSF eventually apologized and promised that the soldier responsible would be punished.[91] There is no information on any action taken.

Abdur Rakib’s body was handed over to the BDR after an autopsy in India. Omar Faruq was taken to hospital.

Indiscriminate Shooting at Nazrul Islam and Anwar Hossain

Nazrul Islam, a 34-year-old rickshaw puller from Panchagar district, said he occasionally supplemented his income through cattle smuggling. On January 5, 2010, he left his home in the evening, telling his wife that he was going to ferry some cows back from India. He met up with several others but when they reached the border, they found a heavy BSF presence patrolling in the area. So they decided to wait, only setting out around 3 a.m. the following morning. They were very close to the Haptia camp of the BSF, but failed to notice some soldiers who were hidden in the field:

As soon as the BSF saw us, they started firing without warning. On that night, the BSF shot at least 30 rounds. I had never experienced such firing from the BSF before. Hearing the gunshots, all of us ran to save our lives. I was running towards India. I got shot in my right hand….I went directly to an Indian cattle trader’s house. The BSF was looking for me… I called my cousin who lives in India… He came and took me home and a local doctor put a bandage on my wound…. The next day, I went to Shiliguri.[92]

Shiliguri is a town in West Bengal and Nazrul Islam was admitted into a hospital. He remained in the hospital for several days but had to flee once a doctor discovered that he was a Bangladeshi national and started demanding bribes, threatening to inform the BSF. On January 21, 2010, he finally managed to contact some cattle traders who helped him cross back into Bangladesh.

Anwar Hossain had also run once the BSF opened fire. He was injured in his right palm. Anwar and two others managed to hide in tea estates until they were able to contact an Indian cattle trader who helped him find a doctor to clean the wound and provide medicine. The BSF managed to track them down at the cattle trader’s house on January 8, but they escaped and eventually returned to Bangladesh.[93]

Injuries to Rumi Akhter Nipa, a 12-year-old girl

On October 4, 2009, Rumi, a resident of Nawdapara village in Kurigram district, ate her usual meal of rice and vegetables at around 8 a.m. and then went to school at 9 a.m. According to the 12-year-old, when she reached school in the morning, none of her classmates were present. The teacher asked her to go fetch her friends so that classes could start. It was Ramadan,[94] so the girls had probably been delayed.

Rumi found her friends at a pond near the border, between international pillars no. 1063 and 1064. They were bathing in the pond. Rumi’s maternal aunt Rubi, whose house is in that area, was also present. Rumi said:

My friends Sheuli, Mina, Mousumi, Shilpi, and couple of other classmates and friends were bathing in the pond. My aunt Rubi, whose house is in that area, was there as well. On our way back to the school, suddenly I felt as if I had been hit by a stone. It was tingling, sharp pain on my right thigh. When I told my aunt about the stone, she brushed it off saying that it was nothing serious. But soon my dress started to turn crimson. My aunt became a little worried and she checked my thigh and screamed, “You have been shot.”[95]

Rubi called out to her son Faruk who was working nearby. He had heard the shots earlier, but he thought the sound had come from the Indian side of the border. He rushed when his mother called him, and found his cousin, Rumi, had fallen down, with her clothes drenched in blood. He immediately looked across the border, but he could see no BSF personnel there. He then rushed Rumi to the hospital.[96]

According to Subedar Abul Kalam Azad, the BDR first learned of the incident when they saw a group of angry villagers at the hospital where Rumi had been brought. The villagers said that two rounds were fired by the Shapara BSF members at Chadnichawk on the Indian side of the border into Nawdapara on the Bangladeshi side.[97]

Outraged by this apparently indiscriminate shooting, the BDR contacted Shahpara BSF camp. Two flag meetings were held. On October 5, 2009, in the morning at 10 a.m, there was a meeting of camp level officials. On October 7, at 11 a.m. there was a meeting of Battalion commanders. At the flag meetings, the BSF apologized profusely for the incident. On October 7, at the commander level meeting, BSF Commander Brajesh, who was in charge of the 151 Battalion of Shahpara Camp apologized again and said that the person or persons responsible would be identified and punished.[98]

Attacks on Indian Nationals

According to MASUM, hundreds of Indian nationals have been killed by the BSF inside Indian territory, including in West Bengal state where we conducted our investigations. These are some recent cases that were investigated by MASUM in collaboration with Human Rights Watch for this report. These cases provide evidence that the BSF, in addition to its attacks on Bangladeshi citizens, is responsible for grave human rights violations against Indian nationals. The cases also show that there is no accountability for these abuses.

Killing of Basirun Bibi and Baby Ashique

On May 4, 2010, Basirun Bibi and her six-month-old grandson were killed when the BSF opened fire at Dakshin Dhadial village in Coochbehar district. The BSF opened fire after an altercation with the villagers.

The violence occurred due to ongoing tension between villagers and BSF personnel because of the border fencing by Indian authorities. As already noted above, because the fence is several kilometers inside Indian territory, villagers often have to pass through to access their land. The BSF requires them to submit their identity cards at the border post if they want to approach the area beyond the fence, towards the border. The cards are restored once they cross back. This is to prevent illegal immigration by Bangladeshi nationals.

Early in the morning on the day Bibi and Ashique were killed, a villager named Salam Ali submitted his papers and signed his name in the BSF register before taking his cattle for grazing beyond the fence. But personnel belonging to the BSF’s 113th Battalion later asked him to return, saying that permission had been revoked. Salim Ali was joined by other villagers who all gathered to protest against the BSF’s restrictions. There was a scuffle. A BSF officer then ordered that his men open fire to contain the protesters in what appears to be disproportionate use of lethal force. Six persons were injured by bullets. Basirun Bibi was shot in the chest, while her grandson was shot in the head. Both were taken to the hospital along with others injured in the firing. Ashique was dead on arrival, while Basirun Bibi later died in hospital.[99]

Two cases of unnatural death were registered at the Tufanganj police station. A police complaint was also lodged against the BSF by Salam Ali. The BSF, in turn, have lodged a complaint of rioting against the villagers at the same police station. MASUM has filed a written complaint to the NHRC but as of this writing is yet to receive a response.[100]

Killing of Atiur Rahman

Atiur Rahman, a businessman of Puthiya (Jamtala) village, had gone to visit his aunt who lives close to the Indo-Bangladesh border on March 21, 2010. He was accompanied by his cousin, Rahabul Sheikh. They were returning at around 9 p.m. when they were stopped by two BSF soldiers, both from the E Company of the 105th Battalion. While Rahabul Sheikh managed to run away, Atiur Rahman was shot dead. Marks on his body suggested that he had been beaten before he was shot. The body was recovered near the Bangladesh border in Murshidabad district.[101]

That night, according to Atiur’s father, Mesher Ali: “We heard that someone had been shot. It was still before the call for morning prayers. We were worried, so I sent my other son to check… My son saw the body. It was his brother.”[102]

The BSF initially refused to let family members view the body. But later, when they were finally permitted, they saw that Atiur Rahman had been brutally tortured, his arms twisted and broken. His uncle Alauddin Biswas, who saw the body as the police removed it, said that Rahman must have been shot point-blank in his forehead, as he lay on the ground. The bullet had pierced his head and was recovered from where it was embedded below in the soil. He was also shot in the abdomen. Alauddin Biswas said:

I went to see the body. It was lying 5-6 kilometers away from our house. There were police and politicians. We all saw that the BSF had shot him while he was lying on his back. They had shot him in the forehead and the bullet had pierced through and was lying a few inches inside the ground. If he was running away, he would have been shot in the back. They just killed him… We have no idea why he was killed… We know about the curfew. People are not allowed to roam around after dark. But why did they have to kill him? They could have arrested him if they thought he was a smuggler.[103]

The Company Commander of the BSF’s 105th Battalion stated in his complaint to the police that, while on patrol:

Constable Sunil Kumar observed 10-15 smugglers along with about six cattle heads coming from the India side and going towards the Bangladesh side. He also saw a shadow of a smuggler nearby as such he physically apprehended him. The remaining smugglers tried to free the apprehended smuggler by attacking and encircling patrolling party and they managed to get him free. They also tried to snatch Constable Sunil Kumar’s weapons, however, they could not do so. The patrolling party challenged the smugglers to stop but the smugglers [sic] party threatened and encircled the patrolling party. During the course of fighting Constable Sunil Kumar sustained minor injuries on his right arm and left leg. The butt of his rifle suffered damage by the dah [scythe] of the smuggler. Sensing imminent danger to his own life and in self-defense of his life, Constable Sunil Kumar fired two rounds from his rifle…. Resultantly … Atiur Rehman … sustained bullet injuries on his forehead and back and died on the spot. There are no reports of casualties or injuries of other smugglers or any BSF personnel. On firing, the remaining smugglers along with the cattle heads ran towards Dihipara village in India ….[104]

Atiur Rahman’s father has lodged a murder complaint against the police, citing bullet injuries that show that his son was lying on his back on the ground when he was shot, and that there were injuries on the body resulting from the torture that was inflicted before he was killed. No investigation has followed.

Killing of Shahjahan Gazi

Eighteen-year-old Shahjahan Gazi, of 24 North Parganas district, was involved in smuggling. On November 10, 2009, he left his home, telling his family that he was going away to work. The next morning, he turned up, badly injured, at the home of Panchanan Sarkar, who lives at the edge of the border in Dobila.

Shahjahan told Sarkar that he was caught by BSF personnel at around 1:30 a.m. He said he was beaten mercilessly, and the soldiers probably left him thinking he was dead. But he regained consciousness and managed to drag himself to the nearest house. By that time, other villagers had gathered at Sarkar’s house and they arranged for a vehicle to take Shahjahan to the hospital. However, before they could leave, at around 11 a.m., some BSF personnel arrived and said that they would arrange for Shahjahan’s treatment and took him into custody.[105]

The villagers, meanwhile, informed Shahjahan’s family and they rushed to the district hospital in Basirhat. They found that the BSF had already reached the hospital at around 1:30 p.m. and that Shahjahan was dead when the BSF brought him in.

Since Shahjahan was alive when handed into BSF custody, the villagers went to the police station to file a murder complaint. The police lodged a First Information Report (FIR)[106] based on a complaint filed by Afsar Gazi, Shahjahan’s father. According to the FIR, the BSF—instead of heading to the hospital—took Shahjahan to the Dobila camp, where he was beaten to death.[107]

However, when MASUM contacted the Investigating Officer Kartik Chandra Mandal, a sub-inspector at the Swarupnagar police station, he said that he contacted the BSF, but could not verify the identity of the personnel who may have been responsible. He also admitted that he was helpless and could not take any action against the BSF.[108] At the inquest, it was revealed that the postmortem conducted by government doctors had found severe injuries on the victim’s arm and back.

Because Shahjahan was Muslim, MASUM also lodged a written complaint with the National Minorities Commission.[109] As of this writing, there has been no progress in this case.

Killing of Noor Hossain, a 17-year-old boy

Noor Hossain, 17, was killed on the banks of River Padma by BSF personnel on September 1, 2009. MASUM investigations revealed that the boy, a resident of Brahmaottar village in Murshidabad district, belonged to a very poor family and used to engage in cattle smuggling.[110]

Witnesses said that when they heard loud voices and shouting, they ran to the river. They saw that Noor Hossain was being beaten mercilessly by BSF personnel and lay groaning on the ground, pleading for his life.[111] But the BSF kept hitting him, and then fired two shots. Said his uncle Mustafa Sheikh:

We did not even know he had gone out. We thought he was sleeping…. At around 10:45 p.m. or so, I heard gun shots. I thought to myself, ‘They have gone and killed someone again.’ Around half an hour later, maybe around 11: 15 or so, there was a sound again. That is when they shot at it his body. After he had died, they shot him in the back… The bullet exited from the side, not through his body…. Then we heard people calling out…. They said that Noor Hossain had been killed. I ran, but the soldiers would not let us go near…. When finally the police arrived, they let us go near. I saw marks on him. He had been badly beaten.[112]

The next morning, the body was sent for autopsy. The BSF lodged a police complaint and submitted farming implements, sticks, and two cows that were recovered near the body. P. Bodhra, a Company Commander in the BSF’s 105th Battalion told the police that that Noor Hossain, a smuggler, had been killed by BSF personnel.[113]

On September 5, MASUM staff accompanied Noor Hossain’s father and brother, Jerman and Salim Sheikh, to the police station to lodge a complaint. Police officer Kanun Mondal read the report, but returned it to Salim Sheikh saying that he could not take any steps against the BSF. The Sheikhs waited for two hours until the Officer-in-Charge, Dulal Biswas, turned up at the police station. The complaint was handed to Dulal Biswas. He read the whole report and then rebuked Noor Hossain’s relatives, saying that the boy had been justifiably killed by the BSF when he was caught smuggling.[114]

Mustafa Sheikh told Human Rights Watch that the police have recommended the family stop pursuing the case. “They say, ‘Why do you bother? What will happen to the BSF? Nothing can happen to the BSF. The BSF will say that the 24 kilometer border area is under their control.’”[115]

MASUM repeatedly asked the police about their investigation into BSF excesses in this case, but to no avail. The group than sent a written complaint to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, but is yet to receive a response.[116]

Family members said that they have never been summoned to testify before a BSF court of inquiry, which indicates that no internal investigation was done to check if the soldiers had deliberately killed someone in their custody.

Killing of Shyamsundar Mondal

Shyamsundar Mondal was killed on August 22, 2009, in Murshidabad. The BSF claimed that its personnel based in the Rajanagar camp had shot and killed him in an encounter with smugglers at around 7 p.m. at Dadur Ghat, on the banks of the Padma River.

