Another Bengali Muslim Tortured with Same Excuse, Suspicion of Being Bangladeshi

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Saibuddin Gazi, age 26, was subjected to third degree custodial torture.

Saibuddin Gazi, age 26, was subjected to third degree custodial torture in custody. Though such incidents are on the rise on the Bangladesh border, they are hardly reported in the so-called national media.    

Syed Ali Mujtaba | Clarion India

KOLKATA – Muslim youths from West Bengal, bordering Bangladesh, are routinely targeted for purportedly being foreign nationals. Though such incidents are on the rise on the Bangladesh border, they are hardly reported in the so-called national media.

One such incident has come to light on February 26, when a Muslim youth named Saibuddin Gazi, age 26, was subjected to third degree custodial torture in custody. A resident of village Daharkanda, Police Station and block Swarupnagar of the North 24 Pargana district of West Bengal, was put through the ordeal under the suspicion of being a Bangladeshi.

When the victim on his way to Swarupdaha market via Kamarpota, three BSF personnel apprehended him and took him to Hakimpur Border outpost and brutally tortured him badly injuring his back, a leg and other parts of his body.

The victim remained in the BSF custody for seven hours. After that, he was handed over to Customs officials at Tetuliya. The custom officials released him after confirming through his documents that he is an Indian national.

This is one among a spate of incidents of torture, physical assault, illegal detention, and even extrajudicial killings of Muslims in the bordering West Bengal villages bordering Bangladesh.

The arbitrariness of the violence suggests that it was carried out with intentionally with a motive to target members of a particular community on the basis of religion. The incident is another instance of custodial violence by the BSF and subsequent impunity by the customs officials.

Inspector Jayprasad, Debanan Jha and Rakesh tortured the victim in the Hakimpur Border outpost after tying him by his hands and feet with rope and cloth. , They kept on abusing while assaulting him with thick cable wire, injuring him gravely on his back and legs. Bruise marks on the injured part of the victim’s body are evident about the BSF brutality.

The victim filed a complaint with the SP Basirhat Police station against the perpetrators of the crime but no FIR has been lodged against them in view of the official positions they held.

Highlighting the incident, Kirity Roy, secretary, MASUM and National Convener, PACTI sought urgent intervention of the National Human Rights Commission in the matter.

He also demanded that the complaint of the victim must be investigated and the criminals must be brought under trial and prosecuted. The victim should be compensated adequately and his security and safety must be ensured. He also demanded that the BSF personnel should be posted at the international border and not near the villages bordering Bangladesh.

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Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist. He can be contacted at syedalimujaba2007@gmail.com

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