West Bengal: BSF Personnel Allegedly Torture Muslim Youth in Custody

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The incident occurred at Purba Sahebganj Border Outpost, Battalion No. 129, and the Company Commander Bijay Kumar was involved in the torture, a letter from rights activist Kirti Roy to NHRC said.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — A 30-year-old Muslim youth has allegedly been tortured by Border Security Force (BSF) in West Bengal.

The incident came to light after rights activist Kirity Roy wrote a letter to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), seeking an independent and non-partisan investigation of the incident which occurred on 21 February this year.

Roy’s letter alleged that the BSF personnel arrested Johirul Islam from his house and brutally tortured him in their custody in Sahebganj city.

The incident occurred at Purba Sahebganj Border Outpost, Battalion number 129, and the Company Commander Bijay Kumar was involved in the torture, the letter said.

Roy, who acts as Secretary of MASUM (Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch) and National Convener of PACTI (Programme Against Custodial Torture and Impunity), said the torture was so severe that Johirul is still unable to walk properly due to severe pain in the lower back portion of his body, media reports said.

The victim’s family lodged a complaint with Sahebganj police, but the concerned official did not register any case against the perpetrators. “This is in violation of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the apex court guidelines,” Roy said.

Johirul is the only earning member of the family. The torture has rendered him incapable of earning a living, the letter said.

“The incident violated Article 6 (Right to work) and Article 9 (Right to social security) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). It also violates Goal Number 16 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which aims to provide access to justice for all,” Roy said in his letter.

“The incident reflects the entrenched impunity in the criminal justice system and systemic attack on religious minorities, especially Muslims by public officials,” he said.

Roy has demanded that BSF should be posted on the actual borders and not inside the villages. He has also demanded that proceedings should be initiated against the perpetrators from the BSF and the police and strict punishment should be accorded to the guilty.

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