The family had lost their land due to erosion, and Shyamsundar Mondal, according to his family members, had apparently taken to cattle smuggling to earn a living. According to eyewitnesses who were with Mondal but did not wish to be identified, BSF personnel from the 191st Battalion caught the smugglers while they were taking the cows into Bangladesh and immediately opened fire without warning. One of the bullets struck Shyamsundar in the back, and he instantly fell down. His associates, believing him to be injured, first started dragging him along as they escaped. But later, realizing that he was dead, they left his body in a jute field and ran away.[117]

The police, along with family members, recovered the body on August 23, and it was taken for autopsy. The police registered a case of unnatural death. On the same day, S.R. Chowdhury, the Assistant Commandant of the BSF, filed a police complaint against 40 to 45 unknown smugglers and said that two rounds had been fired to stop them in their activities.[118] The BSF also handed over four buffaloes that had been seized during the operation.[119]

When Ramesh Chandra Mondal, the father of the victim, initially told the police that he wanted to lodge a complaint against the BSF for killing his son, the officer at the Raninagar police station said that it would be of little use, since Shyamsundar was killed while committing a crime. However, with the assistance of MASUM, Mondal did lodge a written complaint, saying that his son was shot without warning by BSF soldiers, citing the bullet injury which suggested that the victim was not in an attacking position when he was shot.[120] The police registered a criminal case, but as of this writing, there has been no investigation or arrest.[121]

MASUM sent a complaint to the NHRC, but is yet to receive a response.[122]

Killing of Sushanta Mondal, a 13-year-old boy

According to Panchanan Mondal, his 13-year-old son, Sushanta Mondal, was brutally killed by the BSF on July 13, 2009. Sushanta lived with his family in a village almost adjacent to the Bangladesh border in Murshidabad district. The village, called Borderpara, sits on the Padma river, and that day, Sushanta, along with his friends, Prosenjit and Pintu Mondal, went to swim in the river. Several other villagers were also there at the time, and they later informed Panchanan Mondal of his son’s death.

My son had gone to the river as usual along with his two friends. Some BSF personnel approached them on a speed boat and attacked the boys without any provocation. While the other boys managed to swim away, my son could not get away. The BSF men kept circling my son with their boat, and probably injured him with the propellers. I think they did it deliberately…. He eventually drowned. We tried to rescue his body, but in vain. However, his dead body emerged out of water on July 14, at around 12 a.m. I, along with other villagers, refused to hand over the body for post-mortem until the police lodged a complaint against the BSF personnel.[123]

After calming the protesting villagers, the police took the body and sent it for autopsy. However, despite promising to investigate the role of the BSF, the police took no action against them. “It was evident from the injuries on my son’s dead body that his death occurred due to injuries inflicted upon him by the BSF speed boats. Yet, no one is willing to bring those BSF personnel perpetrators to justice,” said Mondal.[124]

Killing of Abdus Samad

Saying that they suspected 35-year-old Abdus Samad of smuggling, several BSF personnel, led by Commander P. Vodra, forcibly entered his mud hut in the village of Biswanathpur in Murshidabad district on May 5, 2009. Abdus Samad did not live in the village, but worked as a day-laborer in Kolkata. However, he had come home after his wife delivered twin sons, to help take care of the family. Rimi Bewa, his wife, said that the BSF soldiers were harsh and abusive:

We were asleep when the BSF came at around 3 a.m. We have a broken door. We heard footsteps. They entered through the door. One of them kicked me and asked, ‘Where is your husband?’ They kicked me and used verbal abuses…. My husband woke up and immediately the BSF personnel started to beat him in front of our children with rifle butts, boots, and sticks. Then they tied his hands on his back and dragged him outside the house, still beating him… I was scared and ran after them pleading that they stop beating my husband, but they ignored me. Hearing me screaming, some neighbours came out of their house. They also asked those BSF personnel to stop. The men threatened them too with their guns. We saw him being dragged off. He was shouting. He was bleeding.[125]

Abdus Samad’s body was later found in the field and was taken to the BSF camp. Next morning, Rimi, accompanied by her husband’s brother Abdul Hakim and a village council leader, went to the police to complain about the assault, abduction, and killing of Abdus Samad. The police initially refused to register a complaint against the BSF and only complied when village leaders intervened. Later, the police informed the family that the BSF had registered a complaint with the police, claiming that he was arrested for trafficking heroin, and had died in custody because he had suffered a heart attack.[126]

The BSF apparently tried to persuade the local hospital authorities to support their claim of a heart attack. However, Dr. Goutam Ghosh, superintendent of the hospital told MASUM: “I had prepared myself to conduct the post-mortem but after observing few abnormalities, injuries on the body, I decided not to proceed with the post-mortem.”[127] He sent the body instead for autopsy by more senior doctors at the Behrampore New General Hospital.

Mr. P. Vodra, the BSF Commander, who according to eyewitnesses was present when Abdus Samad was detained, later told MASUM:

Abdus Samad was arrested with heroin near the Indo-Bangladesh border by constables Prahlad Roy and Ran Riyauddin. He was transferred to the Ramnagar BSF Camp as their camp didn’t have adequate facilities in which to detain a person. However, Samad became ill in custody as was duly treated at the Ramnagar camp and referred to Bhagabangola Hospital. I don’t have any knowledge how he died.[128]

Rimi Bewa insists that the BSF is always abusive, and they had no reason to suspect her husband. “My husband did not even live in the village,” she said:

He worked as a migrant laborer… The BSF is like this. They come and always ask who does cattle smuggling. They abuse the women. People go to defecate in the fields. But in the evening, after 7 p.m. the BSF is patrolling and they stop us. They want shops to shut. They beat us up, and say, ‘we have the power to do so.’ This BSF abuse has ruined our peace of mind.[129]

Killing of Sanjit Mondal, a 17-year-old boy

Sanjit Mondal was cycling back to his house on March 24, 2009, when he was asked to stop by BSF soldiers. According to his father, Bhabani Mondal, the soldiers from the 105th Battalion of the BSF then beat up the 17-year-old and shot him in cold blood in front of numerous witnesses:

It must have been about 6 p.m. in the evening. The BSF is always there, because we live close to the border. My house is on the main path, so I saw the BSF pass by like every other day, from our front door. My son had gone to the shop close by. He was coming back when the BSF asked him to stop. ‘Come here,’ they said in Hindi. My son said, ‘I have to go. I have to feed the cattle.’ At this soldiers started beating him. My son was shouting, ‘Why are you hitting me? I am not a thief.’ This was happening in the village. Someone came running and told me, ‘BSF is beating your son.’ I ran out. He was just 10 yards away. In front of me, I saw the soldier shoot my son… We were standing there in shock. The soldiers told everyone to go inside, warning, ‘We will shoot anyone who comes out.’ I went to the house…. An officer, may be the commander, came and they dragged my son off the road. Then they surrounded my house. We were very scared. They called me out. The police was also there. They said, ‘Your son is a thief…’ I have 39 cows. What is the need for my son to be a thief? They just left his body lying by the street. They refused to let me move it.[130]

MASUM lodged a complaint to the Governor of West Bengal, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, the Director General of the BSF, and the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police in Murshidabad. It has not received a response from any of them.

Killing of Shibajit Mondal

Shibajit Mondal, a 28-year-old resident of Char Rajanagar village in Murshidabad, was smuggling cattle around midnight on March 14, 2009. According to his associates, four soldiers of the BSF’s 90th Battalion came upon the smugglers. Without warning they started shooting at them. Shibajit Mondal and his associates were not carrying any weapons and thus did not pose a threat to the life or safety of the BSF soldiers.[131]

Shibajit Mondal was shot in the abdomen and brought to the Raninagar police station before being taken to the Behrampore New General Hospital. He was later transferred to a bigger hospital in Kolkata where he died of his injuries on March 30, 2009. The police registered the incident as a case of unnatural death, and investigations showed that Shibajit had been shot in an armed encounter with the BSF. Mondal’s family members filed a murder complaint against the BSF, but no investigation followed.[132]

MASUM also sent a written complaint to NHRC.[133] Based on its complaint, the NHRC sent a notice to the central Home Ministry which has operational control over the BSF. In June 2010, MASUM received a communiqué from an Under Secretary of the Home Ministry stating that a copy of a report from the BSF had been submitted to the NHRC on May 19, 2010. However, the NHRC has since not taken action or responded directly to MASUM.[134]

Killing of Peparul Sheikh, a 16-year-old boy

Peparul Sheikh, a resident of the village of Chakmathura in Murshidabad district, was shot dead by three BSF personnel of the 90th Battalion on February 19, 2009. Sixteen-year-old Peparul was with his cousin Aminul Islam when they saw the BSF constables helping smugglers push through some 30-40 cows into Bangladesh. Fearing that this large herd of cattle would damage the standing crop in the field, the two boys tried to chase the cattle away. Atahar Rahman, Aminul Islam’s father, said:

We have some farming land near the border and have to take BSF permission to go to the fields and tend our crops. That day my son Aminul Islam and his cousin Peparul Sheikh went to the farms in the evening. At around 9 p.m., my son said that they noticed that some smugglers along with three BSF constables were trying to smuggle 30-40 cattle to Bangladesh through a border outpost which is situated in our farming land. This kind of smuggling is quite regular in those areas. However, the two boys were scared that our crops would be seriously damaged due to the movement of cattle, so they tried to chase the cows away. But that meant that they had interfered with the smuggling. Those BSF personnel and smugglers ignored the boys and accomplished their job.[135]

According to Atahar Rahman, as soon as the cattle had been smuggled safely across the border, the BSF personnel started chasing the boys. While Aminul managed to flee, he saw his cousin Peparul being caught by the soldiers who beat him with their rifles, boots, and wooden sticks. Then one of the soldiers shot the teenager in the chest. When the family later saw the body, they found that the bullet had been shot at such close range that it went through his body and entered several centimetres deep into the soil.[136]

The next day, Atahar Rahman went to the police to report the murder of his nephew by the BSF, but they refused to lodge a complaint. When MASUM contacted the BSF, an officer said that Peparul was a cattle smuggler and on the day of incident, a cow was also seized from him.[137]

Indiscriminate Shooting of Mrityunjoy Mondal

Mrityunjoy Mondal, a resident of Char Rajpur Paschim Colony in Murshidabad, had stepped out into the fields to defecate in the early hours of June 23, 2009. Mrityunjoy Mondal said:

Smugglers often operate in this area to take cattle through the border. That day, two BSF constables were chasing some smugglers. I saw them run through the road next to my house and hide. It was dark, so I could not see where they had gone after they ran past me. The BSF men were angry, I think, because the smugglers had got away. They started shooting. One bullet hit the tree next to me, and the other struck me in the arm. I fell down unconscious.[138]

Mrityunjoy said he does not remember what happened next, but his father, Shyamcharan Mondal told MASUM that his son was dragged by BSF constables towards the border to falsely claim that he was injured while engaged in smuggling. Mrityunjoy received injuries in his arm, and his eye was also damaged because of the attack.[139]

The BSF did not bother to check Mrityunjoy’s identity and simply assumed him to be a smuggler.[140] Assistant Commandant Bijoy Chowdhury of the Rajanagar BSF Camp told MASUM: “Mrityunjoy Mondal was associated with smugglers and on the date of the incident about 15-20 smugglers attacked the constables of the BSF outpost with sharp cutting weapons. Then constable Mr. Pappu Kumar fired at Mr. Mrityunjoy and consequently he was injured.”[141]

The family tried to file a police complaint, but the police have refused to investigate the incident.

III. Torture and Ill-Treatment of Border Residents

Both MASUM and Odhikar have also documented repeated allegations of abuse and torture by the Border Security Force (BSF). These abuses range from intimidation and verbal abuse to beatings and electric shocks, sometimes resulting in deaths.

The BSF ignores procedural safeguards designed to prevent torture and other mistreatment of persons in custody. Although Indian law requires that everyone taken into custody must be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours, this rule is usually ignored. The Supreme Court has stated that Article 21 of the Indian Constitution protects individuals from any form of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.[142] The Indian Penal Code forbids causing “hurt” or “grievous hurt” and prescribes prison terms and fines for officers found guilty of torture.[143] The Criminal Procedure Code requires a magisterial inquiry into any death in custody.[144] The Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010, was passed by the Lower House in parliament on May 6, 2010 and has now been submitted to a parliamentary committee for review.[145]

Torture is also banned by international law. The 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights states: “No one shall be subjected to torture, or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”[146] The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Convention against Torture), the most detailed expression of the international community’s censure, makes it compulsory for state parties to make torture, attempts to torture, and complicity and participation in torture, criminal offenses under their national laws.[147]

Torture and Ill-Treatment of Bangladeshi Nationals

Research carried by Human Rights Watch and Odhikar reveals that Bangladeshi nationals are sometimes subjected to torture and ill-treatment if they are apprehended crossing into India. Some victims are actually involved in illegal trade. But because the border is not clearly demarcated, many cross the border by mistake.

Death due to Torture of Hasnat Halsham Innu, a 15-year-old boy

Hasnat Halshan Innu, a 15-year-old boy living in Sakolia village in Chuadanga district in Bangladesh, was allegedly arrested and tortured by BSF in Rangarputa on January 21, 2010. He died two weeks later, apparently as a result of injuries sustained while in the detention of BSF.

Sakolia village is located next to a river which serves as the border between India and Bangladesh. Momin Halshan, the brother of Hasnat, told Human Rights Watch that on the afternoon of January 21 his brother crossed the shallow river in order to fetch some of the family’s ducks that had swum over to the Indian side. As Hasnat approached the Indian riverbank, he was arrested and detained by BSF. After an hour in BSF’s detention, Hasnat was released. When he returned to the Bangladeshi side of the river he collapsed and was taken by his father to the family home. Hasnat had at that point no visible injuries or bruises. But according to what he told family members, he had been brutally tortured. His brother Momin Halshan recalled:

I work in the fields, and therefore was not present when the incident took place. But I heard at around 3 p.m. that my brother had been arrested by the BSF. When I got home, my brother told me about his arrest and the ill-treatment that he suffered…. When Hasnat was carried home from the bank of the river, there were no bruises or visible or external injuries on his body. But he complained of excruciating pain all over and was very weak. He gave a shocking description of the torture carried out on him…. After Hasnat was arrested by the BSF officials, his hands were tied and he was gagged. At first he was beaten with bamboo sticks on the feet. Then a couple of BSF soldiers jumped on his chest and loin. He was beaten on the hip and from the description he gave it seems his anus was violated with a bamboo stick. Later his hands were tied with two ropes and his arms pulled from opposite sides. In that position the BSF dragged him forward until he collided with a stump of a tree.[148]

As he was in severe pain he was taken to Chuadanga district hospital the same evening.[149] A nurse at the hospital’s general ward told Human Rights Watch that Hasnat complained about pain all over the body, and especially in the chest.[150] He remained in that hospital for 12 days. He had trouble breathing, vomited blood, and constantly complained of pain.

According to Dr. Latifur Rahmnan, his doctor, Hasnat complained of extreme pain and could not sleep at night. There were a few bruises on his feet and legs. As he suffered from chest pain, an X-ray was taken which showed dried blood and accumulated water in his lungs. Doctors operated, making an incision under his right arm to remove the blood and water. They found the area to be infected as well, but it is unclear if this was due to his torture injuries.[151] When his condition did not improve, he was referred to the Dhaka Medical Collage Hospital where he was taken on February 2, 2010. However, he was declared dead upon arrival.

Subedar Nazrul Islam, who is in charge of the Thakurpur BDR camp, said that Hasnat was captured by BSF when he crossed the river to bring his ducks back and was released an hour later. There was no flag meeting held between the BDR and BSF regarding the capture and alleged torture of Hasnat. BDR confirmed that while there was no visible injury on victim’s body, they heard from family members that he had been brutally tortured by the BSF.[152]

Torture of Motiar Rahman

On January 25, 2010, at around 7:30 a.m., Motiar Rahman, resident of Kadamtala village in Jessore district, went to cut grass from a field near the border. Since there are no clear markers, it is easy to stray across the line. Motiar says he may have mistakenly crossed into India:

After about 15 minutes, two BSF soldiers captured me. They blindfolded me and took me to the BSF camp at Angrail. It took about 15 to 20 minutes to reach. At that time I thought that the BSF men were going to kill me. After reaching the camp, they took off the blindfold and tied me to a tree which was just beside the camp. They left me there until 11 p.m. at night. Then I was given daal  [lentils] and rice. But when I finished eating, the BSF started torturing me. I was beaten severely with a bamboo stick, on my back and feet by the same soldier who brought me the food. I was kicked several times and as a result started bleeding from my penis. At this point another BSF soldier started beating me on my head with a bamboo stick. This torture went on for at least 45 minutes. The BSF men jumped onto my chest, and kicked me on my head and face with their boots. I think I collapsed and became unconscious due to severe torture.[153]

Motiar said that he was given breakfast in the morning of January 26 and was then left tied to the tree for the whole day. At around the same time as the previous night, the BSF started torturing him again. They kicked his arms and ears.

On the morning of January 27, he says a senior officer arrived and repeatedly slapped Motiar across his face. At around 9 a.m., he was handed over to the BDR. Later that day, he was taken to the Jessore College Hospital by the police.[154] According to Sub-Inspector Ali Ahmed Masud, Motiar was arrested under the Bangladesh Passport Order, 1973 and a case was filed at the Sharsha Police Station against him for crossing the border.[155]

He had been produced before the court on January 28, 2010, and was granted bail the next day. According to his wife Rashida Begum, he was badly injured. She noticed a number of bruises on his back, head, hands, and face. He also had injuries in his groin, leading to occasional bleeding. The family has taken loans to pay for his treatment and defense.[156]

Torture of Kamrul Islam and Aktarul, a 17-year-old child

Kamrul Islam, a 38-year-old fisherman and 17-year-old Aktarul, both residents of Jessore district, were caught by the BSF on January 23, 2010. They were returning to Bangladesh from India with four cows. According to Kamrul, he and three others—Aktarul, Jafor and Monir—had gone to India on the night of January 22. When they were returning at 4:30 a.m. on January 23 with the cattle they planned to smuggle into Bangladesh, they noticed that three BSF personnel were sitting in a field at the border:

Seeing the BSF, everyone scattered, but Aktarul and I were caught… The BSF started to beat me with rifles around my neck and head… Nobody wants to be a cattle trader. Only some of us poor villagers are engaged in this business. If we can bring one cow to Bangladesh we get 1,000-2,000 taka [USD 15-30]. Even the BSF knows that we only do this out of compulsion… But they said that bringing cows into Bangladesh through crop fields destroy the crops of the Indian people… After a while I managed to break free from the hands of the BSF and started to run away. I was afraid that the BSF would shoot me. I was remembering the name of Allah. Allah saved me from the clutches of death that day.[157]

Aktarul was less fortunate. He was beaten by the BSF guards and released only after one of the soldiers intervened:

At around 4:30 a.m. when we were returning with four cows through the Putkhali border we noticed three BSF men. The BSF started to chase us, so we ran, leaving the cows behind. But they managed to catch me. BSF asked me what I was doing there. I said that I was cutting grass and showed my kaste [curved knife, a traditional grass cutter used in farming] as proof. Hearing this explanation, the BSF soldiers started to hit me on my head with rifles. I was bleeding. They took my knife and asked me if I would ever come back to India. When I said that I would not, one BSF man wanted to make sure, and made cuts on my arms with my own knife. I was beaten more than four times on my head with rifles. This went on for about 15 minutes until one of the BSF men said that since I was only a young boy they should let me go… I crossed the border where a friend, also a member of the cattle trading group, was waiting for me. I reached the Bangladesh side and fell to the ground. I cannot remember what happened after I collapsed, but when I woke up I found myself at home with dressings on my arms and head.[158]

Torture and Killing of Abdul Jalil

A 43-year-old rickshaw puller and laborer, Abdul Jalil also used to work with the cattle-rustlers because the family had accumulated a large debt, according to his wife Nasima Begum. On January 20, 2010 at 10 a.m., Jalil left his home saying that he was going to work in the fields and would be back by evening. When he failed to return, Nasima Begum asked her brother Ahmed Ali whether he had seen her husband. Ahmed Ali told her that Jalil was in Putkhali village at his friend Nuruddin’s house and they were planning to cross the Ichamoti River to bring cattle back from India.[159] Jalil had a congenitally defective ankle and walked with a limp.

Ahmed Ali also joined the group. At around 11 p.m. on January 23, 2010 he and three others including his brother-in-law Abdul Jalil, Nuruddin and Ashadul left for the border:

When we reached the Ichamoti River at around 11:45 p.m. on January 23, 2010, Nuruddin’s small boat was tethered at the bank. We crossed the river and reached Angrail village in India at around 1 a.m. From Angrail, we picked up three cows and a calf. The boat was too small for us and the cattle, so Nuruddin took the animals by boat while Ashadul, Jalil and I started walking back to the border. Jalil was walking slightly behind us as he had difficulty in walking. When Ashadul and I reached the bank of the Ichamoti River on the Indian side, two BSF members from Angrail camp spotted us. Seeing the BSF, Ashadul and I ran into a bamboo grove to hide. In the meantime, Jalil reached the bank of the river and was caught by the BSF. When the BSF members saw Jalil, they stopped chasing us…. Ashdul and I saw that the two BSF members were masked, probably because of the cold and were equipped with batons and rifles. After catching Jalil, the BSF beat him badly with their rifles and batons on his neck and head. Jalil was screaming. The BSF officials called the Angrail camp while beating Jalil. About 15 minutes later two motorbikes came to take Jalil and the BSF members. When they were mounting the motorbikes, Jalil was unconscious and two BSF members had to drag him to the motorbike… I think Jalil had perhaps died because he was beaten on his head with rifles and batons.[160]

On January 30, 2010 at around 8:30 a.m., Ahmed received a call from his friend Rahman who informed him that some villagers had found a body on the bank of the Ichamoti River. When he reached the spot, he saw that the body had already been recovered by the police with the help of local people. Ahmed identified the body as Jalil’s from his damaged ankle and clothes.[161] At around 11 a.m., the police took the body to Jessore Medical College Hospital for autopsy.

On February 2, 2010 the body was returned to the family. Ahmed says that he saw injury marks and clotted blood in the ears and head while he was washing the body before burial. There was no sign of any gunshot on Jalil’s body.[162] Ahmed’s statement was confirmed by Sub-Inspector Ali Akbar, the investigating officer in the case who said that the inquest report showed that there were no gunshot wounds on the body, but that it had many injuries and bruises on the head and right earlobe. He suspected that the body had been in the river for almost a week before it was found.[163]

Torture and Ill-Treatment of Indian Nationals

The BSF often sets up its camps a few kilometers inside the border, and then deploys personnel at various outposts. These outposts are also several kilometers away from the borderline. Access to areas beyond the outpost is controlled by the BSF, which leads to harassment of local villagers. Suspecting villagers of smuggling, the soldiers often examine all bundles and carry out body searches for currency or narcotics. Villagers say they are subjected to near constant verbal abuse and intimidation. For their part, BSF soldiers at border outposts say that they routinely have to deal with cases of attempted smuggling.

Apart from verbal abuse and beatings, there have been several allegations of torture of Indian nationals.

Torture of Nirsingha Mondal

Nirsingha Mondal, resident of Khasmohol village in Murshidabad district, said that on May 10, 2009, he had gone out as usual in the morning to collect firewood for cooking. He was in an area close to the Khasmohal BSF camp when two soldiers seized him and dragged him into the camp:

It was about 9:30 in the morning. I was cutting grass when two men came. They were wearing their uniform trousers, but only had vests on. One of them said, ‘Come here, idiot.’ They took me to the camp, and they started to beat me ruthlessly with sticks and boots. After sometime, when they found me collapsing due to my injuries, they staged a different ploy to fix me. They chopped a few flower plants with my scythe which they had snatched from me earlier, and accused me of sneaking into their camp… I must have been fainting at one point because they poured water on me and even gave me a bidi [rolled cigarette]. Then they beat me again… It was only after other villagers came that they released me.[164]

Eyewitnesses Habul Mondal and Badal Choudhury confirmed that Nirisingha Mondal was detained and beaten by BSF personnel without any provocation. Habu Mondal said:

While he was collecting firewood, two BSF personnel forcibly took him inside their camp without giving any reason and started to beat him ruthlessly with bamboo sticks and boots. Nirsingha seemed to fall senseless. Then the BSF jawans took his scythe and cut some flower plants inside the camp to accuse him.[165]

Though a police officer from the Jalangi police station also arrived at the scene, the BSF personnel refused to admit that they had beaten Nirsingha.

MASUM filed a complaint to the NHRC, but was informed by the commission on September 18, 2009 that the case was closed because the police had already registered a criminal complaint. MASUM responded, pointing out that the Human Rights Protection Act does not bar the Commission from invoking its jurisdiction even when a criminal case had been lodged against the perpetrators.[166] There has been no response from the NHRC.

Beating of Taibul Rahman

On January 8, 2010, at about 4 p.m., Taibul Rahman, who resides just three kilometers from the border in Uttar Dinajpur district, parked his motorbike at a tea shop at the Bindol market. While he was drinking his tea, three BSF soldiers accosted him. The BSF men verbally abused him and accused him of ferrying contraband items on his motorbike. Rahman handed his keys to the soldiers and invited them to search his bike.

When no incriminating items were found on the bike, the soldiers angrily began beating and kicking Rahman, demanding where he had hidden the goods. When Rahman pleaded innocence, witnesses heard the BSF personnel say that since he refused to confess, he would be given the ‘proper treatment’ at the BSF camp. The soldiers then tied Rahman’s arms and legs, tossed him into their vehicle and took him to the Koiladangi BSF Camp.

According to Rahman, after arriving at the camp, the soldiers forcibly dragged him into a room, lay him on the ground with hand and legs tied up, and beat him with wooden batons on his feet, palms, and knee joints. They shouted abuses and asked him to confess, but Rahman insisted that he was innocent. Following over half-an-hour of torture, the solders confined him to a room, guarded by two soldiers. At about 11 p.m., four BSF personnel entered the room and again tortured him, demanding a confession.[167]

The next morning, at about 6 a.m., Rahman was dragged out of the room and brought before an officer he later named as Kamresh, who asked him to identify those involved in smuggling. When Rahman once again said that he did not know anything about the smugglers, Kamresh asked the other BSF personnel to hold his arms and legs and started administering electric shocks to his feet, demanding a confession. He was then asked to stand in an open field inside the camp and photographed. He was later also forced to place his thumb prints on a blank sheet.

Then Kamresh asked the other BSF personnel to provide the “best treatment.” Rahman was taken into a room, stripped, and made to lie down on the floor. While some solders held him down, electric shocks were administered to his lower abdomen and penis repeatedly. He was threatened with further, more severe torture, if he did not cooperate. By then Rahman says that he was near unconscious with pain. But he pleaded innocence again, and was then beaten some more.

After five hours of this brutal treatment, the BSF personnel decided that Rahman was too badly injured, and brought him to the Raiganj district hospital at about 11 a.m. But he was warned not to speak of the torture to the doctors, and was too frightened to say anything. He was then taken to the police station.

At the police station, Rahman told his relatives about the ill-treatment that he had suffered. His family members said that they, together with other villagers, had tried their best to have him released from BSF custody, and had filed a petition to BSF headquarters. Rahman was produced before a magistrate on January 10 and then released on bail. Although Rahman’s family members lodged a complaint of torture against the BSF, the police did not take any action. He is still undergoing medical treatment.[168]

Beating of three persons including two children

The three brothers, aged 14, 16, and 18, residents of Murshidabad were working on the family farm close to the Bangladesh border on the morning of September 14, 2009, when they saw a group of men being chased by troops from the 191th Battalion of the BSF deployed in the area. The suspects managed to escape. Other farmers working in the area saw the BSF soldiers angrily return and arbitrarily beat the three boys. A witness saw the 18-year-old fall unconscious. He then saw the BSF tie a rope around the 14-year-old’s hands and hang him up from a tree before leaving the area.[169]

According to the boys’ father, Krishna Chandra Mondal, the BSF decided arbitrarily to beat his sons:

The BSF personnel were frustrated because their suspects escaped. They surrounded the boys and without giving any reason, started beating them with rifle butts, kicking and slapping them. There were nine soldiers, and they beat my sons mercilessly. Even as the boys fell down, the BSF men continued to kick them ruthlessly on their chest and other sensitive organs.… On receiving the information, I, with the help of some fellow villagers took the injured boys to Godhanpara primary health centre and was subsequently referred to a bigger hospital in Behrampore… I have spent more than 15,000 rupees [USD $350] on their treatment. But we have not gotten any justice or any compensation for this barbaric torture.[170]

Krishna Chandra Mondal said that villagers living in the border area were often at risk of such beatings by the BSF. “It has become almost regular an affair that we villagers are physically and mentally tortured by BSF personnel in the name of security of the border area. It has become almost impossible for us to live with dignity as a citizen of this country.”[171]

On September 24, 2009, Krishna Chandra Mondal lodged a written complaint at Raninagar police station against the BSF personnel. But to date none of the perpetrators have been arrested.

MASUM lodged a complaint with the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights, but has received no response.[172] MASUM also filed complaints to the Superintendent of Police, District Magistrate of Murshidabad, the Inspector General of the BSF, and Principal Home Secretary of the West Bengal government. MASUM has not received any response.

Mistreatment of Halima Bibi and her Daughter

Halima Bibi’s family lost their home and farm in 1994 to land erosion. A few years later, a sandy islet, or char, was formed across the river, and the family started residing there. Their home is about 10 kilometres from the border. The BSF has set up an outpost at the village, and according to Halima Bibi, the soldiers are often abusive and rude to the villagers.

On September 5, 2009, Halima’s 12-year-old daughter was playing with two friends. Three BSF personnel including a sub-inspector and two constables arrived and asked the girls to go inside. When they ignored the orders, the men slapped the child. When one of her friends protested, a constable beat her with a bamboo stick. While her two friends managed to run away, the BSF personnel started beating the girl. Hearing her cries, Halima Bibi ran out. When she protested, the BSF constables were rude and violent:

It was morning, the BSF soldiers were on patrol through our village. My daughter was playing outside with two friends. Suddenly, without provocation, those BSF personnel started thrashing them. I ran out and tried to stop them. So they started to abuse me using terribly filthy words. Then, before leaving the place, they threatened to evict us and demolish our hut, if we complained against them. They also said that they would arrest us by falsely claiming that we are smugglers… The BSF is always rude to us. Even when we go to visit our relatives and have to pass their post, they are aggressive and contemptuous.[173]

Halima Bibi tried to lodge a complaint with the police, but was refused.[174] MASUM sent a complaint to the Principal Secretary (Social Welfare) of the West Bengal government.[175] Copies were sent to the West Bengal Commission for Women, the West Bengal Director General of Police, and the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police of Murshidabad. Based upon inquiries from the West Bengal government, the local administration in Murshidabad conducted an investigation and agreed that the BSF soldiers had threatened Halima Bibi and her daughter, and used foul language.[176] However, no follow-up action was recommended or taken.

Ill-Treatment of Tutan Sheikh and Khalil Sheikh

On December 12, 2009, Khalil Sheikh, 24, and Tutan Sheikh, 20, both  residents of Sitanagar village in Murshidabad district, were loading crops into a vehicle after harvest. The farm is located close to the BSF Khasmahal border outpost. A BSF soldier from the post asked the three of them to stop loading the crop. When they did not immediately comply, they began to abuse them verbally. The soldier then delivered his punishment: squatting 50 times while holding their ears. When Tutan Sheikh refused, he was kicked and beaten.[177]

The following day MASUM accompanied Tutan Sheikh to the police to demand appropriate action. However, Tutan Sheikh was informed that the BSF trooper had committed no crime since the BSF was there to “beat the people.”[178] On December 14, 2009, Tutan Seikh sent a written complaint to the superintendent of police of Murshidabad district. To date no investigation has been conducted into the case.[179]

IV. Recommendations

To the Indian Government

  • Vigorously investigate and prosecute all allegations of grave human rights violations by the BSF, and issue clear instructions to the police to proceed immediately with investigations. Send a strong message to the Border Security Force (BSF) that the perpetrators of grave human rights violations will be held to account and that all members of the security forces must fully cooperate with investigations. Those who fail to do so should face appropriate sanctions such as suspension or dismissal.
  • Enact the Prevention of Torture Bill after removing all provisions that grant immunity to government officials from prosecution for criminal acts. Amend the Border Security Force Act to ensure that security forces personnel accused of human rights violations such as torture of civilians can be tried in civilian courts.
  • Publicly order the BSF and other security forces to abide by the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. This requires officials to apply, as far as possible, non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms. Even in self-defense, intentional lethal use of firearms may only be made when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life. International law also requires security forces to give a clear warning of their intent to use firearms, and sufficient time to surrender.
  • Amend Section 46 of the Criminal Procedure Code to make it consistent with the UN Basic Principles so that lethal force may only be used in order to protect life.
  • Initiate investigation and prosecution by civilian authorities of BSF personnel of all ranks implicated in serious rights abuses. (The internal justice system has failed to secure accountability or act as deterrence because it continuously fails to prosecute members of the BSF for human rights abuses).
  • Instruct the police to register complaints against the BSF in cases of abuses against Indian and Bangladeshi nationals. The police should not refuse on the grounds that it is the responsibility of the BSF internal courts to deal wth abuses by the BSF.
  • Instruct the BSF to apply guidelines as laid down by the National Human Rights Commission to investigate all cases of deaths during security operations.
  • Establish an independent and impartial commission of inquiry into serious violations of international human rights law by the BSF. This inquiry should invite both Indian and Bangladeshi nationals to submit evidence and bring complaints. The inquiry should be time bound and transparent, and should have the ability to provide protection to witnesses.
  • Repeal all legal provisions that require approval of the executive branch of government for prosecutions against members of the security forces to proceed, including in article 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Similar provisions in the Indian Prevention of Torture Bill currently in front of the Indian parliament should be deleted. Such provisions provide effective immunity to the security forces and violate the principles of equality under the law enshrined in both the Indian Constitution and international law.
  • Strengthen the NHRC by amending the Human Rights Protection Act to allow national and state human rights commissions to independently investigate allegations of abuse by members of BSF.
  • Publish detailed information on all arrests, prosecutions, and convictions of BSF personnel for human rights violations and release the same information on an annual basis in the future.
  • Ensure an effective system of vetting is in place for any members of the BSF who are proposed for promotion and/or for overseas UN peacekeeping duties, or specialized training abroad, to ensure that anyone under investigation for grave human rights violations is banned from travelling abroad.
  • Place human rights protection mechanisms for Indian and Bangladeshi border residents at the center of any bilateral dialogue on border issues with Bangladesh.

To the Bangladeshi Government

  • Vigorously advocate for an end to abuses by the BSF. The Bangladeshi authorities should not accept the claim that individuals involved in crime are legitimate targets of the use of lethal force or that only people who are “innocent” deserve the protection of the law.
  • Publicly order the BDR and other security forces to abide by the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. This requires officials to apply, as far as possible, non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms.
  • Ensure that individuals or groups based in Bangladesh that are responsible for violent attacks upon Indian nationals are properly identified and prosecuted.
  • Place human rights protection mechanisms for Bangladeshi and Indian border residents at the center of any bilateral dialogue on border issues with India.

To the United Nations

  • The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations should ensure an effective system of vetting is in place for any members of the BSF or BDR proposed for overseas UN peacekeeping duties, or specialized training abroad, to ensure that anyone under investigation for grave human rights violations is banned from travelling abroad.
  • The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations should inform the Indian government that those BSF personnel responsible for human rights violations should be excluded from peacekeeping duties.
  • The Governments of India and Bangladesh should agree upon the request of the special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, and arbitrary executions to visit the country, pending since 2000 for India and since 2006 for Bangladesh. The special rapporteur should also include in his program visits the border areas between India and Bangladesh.

Annex I: Alleged Killings of Bangladeshi Nationals by the BSF

Data and information below was gathered by local human rights defenders of Odhikar and media report scanning by Odhikar. They were documented after cross checking the information.

Since January 2007, Odhikar has documented 315 cases of alleged killings of Bangladeshi nationals by the BSF.

2007

No.

Date of Incident

Name (Age)

# Killed

District

Place of the Incident

1, 2

1/8/2007

Mosaraf Hossain (30), Islam Uddin (32)

2

Jessore

Benapole

3, 4

1/11/2007

Nito Das (35), Ratan Das (42)

2

Satkhira

Shibnagar

5

1/11/2007

Mehedi Hasan (25)

1

Joypurhat

Pachbibi

6

1/11/2007

Sanjib Sahara (32)

1

Satkhira

Satkhira

7

1/11/2007

Tarikul Islam (25)

1

Naogaon

Nitpur border in Porsha upazila

8

1/12/2007

Mobarak Ali (35)

1

Panchagar

Tetuliya  

9

1/12/2007

Sujol Kanthi (26)

1

Satkhira

Satkhira

10

1/12/2007

Yeakub (10)

1

Panchagar

Tetuliya

11

1/12/2007

Abul Hossain

1

Satkhira

Bhomra, Kaliganj

12

1/12/2007

Mamin Magul (38)

1

Jhenaidah

Maheshpur

13

1/13/2007

Arshad Ali

1

Satkhira

Uksa border in Kaliganj upazila

14

1/15/2007

Nurul Islam (25)

1

Dinajpur

Biral

15

1/18/2007

Anwarul Haque (35)

1

Thakurgaon

Haripur

16

1/20/2007

Rubel (30)

1

Chapainababganj

Polladanga

17

1/24/2007

Emdadul Haque (30)

1

Naogaon

Dhamoirhaat

18

1/26/2007

Abdul Kadir (32)

1

Habiganj

Chunarughat

19

1/30/2007

Abdul Gaffar (25)

1

Naogaon

Poshra

20

2/11/2007

Abdul Karim (25)

1

Lalmonirhaat

Amjal Border

21, 22

2/12/2007

Ishaq Ali (25), Setabul Alam (18)

2

Naogaon

Nitpur border, Porsha upazila

23

2/21/2007

Md. Mansoor Ali (25)

1

Naogaon

Naogaon

24

2/22/2007

Alam (25)

1

Chapainababganj

Shibganj

25

2/24/2007

Jan Mohammmad (30)

1

Chuadanga

Damurhuda upazilla

26

3/1/2007

Shafiqul (21)

1

Chapainababganj

Chamusa border

27

3/1/2007

Billal (33)

1

Jessore

Putkhali border, Benapole

28, 29

3/3/2007

Bikash Halder (14), Montu Halder (15)

2

Jhenaidah

Moheshpur

30

3/9/2007

Nur Hossain (30)

1

Thakurgaon

Beurjhari border, Baliadangi

31

3/14/2007

Shamimul Islam (30)

1

Naogaon

Nitpur border, Porsha

32

3/18/2007

Nawsher Ali (22)

1

Satkhira

Hizaldi boder, Kalaroa

33

3/20/2007

Zahur Karikar (40)

1

Satkhira

Kaliganj

34

3/21/2007

Mohimuddin (30)

1

Thakurgaon

Baliadangi

35

3/22/2007

Bazlur Rahman (35)

1

Kushtia

Bilgathua border, Daulatpur

36

3/22/2007

Mozammel Haq (22)

1

Chapainababganj

Kiranganj border, Shibganj

37

3/26/2007

Kasirul Islam (32)

1

Thakurgaon

Kantivita border, Balidangi

38

4/6/2007

Manalata Mandol (37)

1

Satkhira

Bhomra border

39

4/8/2007

Manirul Islam (23)

1

Thakurgaon

Dharmagarh border, Ranishankoil

40

4/17/2007

Unknown

1

Satkhira

Devhata

41

4/22/2007

Moyna Mia (32)

1

Chuadanga

Dhopahali border, Jibonnagar

42

4/28/2007

Mozahar Ali (36)

1

Dinajpur

Enayetpur border, Biral

43, 44

5/2/2007

Ramijuddin (50), Rafiqul Islam (40)

2

Thakurgaon

Chanduria  border, Pirganj

45

5/3/2007

Akbar Ali (32)

1

Kurigram

Gayahata border, Roumari

46

5/13/2007

Afsharuddin Kalu (28)

1

 Meherpur

Kathuli border, Gangni

47

5/15/2007

Jabiul Islam (25)

1

Lalmonirhaat

Patgram border

48

5/15/2007

Ismail Hossain (45)

1

Jessore

Shalkona border, Sharsha

49, 50

5/21/2007

Abdullah (20), Mamun (28)

2

Naogaon

Poshra

51

5/27/2007

Hefzal Mia (38)

1

Satkhira

Baikali border

52

5/30/2007

Nazrul Islam (30)

1

Satkhira

Kakdanga border, Kalaroa

53

6/14/2007

Babul Biswas (28)

1

Satkhira

Ghona Border

54

6/18/2007

Abdul (35)

1

Kushtia

Daulatpur

55

7/2/2007

Rabiul Islam (35)

1

Lalmonirhaat

Burimari border, Patgram

56

7/8/2007

Abdur Rahman (60)

1

Moulavibazar

Sharifpur border, Kulaura

57

7/9/2007

Shahidul (22)

1

Joypurhat

Nandoil border, Panchbibi

58

7/12/2007

Unknown

1

Jessore

Benapole border

59

7/21/2007

Minhaz (32)

1

Lalmonirhaat

Lohakuchi border, Aditmari

60

7/23/2007

Atiar Rahman (35)

1

Jessore

Benapole border

61

7/23/2007

Shafiq Samad (22)

1

Sylhet

Jaintapur

62

7/30/2007

Zamrul Islam Madal (30)

1

Joypurhat

Panchbibi

63

8/2/2007

Bulbul Mia (27)

1

Satkhira

Toloigachha border

64

8/4/2007

Asadul Dhali (35)

1

Jhenaidah

Joluli border, Moheshpur

65

8/5/2007

Aijuddin (30)

1

Jessore

Benapole border

66

8/5/2007

Munsur Ali Geda (18)

1

Joypurhat

Hatkhola border, Panchbibi

67

8/10/2007

Zia (35)

1

Panchagar

Tentulia border

68

8/15/2007

Azizul Islam (38)

1

Jhenaidah

Moheshpur border

69

8/22/2007

Billu Mia (25)

1

Satkhira

Vomra

70

8/23/2007

Abdul Alim (30)

1

Jessore

Putkhai border, Benapole

71

8/23/2007

Md. Shahidulla (24)

1

Feni

Guthuma border, Paroshuram

72

8/26/2007

Mokarram Ali

1

Naogaon

Sapahar border

73

9/3/2007

Jamirul Islam (22)

1

Joypurhat

Panchbibi

74

9/4/2007

Unknown

1

Jhenaidah

Joluli border, Moheshpur

75, 76

9/7/2007

Ali Hossain (25), Harun Mollah (18)

2

Satkhira

Dudli border

77

9/10/2007

Selim Reza (30)

1

Chapainababganj

Shibganj border

78

9/16/2007

Babul Aktar (28)

1

Naogaon

Sonadanga border, Sapahar

79

9/18/2007

Abdus Sabur (30)

1

Satkhira

Ichhamoti river

80

9/19/2007

Shafiqul Isalm (30)

1

Chuadanga

Medenipur border, Jibonnagar

81, 82

9/20/2007

Abdur Rashid (30) and Gopal Chandra (25)

2

Lalmonirhaat

Hatibandha

83

9/27/2007

Shahjahan Ali (24)

1

Jessore

Benapole border

84

10/2/2007

Saidur Rahman (28)

1

Naogaon

Sonadanga border, Sapahar

85

10/4/2007

Taijur Rahman (32)

1

Panchagar

Atwari border

86

10/4/2007

Anser Ali

1

Naogaon

Sapahar border

87

10/6/2007

Khalid Hossain (25)

1

Satkhira

Kakdanga border, Kolaroa

88

10/14/2007

Nihalu Mohammad

1

Thakurgaon

Dhantola border, Baliadanga

89

10/19/2007

Abdul Mazid (31)

1

Thakurgaon

Fakirganj border, Peerganj

90, 91

10/22/2007

Jahangir Alam Gain (40), Rabiul Islam (28)

2

Satkhira

Ghona & Taluigachhi border

92

10/23/2007

Monjur Hossain (35)

1

Thakurgaon

Kochal border, Ranishankoil

93

10/28/2007

Aminul Islam (35)

1

Chuadanga

Damurhuda, Chuadanga

94

11/2/2007

Tobarak Hossain (40)

1

Naogaon

Bastabar border, Dhamirhat

95

11/6/2007

Jagannath Bagti

1

Moulavibazar

Dobolchora border, Komolganj,

96

11/9/2007

Shah Alam(30)

1

Sunamganj

Tahirpur border

97

11/9/2007

Saheb Ali(25)

1

Jessore

Agrovulot border, Benapole

98

11/10/2007

Mosharaf Hossain (50)

1

Panchagar

Tetulia border

99

11/14/2007

Abdur Rashid (38)

1

Jessore

Sharsha border

100

11/16/2007

Shariful Islam (27)

1

Satkhira

Sokra border

101

11/20/2007

Harikrishan (40)

1

Moulavibazar

Dobolchara's Tripura border, Komolganj

102, 103, 104

11/23/2007

Ripon(25), Alauddin (35) and, Ainal (33)

3

Jessore

Putkhali borber, Benapole

105, 106

11/25/2007

Shah Alam (26), Rubel (17)

2

Jessore

Pota Post border, Sadipur frontier, Benapole

107

11/26/2007

Rafikul Islam (38)

1

Satkhira

Taluigachha border

108

11/26/2007

Mithu (22)

1

Kurigram

Fulbari border

109

11/28/2007

Liton (30)

1

Satkhira

Kushkhali border in Sadar upazila

110

12/8/2007

Rezabul Islam (40)

1

Thakurgaon

Bujrukh border, Haripur

111

12/9/2007

Sukhranjan  Mandol (40)

1

Chuadanga

Darshona border

112

12/11/2007

Mosharaf Hossain (45)

1

Jhenaidah

Moheshpur border

113

12/14/2007

Mobarak Hossain (32)

1

Chuadanga

Joynagar border, Darshona

114

12/14/2007

Shafiqul Islam (25)

1

Satkhira

Ichhamoti river

115

12/152007

Mohammad Ali Mandol (32)

1

Dinajpur

Rasulpur border, Phulbari

116

12/17/2007

Tobarak Ali (45)

1

Sylhet

Kanaighat border

117

12/22/2007

Unknown

1

Satkhira

Kushkhali

118

12/23/2007

Ebadul Haq

1

Satkhira

Khalisha border, Kushkhali

119

12/31/2007

Bachan (50)

1

Thakurgaon

Haripur border

 

 

Total

119

 

 

2008

No.

Date of Incident

Name (Age)

# Killed

District

Place of the Incident

120

1/5/2008

Akhter Hossain (35)

1

Thakurgaon

Ratanai border

121, 122, 123

1/30/2008

Moshir Uddin (27), Shahidul Islam (20) and, Ataur Rahman (26)

3

Thakurgaon

Baliadangi upazilla

124

2/3/2008

Azad Ali (48)

1

Thakurgaon

Dabdaha

125

2/7/2008

Pulin Chandra Singh (25)

1

Thakurgaon

Kantivita border

126, 127

2/13/2008

Joynul Haque (48), Jahangir Alam (35)

2

Dinajpur

Banglabandha  border

128

2/18/2008

Birendra Nath (36)

1

Lalmonirhaat

Jawrani border

129

2/22/2008

Kabirul Islam (28)

1

Satkhira

Gunarajpur border

130, 131

2/23/2008

Afajuddin (28), Faruk Hossain (25)

2

Thakurgaon

Mondumala border

132, 133

2/23/2008

Abdul Majed (32), Hasan Ali (30)

2

Satkhira

Rudrapur frontier

134

2/25/2008

Unknown

1

Kurigram

Kurigram

135

2/25/2008

Unknown

1

Jhenaidah

Andulia border

136

3/10/2008

Hasibul Islam (16)

1

Lalmonirhaat

Burimari border

137

3/15/2008

Marak Sangma (35)

1

Sherpur

Sribordi upazila

138

3/24/2008

Haidul

1

Kurigram

Fulbari border

139

3/26/2008

Saidur Rahman

1

 Chapainababganj

Sonamasjid frontier

140

3/29/2008

Nanju Mia (23)

1

Dinajpur

Dinajpur border

141

4/18/2008

Aminul Islam (32)

1

Lalmonirhaat

 Burimari border

142

4/29/2008

Hafizur Rahman (21)

1

Jessore

Sharsha border, Benapole

143

4/30/2008

Abdul Jalil (40)

1

Thakurgaon

Rautnagar

144

5/15/2008

Naibor (45)

1

Kurigram

Kurigram

145

5/22/2008

Kafuluddin (35)

1

Kurigram

Kurigram

146

5/29/2008

Shahjamal (35)

1

Jhenaidah

Jhenaidah

147

6/6/2008

Mizanur Rahman (40)

1

Chuadanga

Chuadanga

148

6/12/2008

Samaul Islam (25)

1

Jhenaidah

Jhenaidah

149

6/26/2008

Jamal Mondol (28)

1

Jhenaidah

Shyampur border village, Maheshpur upzaila

150

6/27/2008

Mithu (30)

1

Satkhira

Satkhira

151

7/4/2008

Shamsul Alam

1

Naogaon

Near 238 main pillar Sapahar border

152

7/16/2008

Azharul Islam

1

Satkhira

Satkhira

153, 154

7/17/2008

Md Abdul Hannan Sarker (53), Krishnapada Pal (39)

2

Chapainababganj

Roghunathpur of Shibganj

155, 156

7/19/2008

Razaul Islam, Jainal Abedin

2

Jessore

Jessore

157

7/23/2008

Rakibul Islam (35)

1

Chuadanga

Chuadanga

158

7/29/2008

Unknown  (35)

1

Thakurgaon

Thakrgaon

159, 160

8/24/2008

Zakir Hossain (28), Unknown

2

Satkhira

Bhatshala, Debhata

161

8/26/2008

Shahabul Islam (25)

1

Jhenaidah

Shyamkur, Moheshpur

162

8/29/2008

Amir Molla (40)

1

Jessore

Agrabhulat border, Sharsha

163

8/27/2008

Ashik Mia (35)

1

Sylhet

Bholaganj border, Companiganj

164

9/8/2008

Rahidul Islam (35)

1

Thakurgaon

Chandail, Haripur

165

9/11/2008

Moksed Ali (35)

1

Dinajpur

Dinajpur

166

9/12/2008

Sultan (22)

1

Naogaon

Naogaon

167

9/26/2008

Shaheed Ali (30)

1

Jessore

Panchabhullat border, Benapole

168

10/2/2008

Altaf Hossain

1

Chuadanga

Chuadanga

169

10/20/2008

Unknown

1

Chuadanga

Chuadanga

170

10/23/2008

Ana Miah (28)

1

Comilla

Comilla

171

10/26/2008

Mashiur Rahman Khokon (33)

1

Satkhira

Satkhira

172

10/29/2008

Jamal Hossain (28)

1

Jhenaidah

Jhenaidah

173

11/8/2008

Anisur Rahman (30)

1

Lalmonirhaat

Kaliganj, Lalmonirhaat

174

11/9/2008

Taizuddin alias Kalu (40)

1

Thakurgaon

Thakurgaon

175, 176, 177

11/16/2008

Mst. Majeda Begum (25), Md. Mamunur Rashid Mamun (8 months), Golam Mostofa (45)

3

Panchagar

Tetulia

178

12/4/2008

Hafizul Islam (22)

1

Satkhira

Satkhira

179

12/10/2008

Hasan Ali (32)

1

Jessore

Benapole

180

12/25/2008

Idris Ali

1

Thakurgaon

Baliadangi

 

 

Total

61

 

 

2009

No.

Date of Incident

Name (Age)

# Killed

District

Place of the Incident

181

1/1/2009

Ziarul (18)

1

Thakurgaon

Peerganj

182

1/6/2009

Hablu alias Habil (18)

1

Chapainababganj

Chouka border, Shibganj

183

1/12/2009

Kamal (28)

1

Thakurgaon

Baliadangi

184

Undated

Safiqul Islam

1

Thakurgaon

Baliadangi

185

1/13/2009

Khairul Islam (35)

1

Rajshahi

Matihar

186

1/14/2009

Lalchan (22)

1

Chapainababganj

Gomastapur

187

1/17/2009

Arshadul (30)

1

Thakurgaon

Ranishankoil

188

1/18/2009

Amanullah (27)

1

Jhenaidah

Maheshpur

189

1/19/2009

Jahangir

1

Thakurgaon

Haripur

190

1/19/2009

Haqikul Islam (27)

1

Thakurgaon

Baliadangi

191

1/24/2009

Hossen Ali (35)

1

Thakurgaon

Baliadangi

192

1/25/2009

Nikhil Bishwas (38)

1

Moulvibazar

Juri

193

1/31/2009

Shahin

1

Satkhira

Debhata

194

2/2/2009

Rafiqul (28)

1

Chapainababganj

Chapainababganj

195, 196

2/4/2009

Pagla (50), Unknown

2

Thakurgaon

Baliadangi

197, 198

2/6/2009

Fazlur Rahman (28), Anisur Rahman (25)

2

Thakurgaon

Baliadangi

199

2/8/2009

Abdur Razzak (36)

1

Thakurgaon

Thakurgaon

200, 201

2/16/2009

Unknown, Unknown

2

Satkhira

Satkhira

202

2/24/2009

Momtaz Uddin Mondol (31)

1

Dinajpur

Dinajpur

203, 204

2/27/2009

Jamal Uddin (35), Unknown

2

Dinajpur

Dinajpur

205

3/1/2009

Khairul Islam (25)

1

Chuadanga

Chuadanga

206

3/4/2009

Madhu

1

Jessore

Benapole

207

3/4/2009

Unknown

1

Satkhira

Satkhira

208

3/5/2009

Samul Islam (50)

1

 Panchagar

Tetulia

209

3/9/2010

Moshiar Rahman (32)

1

Jessore

Jessore

210

3/9/2009

Abdul Haq (32)

1

Jessore

Benapole

211

3/10/2009

Basindro Chisim (45)

1

Sherpur

Nalitabari

212

3/13/2009

Johurul Islam (32)

1

Jhenaidah

Moheshpur

213

3/13/2009

Abdul Rakib (13)

1

Naogaon

Sundrail border

214

4/8/2009

Md. Kachhim Uddin (45)

1

Dinajpur

Dinajpur

215

4/23/2009

Rabindranath Mondol (45)

1

Satkhira

Satkhira-Lokkhidari border

216

4/23/2009

Abdul Khalek (28)

1

Jhenaidah

Moheshpur

217

5/1/2009

Kholilur Rahman (43)

1

Satkhira

Kushkhali

218

5/1/2009

Ashidul Islam (25)

1

Lalmonirhaat

Hatibandha

219

5/1/2009

Abdul Kholil

1

Satkhira

Satkhira

220

5/2/2009

Jomirul Islam (30)

1

Chapainababganj

Chapainababganj

221, 222

5/18/2009

Ayub Ali (30), Amirul Islam (27)

2

Kurigram

Roumari

223

5/24/2009

Harunur Rashid (26)

1

Jhenaidah

Jhenaidah

224

5/28/2009

Shofiqul Islam (40)

1

Naogaon

Shapahar

225

6/2/2009

Asadul Haq (38)

1

Satkhira

Satkhira

226

6/10/2009

Shaju (25)

1

Lalmonirhaat

Lalmonirhaat

227

6/10/2009

Unknown youth

1

Satkhira

Satkhira

228

6/12/2009

Saifur Rahman (28)

1

Jessore

Sharsha

229

6/12/2009

Mojibur Rahman (25)

1

Dinajpur

Birampur

230

6/15/2009

Rabiul Islam (20)

1

Dinajpur

Dinajpur

231

6/15/2009

Unknown

1

Satkhira

Satkhira

232

6/18/2009

Selim Islam (35)

1

Lalmonirhaat

Lalmonirhaat

233

6/26/2009

Ali Hossain (24)

1

Jessore

Benapole

234

6/27/2009

Rubel (25)

1

Jessore

Benapole

235

7/6/2009

Mofizul Islam (30)

1

Satkhira

Kolarowa

236, 237, 238, 239

7/9/2009

Sabuj  (22), Ahmed (20), Ariful Islam (25) and, Saddam

4

Jessore

Agrobhulot

240, 241

7/11/2009

Omor Ali Gazi (35), Abdur Rahman (20)

2

Satkhira

Satkhira

242

7/12/2009

Yakub Ali (27)

1

Dinajpur

Birampur

243

7/12/2009

Badruzaman (40)

1

Kustia

Kustia

244

7/15/2009

Anwar Hossain (35)

1

Rangpur

Rangpur

245

7/20/2009

Habud Ali (35)

1

Jaypurhat

Panchbibi

246

7/31/2009

Ligent (25)

1

Chuadanga

Dorshona Nimtola, Chuadanga

247, 248

8/4/2009

Motiur Rahman (26), Subed Ali (27)

2

Chapainababganj

Telkupi border, Shibganj

249

8/6/2009

Mominul Islam (25)

1

Lalmonirhaat

Burimari Border, Patgram

250

8/27/2009

Unknown

1

Dinajpur

Mohonpur Border

251

8/29/2090

Shariful

1

Meherpur

Meherpur

252

8/31/2009

Ershad Ali (32)

1

Jessore

Putkhali border, Benapole

253

8/30/2009

Sariful Islam (30)

1

Meherpur

Ishakhali border

254

9/9/2009

Monir Hossain (24)

1

Chapainababganj Sadar

Poladanga border

255

9/10/2009

Waliur Rahman  (20)

1

Lalmonirhaat

Burimari border, Patgram

256, 257

9/12/2009

Ashraful Islam (40), Mohammad Aminul Islam (30)

2

Dinajpur

Shundra border

258, 259

9/14/2009

Md. Mohsin Ali (18), Ruhul Amin (22)

2

Dinajpur

Tazpur border, Phulbari

260

9/17/2009

Md. Azizar Rahman (35)

1

Dinajpur

Vaigarh Nishibapur village in Birampur upazila

261

9/29/2009

Milan Mia (16)

1

Satkhira

Ghona border of Satkhira

262

9/30/2009

Milan Sarder (28)

1

Satkhira

Satkhira

263

10/15/2009

Ananda Kumar Biswas

1

Meherpur

Meherpur

264

10/16/2009

Abdur Rahim

1

Chapainababganj

Chapainababganj

265

10/18/2009

Bodir Hossain (45)

1

Thakurgaon

Thakurgaon

266

10/18/2009

Tipu Sultan

1

Chuadanga

Goeshpur border

267

10/25/2009

Jahurul Haq (26)

1

Jhenaidah

Moheshpur frontier of Jhenaidah

268

10/25/2009

Habibur Rahman (35)

1

Chapainababganj

Chapainababganj

269

11/6/2009

Monjuara (12)

1

Kurigram

Roumari Border

270

11/11/2009

Abdul Baset (25)

1

Chapainababganj

Chapainababganj

271

11/11/2009

Unknown

1

Chapainababganj

Chapainababganj

272

11/12/2009

Mohammad Ali

1

Lalmonirhaat

Sreerampur Frontier area under Patgram

273

11/12/2009

Habib Gazi (18)

1

Satkhira

Satkhira

274

11/20/2009

Timir (32)

1

Jessore

Benapole

275

12/8/2009

Unknown

1

Satkhira

Bhomra border

276

12/14/2009

Mofiz Uddin (40)

1

Naogaon

Naogaon

277

12/17/2009

Azizul (24)

1

Thakurgaon

Paria border  near 388 under Baliadangui upazila

278

12/20/2009

Tapan Kumar Roy (28)

1

Lalmonirhaat

 Doikhawa frontier under Hatibandha

 

 

Total

98

 

 

2010

No.

Date of Incident

Name (Age)

# Killed

District

Place of the Incident

279

1/2/2010

Shahjahan Ali (25)

1

Lalmonirhaat

Patgram

280

1/9/2010

Hazrat

1

Jessore

Goga Harishchandrapur border, Benapole

281

1/9/2010

Monirul Islam (23)

1

Chapainababganj

Shingnagar  border at Shibgonj

282

1/12/2010

Ala (30)

1

Jessore

Daulatpur border, Benapole

283

1/13/2010

Md. Shafiqul Islam (27)

1

Satkhira

Uksa border, Kaliganj

284

1/15/2010

Shahidul Islam (37)

1

Meherpur

Kazipur border in Gangi

285

1/22/2010

Nazrul Islam (42)

1

Meherpur

Khalpar border

286

1/21/2010

Hasnat Halsham Inu (15)

1

Chuadanga

Thakurpur border at Damurhuda

287

1/24/2010

Abdul Jalil (43)

1

Jessore

Putkhali border, Benapole

288

1/26/2010

Humayun Kabir (26)

1

Satkhira

Ichhamati river

289

1/27/2010

Shyamol Karmokar (17) 

1

Chapainababganj

Wahedpur border

290

1/30/2010

Unknown youth

1

Satkhira

Kolaria border

291

2/6/2010

Farid Hossain (28)

1

Panchagar

Tentulia Kazipara border

292

2/17/2010

Md. Islam Miah (38)

1

Panchagar

Panchagar

293

2/18/2010

Anwar Hossain (60)

1

Thakurgaon

Thakurgaon

294

2/25/2010

Mukul Mia (28)

1

Chapainababganj

Chapainababganj

295

2/26/2010

Shafiqul Islam (30)

1

Jhenaidah

Baghadanga border, Moheshpur

296, 297

3/3/2010

Abdul Quaium (30), Bodhu Mia (32)

2

Thakurgaon

Ranishonkoli upazila of Thakurgaon

298

3/4/2010

Ripon Hossain

1

Satkhira

Kolaroa

299

3/23/2010

Monoronjon Mondol (30)

1

Lalmonirhaat

Lalmonirhaat

300

3/23/2010

Tozammal Haq (42)

1

Chapainababganj

Chapainababganj

301

4/2/2010

Saiful Islam (28)

1

Satkhira

Boikari border

302

4/12/2010

Habibir Rahman (30)

1

Chapainababganj

Wahedpur frontier

303

4/26/2010

Shahidul Islam

1

 Dinajpur

Birampur

304

5/5/2010

Azad Hossain (30)

1

Chuadanga

Damurhuda

305

5/10/2010

Jamal Uddin (22)

1

Sylhet

Sylhet

306

5/14/2010

Mojibor Rahman (20)

1

Thakurgaon

Thakurgaon

307

5/14/2010

Parul (10)

1

Thakurgaon

Thakurgaon

308

5/22/2010

Afsar Ali

1

Kurigram

Bhurungamari

309

5/30/2010

Ansaful (25)

1

Jessore

 Chougacha

310

6/4/2010

Samir (25)

1

Jessore

Benapole

311

6/8/2010

Shamim Hossain (30)

1

Jaipurhat

Halkhola border in Panchbib

312

6/13/2010

Shafiqul Islam (28)

1

Chapainababganj

Fatepur borders in Shibganj

313

6/13/2010

Motaleb Hossain (36)

1

Naogaon

Chakelam border under Dhamurhut

314

6/21/2010

Robu (40)

1

Chapainababganj

Chouka border in Shibganj

315

6/21/2010

Bahar Ali (35)

1

Jhenaidah

Chhutipur

 

 

Total

37

 

 

Annex II: Alleged Killings of Indian Nationals by the BSF

Data and information below was gathered by MASUM, and documented after cross-checking the information.

Since January 2007, MASUM has documented 61 cases of alleged killings of Indian nationals by the BSF in West Bengal.

2007

No.

Date of Incident

Name (Age)

# Killed

District

Village

BSF Outpost/Place of Incident

1, 2

1/4/2003

Babu Mondal (20), Krishna Mondal (22)

2

Murshidabad

Char Majra Diarh

Char Majra Diarh, Plot No. 649

3

4/22/2007

Safiqul Islam (56)

1

Murshidabad

Kaharpara

Outpost No.7

4

5/2/2007

Ranjit Kumar Biswas (70)

1

Murshidabad

Farazipara

Near Farazipara Border Outpost of 90 Battalion

5

5/8/2007

Panna Seikh (53)

1

Murshidabad

Mohanganj

Outpost No. 2

6

5/18/2007

Ali Hussain Mondal

1

North 24 Parganas

Kalanchi

Near Gobra Bridge

7

6/9/2007

Jahangir Gazi  (43)

1

North 24 Parganas

Bemaglini

Near Border Post No.13/4,-R-15 Arshikary Border Outpost

8

6/22/2007

Yudul Sheikh (71)

1

Murshidabad

Mohanganj

Outpost No. 3

9, 10

6/26/2007

Satyen Mondal,  Basudeb Mondal (17)

2

Murshidabad

Rajanagar

Area between Rajanagar Border Outpost No. 1 and 2

11

7/4/2007

Vivekananda Biswas (38)

1

North 24 Parganas

Puratan Bongaon

Biswas Para Naka No. 11, Near Ichhamati River

12

7/27/2007

Santosh Mondal (40)

1

Murshidabad

Shipur

300 Meters West Side Harudanga BSF camp 400 MTRS North side from Santosh Mondal's house

13

8/4/2007

Babar Ali (51)

1

Murshidabad

Kaharpara

Outpost No. 1 & 2 Palpara under Kaharpara, company headquarters

14

11/6/2007

Saju Ali Mondal (22)

1

Murshidabad

Kaharpara

Outpost No. 8

15

11/13/2007

Unknown

1

North 24 Parganas

Teulberia

Tetulberia Outpost. No 17

16, 17, 18

11/22/2007

Ainal (28), Alaudin (40), Repon (17)

3

North 24 Parganas

Angrail

Angrail Outpost

19

12/3/2007

Basudeb Sarkar (30)

1

North 24 Parganas

Gobindapur

House of Majhar Fakir Balki

20

12/10/2007

Mr. Bishnu Pada Roy  (32)

1

North 24 Parganas

Angrail Uttar Colony

Ramnagar Road

21

12/24/2007

Masadul Seikh (22)

1

Murshidabad

Bamnabad

 Outpost No. 4c

22

12/24/2007

Serajul Mondol (14)

1

North 24 Parganas

Harihapara

Near Madhupur Bridge

23

12/28/2007

Kalidas Ghosh (17)

1

 North 24 Parganas

Angrail Dakshinpara

Inside the campus of Angrail Bidyamandir High School

 

 

Total

23

 

 

 

2008

No.

Date of Incident

Name (Age)

# Killed

District

Village

BSF Outpost/Place of Incident

24, 25

1/26/2008

Akbar Seikh (19), Mr. Atahar Seikh (55)

2

Murshidabad

Kaharpara

On plot no. 2958 of Dakshin Maajar Dearh near Outpost No.6

26

2/2/2008

Faruk Biswas (20)

1

 Nadia

Hatkhola

In front of the victim's house

27, 28

2/10/2008

Sirajul Seikh alias Siarul Seikh (18),  Mr. Ramjan Seikh (18)

2

Murshidabad

Kalbalitala

Kaharpara

29

2/13/2008

Arup Mondal alias Khokan (18)

1

North 24 Parganas

Chhoto Bankra

Near Koijury camp

30

3/8/2008

Unknown

1

Murshidabad

 

At Araji Shibnagar near border area

31

4/15/2008

Neel Kumar Mondal (30)

1

Murshidabad

Char Durgapur

Nirmal Char

32

5/4/2008

Safiqul Islam Seikh (26)

1

North 24 Parganas

Taki

Taki

33

6/1/2008

Mofijul Seikh

1

Murshidabad

Kaharpara

At Outpost No.2 and 3, Mohangunj BSF Camp under Kaharpara BSF Camp

34

6/17/2008

Sentu Mondal  (19)

1

Murshidabad

Chawk Mathura

On the farming land of Mr. Mondal: Mouza-Udaynarayanpur, J.L. No.12, Dag no.2831/2119. Also at BSF Outpost No.1, Singhpara BSF Camp, Battalion no.90, Company-C

35, 36

7/18/2008

Mr. Rejaul Mondal (30), Mr. Jaynal Mondal (23)

2

North 24 Parganas

Supukar

At Mashampur Border Outpost

37

7/23/2008

Shilajit Mondal (15)

1

Murshidabad

Rajanagar

Char Rajanagar

38

7/26/2008

Sobuj Seikh (32)

1

Murshidabad

Mohanganj

Border Outpost No. 1

39

11/19/2008

Kakali alias Khukuli Khatun (18)

1

Nadia

Hatkhola

In front of the victim's house

 

 

Total

16

 

 

 

2009

No.

Date of Incident

Name (Age)

# Killed

District

Village

BSF Outpost/Place of Incident

40

1/1/2009

Tutul Seikh (18)

1

Murshidabad

Katlamari

In paddy fields 1.5 km from BSF outpost and 4 km inside the Indian border

41

2/19/2009

Master Peparul Seikh (16)

1

Murshidabad

Chakmathura

At the farming land of Mr. Atahar Rahman, son of late Ajijur Rahman situated at Dag no. 2529

42

3/15/2009

Shibajit Mondal (28)

1

Murshidabad

Char Rajanagar

At Dadur Ghat at Rajanagar

43

3/15/2009

Unknown Bangladeshi

1

North 24 Parganas

Sisutala, Gaighata

At Border Outpost No. 5 at Sisutala

44

3/23/2009

Sanjit Mondal (13)

1

Murshidabad

Natun Rajapur, Nirmalchar

In front of the grocery shop of Mr. Nikhil Mondal

45

4/30/2009

Jabed Ali Mahaldar (27)

1

Murshidabad

Imam Bazar

At Nimtita BSF camp

46

5/5/2009

Abdus Samad (35)

1

Murshidabad

Biswanathpur

(1) In the house of the victim ;( 2) Diar Manikchawk Primary School; (3) Ramnagar BOP BSF Camp; (4) Diar Manik Chawk BSF Camp

47

7/2/2009

Dinabandhu Mondal (33)

1

Murshidabad

Harudanga

At BSF tent outpost near BSF Outpost No. 2

48

7/5/2009

Motisur Islam (35)

1

North 24 Parganas

Tarali

At Tarali village

49

7/13/2009

Susanta Mondal (13)

1

Murshidabad

Borderpara

On the river Padma near Borderpara

50

7/14/2009

Mr. Jiarul Seikh

1

Murshidabad

Rai Jyotpara

At the bank of river Jalangi, near Khayertala Border Outpost camp of BSF

51

8/17/2009

Prashanta Mondal (22)

1

Murshidabad

Bairbona

Near Outpost No.1 under BSF Camp of DMC BSF BOP

52

8/22/2009

Shyamsundar Mondal (25)

1

Murshidabad

Char Munshipara

At Dadur Ghat near the bank of River Padma

53

9/1/2009

Mr Noor Hossain (17)

1

Murshidabad

Brahmmotor

NAKA OP-5 of DMC  BSF  BOP

54

9/28/2009

 Surajit Mondal (16)

1

Murshidabad

Mohanganj

Near BSF Outpost No. 3

55

10/25/2009

Unknown, probably Bangladeshi

1

North 24 Parganas

Pathoria

Near the Indo-Bangladesh border fence, Pathoria Border Outpost of BSF Battalion 37

56

10/31/2009

Sukhen Mondal (39)

1

Murshidabad

Char Rajanagar (Paschim Colony)

In the farming land of Mr. Kanai Mondal at Char Katlamari

57

11/4/2009

Harish Chandra Gain (46)

1

North 24 Parganas

Ghojadanga

Near border outpost at Ghojadanga Bridge

58

11/16/2009

Subodh Mondal

1

Murshidabad

Harudanga

At Outpost No. 2

59

12/10/2009

Mr. Sadek Ali Seikh (35)

1

Murshidabad

Khasmahal

On the River Padma near Outpost No. 4 of 10 point of Border Security Force (BSF) Camp at Khasmahal area

 

 

Total

20

 

 

 

2010

No.

Date of Incident

Name (Age)

# Killed

District

Village

BSF Outpost/Place of Incident

60

3/21/2010

Mr. Atiur Rahman (24)

1

Murshidabad

Puthia (Jamtala)

At Afflux baandh (dam) near Saidapur adjacent to Outpost No. 8 of Bahura BSF camp

61

6/16/2010

Sumanta Mondal (22)

1

Murshidabad

Harudanga

Adjacent to Harudanga outpost no. 8

 

 

Total

2

 

 

 

Acknowledgements

This report was written by Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director for Human Rights Watch, in collaboration with Henrik Alffram, consultant to the Asia division of Human Rights Watch; and two local organizations Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) based in Kolkata, and Odhikar based in Dhaka. The report was edited by Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director. Legal review was provided by Clive Baldwin, senior legal advisor; and Program review was done by Tom Porteous, deputy program director. The report was also reviewed by Brad Adams, director of the Asia division.

Production and formatting assistance was provided by Pema Abrahams, coordinator in the Asia division of Human Rights Watch; Grace Choi, publications director; Kathy Mills, publications coordinator; Anna Lopriore, creative manager; and Fitzroy Hepkins all provided production assistance.

Above all Human Rights Watch wishes to express its thanks to the interviewees who spoke out despite considerable personal risk and fear.

[1]M. Afsarul Qader, “Management of Bangladesh-India Border,” Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies, unpublished document, http://www.biiss.org/aqader.pdf (accessed November 29, 2010).

[2]West Bengal has a border length of 2216 km; Tripura, 856 km; Meghalaya, 443 km; Mizoram, 318 km and Asssm, 263 km. “Fencing and Floodlighting of Borders,” Report of the Ministry of Home Affairs, http://mha.nic.in/pdfs/Fencing.pdf (accessed November 29, 2010).

[3]Please see full list of cases in the Annex.

[4]Numbers provided by Indian government sources.

[5]Centre for Civil Society, “Indo-Bangladesh fence issue,” http://www.ccsindia.org/nolandsman/ (accessed November, 2010).

[6]Rita Afsar, “Population Movement in the Fluid, Fragile and Contentious Borderland between Bangladesh and India,” July 2008, http://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/savifadok/volltexte/2008/143/pdf/Afsar_PopulationMovement_2008.pdf, (accessed November 30, 2010).

[7]Ibid.

[8]Sheeraj Gudi, “Bangladesh will not be used for terror activities: BDR Chief,” ANI, March 11, 2010, http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/india-news/bangladesh-will-not-be-used-for-terror-activities-bdr-chief_100333193.html (accessed November 29, 2010).

[9]V.K. Shahshikumar and Arijit Sen, “Indo-Bangladesh border sealed? It’s a big joke,” CNN-IBN, February 11, 2009, http://ibnlive.in.com/news/indiabangladesh-border-sealed-its-a-big-joke/85092-3.html (accessed November 29, 2010).

[10]“BSF, BDR to check cross-border movement of criminals, insurgents,” Times of India, March 12, 2010, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/BSF-BDR-to-check-cross-border-movement-of-criminals-insurgents/articleshow/5673243.cms (accessed November 29, 2010).

[11]Border Security Force, “BSF Acts and Rules,” http://www.bsf.nic.in/act_rules/bsfAct&Rules.pdf (accessed November 29, 2010).

[12]Mallika Joseph, “Profile of Indian Paramilitary Forces- Border Security Force,” Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, January 31, 2002, http://www.ipcs.org/article/military/profile-of-indian-paramilitary-forces-ii-border-security-force-686.html (accessed November 29, 2010).

[13]Border Security Force, http://bsf.gov.in/default.aspx (accessed November 29, 2010).

[14]Border Security Force, http://sb.bsf.gov.in/history.htm, (accessed November 29, 2010). The BSF tasks are listed as:

(a) Peace time: Promote a sense of security among the people living in the border areas; Prevent trans border crimes, unauthorized entry into or exit from the territory of India; Prevent smuggling and any other illegal activity; 

(b) War Time: Holding ground in less threatened sectors; Protection of vital installations; Assistance in control of refugees; Anti-infiltration duties in specified areas.

[15]In his “Message from the Director General,” Raman Srivastava described the new role of the BSF: “In addition to being a veteran of border security, the BSF is a frontline Counter-Insurgency Force, and has contributed to taming virulent insurgencies in different parts of India. Today, the chief business of the BSF is Border Security and Counter-Insurgency.” http://bsf.nic.in/message.htm (accessed November 29, 2010).

[16]Human Rights Watch group interviews with villagers in Murshidabad district, May 2010.

[17]Human Rights Watch interview with E.N.Rammohan, former BSF director general, New Delhi, October 24, 2010.

[18]Human Rights Watch interview, details withheld, May 5, 2010.

[19]Under the Border Security Force Act and BSF Rules, offenses by members of the force are examined by the Staff Court of Inquiry and those found responsible face trial by a Security Force Court.

 [20]On October 22, 1993, at least 37 people were killed when personnel from the 74th Battalion Border Security Force (BSF) opened fire to disperse more than ten thousand people marching on the National Highway in Beijbehara in Jammu and Kashmir.

[21]National Human Rights Commission, Annual Report, 1993-94, Annexure V.

[22]Human Rights Watch, “Everyone Lives in Fear,” Patterns of Impunity in Jammu and Kashmir, September 2006, http://www.hrw.org/en/node/11179/section/1.

[23]The NHRC says it has received 30 complaints against the BSF lodged by MASUM on behalf of the complainants. In 14 of these the matter was closed after an investigation. In four, further information is awaited from the complainants. In 10 of these investigations are still going on. Two cases could not be traced. MASUM, however, says that according to its own records, it has sent 150 complaints to the NHRC since the beginning of 2007. Of these, MASUM says responses are still being sought in 98 cases, while 29 cases have been closed.

[24]Human Rights Watch interview with Sunil Krishna, Director General (Investigation), National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi, October 22, 2010.

[25]In February 2010, charges were brought against a BSF constable and his superior officer, in a case involving the death of a teenager in Jammu and Kashmir. See “Arrest a First Step for Accountability,” Human Rights Watch news release, February 11, 2010, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/02/11/india-kashmir-arrest-step-accountability.

[26]Information provided by MASUM to Human Rights Watch, October 30, 2010.

[27]Julfikar Ali Manik, “The Red, Dotted Line,” Outlook, September 11, 2006, http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?232444 (accessed November 29, 2010).

[28]Border Security Force, http://bsf.nic.in/introduction.htm, Peace Time Duties include:Promote a sense of security among the people living in the border areas. Prevent trans-border crimes, unauthorized entry into or exit from the territory of India.Prevent smuggling and any other illegal activity.

[29]“Bangladesh Urged to Dismantle insurgent groups’ camps: BSF chief,” IANS, September 27, 2010, http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/uncategorized/bangladesh-urged-to-dismantle-insurgent-groups-camps-bsf-chief_100435589.html (accessed November 29, 2010).

[30]In February 2009, BDR personnel rebelled against their army bosses. Fifty-five army officers and 19 others were killed.After the rebellion, a new bill has been proposed by the government that changes the name of the force to Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) and introduces the death penalty for mutiny. Anand Kumar, “The BDR Mutiny: Mystery Remains but Democracy Emerges Strong,” Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, October 2009, www.idsa.in/system/files/jds_3_4_akumar.pdf (accessed June 23, 2010). See also “Bangladesh: Hundreds Held One Year After Massacre,” Human Rights Watch news release March 17, 2010, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/03/17/bangladesh-hundreds-held-one-year-after-massacre; “Bangladesh: End Custodial Deaths of Massacre Suspects,” Human Rights Watch news release, April 24, 2009, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/04/24/bangladesh-end-custodial-deaths-massacre-suspects; “Bangladesh: Investigate Torture Allegations,” Human Rights Watch news release, March 25, 2009, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/03/25/bangladesh-investigate-torture-allegations.

[31]“About Us,” Bangladesh Rifles, http://www.bdr.gov.bd/index.php?node=node/about.

[32]Bangladesh Urged to Dismantle insurgent groups’ camps: BSF chief,” IANS, September 27, 2010, http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/uncategorized/bangladesh-urged-to-dismantle-insurgent-groups-camps-bsf-chief_100435589.html (accessed October 28, 2010).

[33]“Smuggler beaten to death by BDR,” Daily Star, August 20, 2010, http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=151457 (accessed November 29, 2010)

[34]MASUM, “Fact-Finding Report: Abduction of Haider Ali and Aptar Sarder by personnel of the Yusufpur BDR camp in Rajshahi,” Murshidabad, September 27, 2009.

[35]Julfikar Ali Manik, “The Red, Dotted Line,” Outlook.

[36]Human Rights Watch interview, New Delhi, details withheld.

[37]Ramtanu Maitra, “India’s Ticking Immigrant Time Bomb,” Asia Times, January 14, 2005, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/GA14Df05.html (accessed November 29, 2010).

[38]Anand Kumar, “Illegal Bangladeshi Immigration: People Take the Mantle when the Government gives up,” Paper No. 1391, South Asia Analysis Group, http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/%5Cpapers14%5Cpaper1391.html (accessed November 29, 2010). Also see Praful Nikam, “Bangladeshi InflitrationInfiltration,” Sangh Parivar, April 12, 2009, http://www.sanghparivar.org/forum/bangladeshi-infiltration (accessed November 29, 2010).

[39]Trafficking of women has been widespread because of poverty, unemployment, women and children’s subordinate status in society, violence against women and discriminatory laws and practices in society. Many women who are trafficked never return to Bangladesh because of the stigmas attached. See, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh: Ministry of Home Affairs, “Bangladesh Country Report on Combating Trafficking in Women and Children,” February 15, 2007, http://www.mfa.go.th/fhpworkshop/doc/bestpractices/Bangladesh_country_report.pdf (accessed June 25, 2010), andICDDR,B: Centre for Health and Population Research, “Trafficking of Women and Children in Bangladesh,” 2001, http://www.usaid.gov/bd/files/trafficking_overview.pdf (accessed June 25, 2010).

[40]Delwar Hussian, “Life and death in the Bangladesh-India margins,” Open Democracy, March 2, 2009, http://www.opendemocracy.net/article/life-and-death-in-the-bangladesh-india-margins (accessed November 29, 2010).

[41]“BDR shields cattle smugglers,” The Telegraph, August 3, 2006, http://telegraphindia.com/1060803/asp/northeast/story_6561840.asp (accessed November 29, 2010)

[42]Over 2500 km of fencing has been completed. Report of Ministry of Home Affairs, “Fencing and Floodlighting of Borders,” Report of Ministry of Home Affairs, http://mha.nic.in/pdfs/Fencing.pdf (accessed May 20, 2010).

[43]“Indo-Bangla border to be fenced by March 2010: BSF chief (Lead),” Thaindian News, November 24, 2009, http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/uncategorized/indo-bangla-border-to-be-fenced-by-march-2010-bsf-chief-lead_100279489.html#ixzz0v0GTpzhM (accessed November 29, 2010).

[44]Currently, it is estimated that atleast 2,500 Bangladeshis are in Indian jails. Among them at least 567 have already served their term. The majority of the Bangladeshis have been imprisoned because of their ‘illegal immigrant’ status. In November 2010, in response to a writ petition filed by lawyer Shahidul Islam, the High Court asked the Bangladeshi Government to provide information regarding legal aid and consular assistance to Bangladeshi nationals, determine scheme to assist in the release and repatriation of prisoners, and conduct regular meetings with Indian authorities to determine the names and particulars of Bangladeshi nationals. According to Bangladeshi Voluntary Group Right Jessore, at least 48 Indian nationals are awaiting repatriation after having served their term in the Jessore Central Jail.

[45]“India Bangla border: Fencing forces thousands in no man’s land,” Press Trust of India, January 31, 2010, http://www.hindustantimes.com/Indo-Bangla-border-Fencing-forces-thousands-in-no-man-s-land/Article1-503736.aspx (accessed November 29, 2010).

[46]Human Rights Watch interview with Mithoo Sheikh, Murshidabad, May 5, 2010.

[47]“BSF, BDR to ensure innocent civilians not shot on border,” Press Trust of India, March 10, 2010, http://beta.thehindu.com/news/national/article236606.ece (accessed November 29, 2010)

[48]“No more killing of ‘innocent’ by BSF,”The Daily Star, March 9, 2010, http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=129333 (accessed November 29, 2010).

[49]Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, Section sec 46, http://www.vakilno1.com/bareacts/CrPc/s46.htm (accessed June 10, 2010). (1) In making an arrest the police officer or other person making the same shall actually touch or confine the body of the person to be arrested, unless there be it submission to the custody by word or action. (2) If such person forcibly resists the endeavour to arrest him, or attempts to evade the arrest, such police officer or other person may use all means necessary to affect the arrest. (3) Nothing in this section gives a right to cause the death of a person who is not accused of an offence punishable with death or with imprisonment for life.

[50]Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, adoptedby the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, Havana, 27 August to 7 September 1990, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.144/28/Rev.1 at 122 (1990).

[51]Human Rights Watch interview with former BSF official, details withheld.

[52]We list a fuller list of all cases documented by Odhikar since 2007 in Annexure I.

[53]Odhikar interview with Rina Khatun, Sharialjot, Panchagar, March 23, 2010.

[54]Odhikar interview with Mohammad Zahir, Mohananda River (Bangladesh side), Panchagar, March 24, 2010.

[55]Ibid.

[56]Flag meetings are held regularly between the BSF and BDR forces deployed on the ground for operational reasons or to explain actions that might otherwise lead to tensions.

[57]Odhikar interview with Mohammad Niyat Ali, Sharialjot, Panchagar, March 23, 2010.

[58]Odhikar interview with Naren Karmokar, Bishrosiya, Chapainababganj, February 24, 2010.

[59]Ibid.

[60]Odhikar interview with Mohammad Zahid, Bishrosiya, Chapainababganj, February 24, 2010.

[61]Odhikar interview with Subedar Sirajul Islam, Wahedpur BDR camp, Bishrosiya, Chapainababganj, February 24, 2010.

[62]Odhikar interview with Yameen Ali, Shibganj police station, Chapainababganj, February 24, 2010.

[63]Human Rights Watch and Odhikar interview with Surjan, Baridhaka, Meherpur, February 12, 2010.

[64]Human Rights Watch and Odhikar interview with Mohammad Ershad, Baridhaka, Meherpur, February 12, 2010.

[65] Human Rights Watch and Odhikar interview with Surjan, February 12, 2010.

[66]Human Rights Watch and Odhikar interview with Tutul, Baridhaka, Meherpur, February 12, 2010.

[67]Human Rights Watch and Odhikar interview with BDR commander, BDR camp, Rahman, February 13, 2010.

[68]Human Rights Watch and Odhikar interview with investigating police officer, Meherpur district police, February 12, 2010.

[69]Post-mortem report signed by Dr. Mizanur Rahman of Meherpur General Hospital, January 24, 2010.

[70]Human Rights Watch and Odhikar interview with Nefazudin, Baridhaka, Meherpur, February 12, 2010.

[71]Human Rights Watch and Odhikar interview with Sudebar Habibur Rahman, BDR camp, Sakolia village, Chuadanga district, February 12, 2010.

[72]Human Rights Watch and Odhikar interviewwith Kamala Khatun, Kazipur, Meherpur, February 13, 2010.

[73]Ibid.

[74]Human Rights Watch and Odhikar interview with Shahdeen Ali and other Kazipur villagers, Kazipur, Meherpur, February 13, 2010.

[75]Human Rights Watch and Odhikar interview with BDR 32nd battalion members, Kazipur BDR camp, Meherpur, February 13, 2010.

[76]Human Rights Watch and Odikar interview with BDR commander, Kazipur BDR camp, Kazipur, Meherpur, February 13, 2010.

[77]Human Rights Watch and Odikar interview with Shahidul’s family members, Kazipur, Meherpur, February 13, 2010.

[78]Human Rights Watch and Odhikar interview with Sub-Inspector Osman Goni, Ganni Police Station, Meherpur, February 13, 2010.

[79]Odhikar interview with Abdul Kaiyum, Tarapur Munnapara, Chapainababganj, February 25, 2010.

[80]Odhikar interview with Abdul Latif, Tarapur Munnapara, Chapainababganj, February 25, 2010.

[81]Odhikar interview with Maj. Nazrul Islam, 29th battalion commander, Shing Nagar border, February 25, 2010.

[82]Odhikar interview with Constable Yameen Ali, Shibganj Police Station, Chapainababganj, February 25, 2010.

[83]Odhikar interview with Masura Begum, Shamostopur, Satkhira, February 20, 2010.

[84]Ibid.

[85]Odhikar interview with Saleha Begum, Sheetalpur, Satkhira, February 20, 2010.

[86]Odhikar interview with Mosammat Fatema Begum, Uksa, Satkhira, February 20, 2010.

[87]Odhikar interview with Sub-Inspector Abdul Huq, Kaliganj  Police Station, Satkhira, February 20, 2010.

[88]Odhikar interview with Omar Faruq, Horitokidanga, Naogaon, February 26, 2010.

[89]Odhikar interview with Toriqul Alam, Horitokidanga, Naogaon, February 26, 2010.

[90]Odhikar interview with Mohammad Abu Bakar, Sonadanga, ,Naogaon, February 26, 2010.

[91]Odhikar interviews with Md. Abu Bakar and Atiq Hasan, present during the flag meeting, Sonadanga, Naogaon, February 26, 2010.

[92]Odhikar interview with Nazrul Islam,Dorjibari, Panchagar, March 25, 2010.

[93]Odhikar interview with Anwar Hossain, Dorjibari, Panchagar, March 25, 2010.

[94]Ramadan is the month the Quran was revealed. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset during this sacred month.

[95]Odhikar interview with Rumi Akhter Nipa, Roumari Upazila Health Complex, Nawdapara, Kurigram, March 1, 2010.

[96]Odhikar interview with Faruk, Nawdapara, Kurigram, March 1, 2010.

[97]Odhikar interview with Subedar Abul Kalam Azad, Shapahar Police Station, Naogaon, February 26, 2010.

[98]Ibid.

[99]MASUM, fact-finding report, Coochbehar, May 14, 2010.

[100]MASUM, written complaint to NHRC, May 15, 2010.

[101]MASUM, fact-finding report, Murshidabad, April 16, 2010.

[102]Human Rights Watch interview with Meher Ali, Murshidabad, May 3, 2010.

[103]Human Rights Watch interview with Alauddin Biswas, Murshidabad, May 3, 2010.

[104]BSF complaint lodged at Raghunathgunj Police Station, Murshidabad, March 22, 2010.

[105]MASUM, fact-finding report, 24 Parganas North, November 13, 2009.

[106]The First Information Report is lodged by the police after intial findings based on a complaint suggest the need for further investigation.

[107]Based on Afsar Gazi’s complaint, the Swarupnagar Police Station lodged case no. 304/09 under section 302 of IPC on November 11, 2009.

[108]MASUM interview with Sub-Inspector Kartik Chandra Mandal, Swarupnagar Police Station, November 13, 2009.

[109]MASUM letter to National Minorities Commission, November 23, 2009. On file with Human Rights Watch.

[110]MASUM, fact-finding report, Murshidabad, September 5, 2009.

[111]MASUM, Fact-Finding Report: interviews with witnesses Mustafa Sheikh, Mukul Sheikh, Israil Sheikh, and Sabirun Islam, Murshidabad, September 2, 2009.

[112]Human Rights Watch interview with Mustafa Sheikh, Murshidabad, May 6, 2010.

[113]MASUM, fact-finding report, the BSF lodged a police complaint on September 2, 2009.

[114]MASUM, fact-finding report, Murshidabad, September 5, 2009.

[115]Human Rights Watch interview with Mustafa Sheikh, May 6, 2010.

[116]MASUM letter to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, October 7, 2009. On file with Human Rights Watch.

[117]MASUM, Factfactfinding report, Murshidabad, August 26, 2008.

[118]Police complaint lodged by S. R. Chowdhury,  Assistant Commandant, BSF at Raninagar Police Station, Murshidabad, August 23, 2009.

[119]Ibid.

[120]Police complaint by Ramesh Chandra Mondal, father of the victim, Raninagar Police Station, Murshidabad, August 25, 2009.

[121]MASUM interview with Samit Talukdar, sub-inspector of police, Raninagar Police Station,investigating officer in both the criminal cases i.e. case no. 486/09 dated August 23, 2009 based on the BSF complaint and case no. 492/09 dated August 25, 2009 based on complaint by Ramesh Chandra Mondal, father of the victim, Murshidabad, October 21, 2009.

[122]MASUM letter to the National Human Rights Commission, October 21, 2009. On file with Human Rights Watch.

[123]MASUM interview with Panchanan Mondal, Murshidabad, July 14, 2009.

[124]Human Rights Watch interview with Panchanan Mondal, Murshidabad, May 4, 2010.

[125]Human Rights Watch interview with Rimi Bewa, Murshidabad, May 3, 2010.

[126]MASUM, fact-finding report, Murshidabad, May 12, 2009.

[127]MASUM interview with Dr. Gautom Ghosh, Bhagabangola Hospital, Murshidabad, May 9, 2009.

[128]MASUM interview with P. Vodra, DMC, BSF Border Outpost Camp, Murshidabad, May 9, 2009.

[129]Human Rights Watch interview with Rimi Bewa, Murshidabad, May 3, 2010.

[130]Human Rights Watch interview with Bhabtani Mondal, Murshidabad, May 4, 2010.

[131]MASUM, fact-finding report, March 15, 2009; International Secretariat of the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), Case IND 231009, “Killing/ Lack of a proper investigation/ Risk of impunity,” October 23, 2009.

[132]MASUM, fact-finding follow up, Murshidabad, September 7, 2009.

[133]MASUM, written complaint to NHRC, October 12, 2009. On file with Human Rights Watch.

[134]Letter from Home Ministry, Government of India, June 2, 2010. On file with MASUM.

[135]MASUM interview with Atahar Rahman, Godagarie, Murshidabad, February 21, 2009.

[136]Ibid.

[137]MASUM phone interview with BSF officer Kalita, Singpara Border Outpost, March 31, 2009.

[138]Human Rights Watch interview with Mrityunjoy Mondal, Murshidabad, May 4, 2010.

[139]MASUM interview with Shyamcharan Mondal, Murshidabad, June 29, 2009.

[140]Ibid.

[141]MASUM interview with Bijoy Chowdhury, Assistant Commandant, BSF, Rajanagar, June 29, 2009.

[142]See D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal, 1996. This landmark judgment by the Supreme Court led to what is commonly known as the eleven-point “Basu guidelines” to prevent the widespread use of torture in custody.  Article 21 of the Indian Constitution on the “protection of life and personal liberty” states that “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.”

[143]Indian Penal Code, 1860, secs. 330 and 331, http://www.indialawinfo.com/bareacts/ipc.html#_Toc496765205 (accessed November 29, 2010).

[144]Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, sec. 176, http://www.indialawinfo.com/bareacts/crpc.html (accessed November 29, 2010).

[145]The Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010, http://prsindia.org/uploads/media/Torture/prevention%20of%20torture%20bill%202010.pdf (accessed November 29, 2010). The passing of the bill is a step towards the ratification of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

[146]Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted December 10, 1948, G.A. Res. 217A(III), U.N. Doc. A/810 at 71 (1948), article 5.

[147]Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment defines torture as: “Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.”

[148]Human Rights Watch and Odhikar interview with Momin Halsham, Thakurpur BDR camp, Sakolia, Chuadanga, February 13, 2010.

[149]Human Rights Watch and Odhikar interview with BDR 35th Battalion member, Thakurpur camp, February 13, 2010.

[150]Human Rights Watch and Odhikar interview with Viva Lahari, Chuadanga district hospital, Chuadanga, February 13, 2010.

[151]Odhikar phone interview with Dr. Latifur Rahman, Chuadanga district hospital, Chuadanga, February 18, 2010.

[152]Human Rights Watch and Odhikar interview with Subedar Nazrul Islam, Thakurpur BDR camp, Sakolia, Chuadanga, February 13, 2010.

[153]Odhikar interview with Motiar Rahman, Kadamtola, Jessore, February 27, 2010.

[154]Odhikar interview with Ali Ahmed Masud, Sharsha Police Station, Jessore, February 27, 2010.

[155]Bangladesh Passport Order, 1973, sec. 11(c) says that “whoever fails to produce for inspection his passport or travel document (whether issued under this order or not) when called upon to do so by the prescribed authority shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine may extend to taka two thousand, or both.”

[156]Odhikar interview with Rashida Begum, Kadamtola, Jessore, February 27, 2010.

[157]Odhikar interview with Kamrul, Shibnathpur Baroputa, Jessore, February 14, 2010.

[158]Odhikar interview with Aktarul, Putkhali, Jessore, February 15, 2010.

[159]Odhikar interview with Nasima Begum, Shakhariputa, Jessore, February 18, 2010.

[160]Odhikar interview with Ahmed Ali, Shakhariputa, Jessore, February 18, 2010.

[161]The day of the incident Jalil was dressed in a black shirt, knitted sweater, and blue trousers.

[162]Odhikar interview with Ahmed Ali, February 18, 2010.

[163]Odhikar interview with with Sub-inspector Ali Akbar, Benapole Police Station, Jessore, February 18, 2010.

[164]Human Rights Watch interview with Nirsingha Mondal, Murshidabad, May 4, 2010.

[165]MASUM interviews with Habul Mandol and Badal Chowdhury, Murshidabad, May 18, 2010.

[166]MASUM, Complaint no. MASUM/NHRC/NM/1624/09, June 15, 2009.Letter to NHRC, case 240/25/13/09-10/OC/SB-2, October 15, 2009. On file with Human Rights Watch.

[167]MASUM, fact-finding report, Uttar Dinajpur, February 4, 2010.

[168]MASUM, fact-finding report, Belur Sramajibi Hospital, February 4, 2010.

[169]MASUM report, Murshidabad, September 24, 2009.

[170]MASUM interview with Krishna Chandra Mondal, Murshidabad, September 24, 2009.

[171]Ibid.

[172]MASUM letter to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, New Delhi, December 19, 2009. On file with Human Rights Watch.

[173]MASUM interview with Halima Bibi, Murshidabad, September 5, 2009.

[174]A first information report (FIR) is a document that should be prepared by the police once they receive information about the commission of a cognizable offense. A FIR is required for the police to initiate an investigation.

[175]MASUM Letter to the Principal Secretary, West Bengal government, October 19, 2009. On file with Human Rights Watch.

[176]Home Department, Government of West Bengal, inquiry report by SDPO-Domkal, Murshidabad, November 7, 2009.

[177]MASUM report, Murshidabad, January 18, 2010.

[178]Ibid.

[179]International Secretariat of the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), Urgent Appeal, Case IND 180110/ IND 180110.CC, January 18, 2010.

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