We conducted a fact finding upon information received that the victim Prashanta Mondal (deceased), District-Murshidabad was gunned down by the involved BSF personnel attached with Out-Post no.1 under DMC BSF BOP Camp, Lalgola Police Station, Murshidabad. The incident took place on 17/8/2009 at about 4 am. The victim was reportedly apprehended by the perpetrator BSF jawans, taken into custody, subjected to severe physical assault, three rounds were pumped down on his body and lastly his body was left to remain on the spot for hours until brought to police station on the next day. This inhuman act is itself proof of criminal intention that the bullets were pumped down on the body of the victim with definite intention to eliminate him instead of handing over him to police on existence of any allegation of crime committed by him.
One complaint of encounter over the incident was lodged at local Lalgola Police Station by BSF vide Lalgola Police Station Case no: 468/2009 dated 17/8/2009 under sections 147/149/186/307/353 of Indian Penal Code.
The family of the victim tried to lodge one complaint against the perpetrator BSF personnel at local Lalgola Police Station but the police refused to take any complaint and the same police station still refuses to accept the receipt of any complaint from the victim’s family though such complaint was sent by registered post on 8/9/2009 and which was received by the police on 9/9/2009.
The right to life of the victim has been grossly violated by the perpetrator BSF jawans and the police of Lalgola Police Station. Our attached fact finding report gives details of this incident.
Hence we seek urgent intervention by NHRC regarding this matter in the following manner:-
- The allegations of the killing by the Border Security Force (B.S.F.) of a minor boy must be investigated by an independent body, neither by BSF nor Lalgola police station.
- The criminal case under section 302/34 of Indian Penal Code for murder should be initiated against the accused BSF jawans at local Lalgola police station and must be investigated impartially in absence of any undue interference and influence by the accused persons and the accused must be arrested forthwith.
- A judicial magistrate enquiry should be held under section 176(1-A) of Criminal Procedure Code without further delay; the deceased died while in BSF custody.
- Action must be taken in compliance of the guidelines issued by NHRC in case of encounter death as the perpetrator BSF alleged that the victim was killed in an encounter.
- The victim’s family members must be given adequate compensation and protection.
Name of victim: - Prashanta Mondal (deceased) son of Mr. Subol Mondal, Caste-Schedule Caste, address-village: Bairbona, Police Station – Lalgola, District- Murshidabad, West Bengal, India.
Name of perpetrators: - (1) Border Security Force personnel attached with Out-Point no.1 under DMC BSF BOP Camp, Lalgola Police Station, District- Murshidabad, West Bengal; (2) The Officer-in-Charge of Lalgola Police Station, District-Murshidabad.
Place of incident: - Near Out Post no.1 under BSF Camp of DMC BSF BOP under Lalgola Police Station, District- Murshidabad
Date and time of incident: - On 17/8/2009 at about 4 am.
It revealed from our fact finding that on 16/8/2009 Mr. Prashanta Mondal completed his dinner and went to bed at 10 pm. On 17/08/2009 at around 2 am two persons from Naldahari village named Mr. Sharful Shiekh son of Mr. Septaj Shiekh, and Sepataj’s father Mr. Giyajuddin Shiekh called Mr. Prashanta Mondal and took him out of his house; which was unknown to his family members. Next morning till 8 am he did not return, which made his family members worried. They started searching for him at every possible place.
On 17/8/2009 at about 10 am Mr. Subol Mondal and his wife Ms. Nandrani Mondal came to know that their son Mr. Prashanta Mondal was shot dead last night near outpost no 1 by some BSF personnel attached with DMC BSF BOP Camp, Battalion no. 105, Police Station-Lalgola. They also came to know from local people that his body was brought at Lalgola Police Station in a tractor. Mr. Subol Mondal, his wife Ms. Nandrani Mondal and some other family members along with some villagers went to Lalgola Police Station. There they saw that the body of the victim was lying on a trolley of the tractor.
The family of the victim Mr. Prashanta Mondal came in contact with local villagers and they disclosed that there was one eye witness of the incident namely Mr. Ismail Seikh residing at Uttar Latibar Para, Dhagapara under Lalgola Police Station who was present at the place of incident at the time of the incident when the victim was caught by the involved BSF personnel on suspicion of being a smuggler. At that time he was present on the spot but hide himself in a nearby jute field in order to save his life. He reportedly saw from there that BSF personnel was beating the victim Mr. Prashanta Mondal brutally with sticks and butts of their guns and tied his eyes with a ‘Gamchha’ (a cloth used as towel by villagers). After that they forced him to stand few distance away and then BSF personnel fired three rounds from their guns aiming at the victim and the bullets hit on his body i.e. one hit on his forehead, one on his chest and one on his thigh. He instantly fell down on the ground. Then the BSF persons hide his body inside the bunch of raw jute sensing him as dead.
The villager also disclosed that said Mr. Ismail Seikh was also caught by the BSF personnel from the place of incident and he was mercilessly assaulted by the perpetrator BSF personnel. Then he was brought to DMC BSF BOP Camp and later in the morning on 17/8/2009 he was sent to Lalgola Police Station.
The family members of the victim also came to know from the villagers that on 17/8/2009 in the morning one tractor reached at the place of incident and the driver of the tractor found the body of the victim while he was loading jute on his tractor. At that some BSF personnel were also present there. They asked him to take the body to Lalgola Police Station by his tractor and they reached at the police station at around 11 a.m. on 17/8/2009 with the body of the victim.
The family members noticed that there were several marks of bullet injuries on his body- one on his forehead, one on his chest and one on his thigh. Two ofthe bullets entered into the thigh and the chest went out through the other side perforating the body and one bullet exited from near left ear area on the head. Lalgola Police Station started an Unnatural Death Case in the matter of the death of the victim vide (Unnatural Death) U.D. Case no. 10/2009 dated 17/8/2009 and the body of the victim was sent to Lalbagh Sub Divisional Hospital for post mortem examination (P.M. no. 191 dated 17/8/2009).
On 17/9/2009 our fact finding team went to Lalgola Police Station and talked with Mr. Dulal Biswas, the Officer-in-Charge of the said police station. He told our team that on 17/8/2009 Mr. P. Rudro, Company Commandant of Company-E of DMC BSF BOP, Battalion-105 BSF filed a written complaint over the incident of BSF firing. In the complaint the incident of firing was justified reiterating that firing was done in self defence upon being attacked by smugglers. In pursuance to the said complaint the police initiated a case vide Lalgola Police Station Case no: 468/2009 dated 17/8/2009 under sections 147/149/186/307/353of Indian Penal Code.
Our fact finding team came to know that the police refused to take any complaint of the family members of the victim against BSF. On 8/9/2009 the family members of the victim then send the complaint to the police of Lalgola Police Station by registered post with A/D.
Mr. Dulal Biswas also told that no complaint has been launched by the victim’s family against BSF till date. He also told that if victim’s family would come to lodge any complaint in future then he would surely take step. Then our fact finding team informed him that on 8/9/2009 victim’s father Mr. Subol Mondal sent a written complaint addressing the Officer-in-Charge of Lalgola Police Station by registered post with A/D. Mr. Dulal Biswas denied of getting any such complaint from the victim’s family and he said that they cannot initiate any case upon a complaint sent to them through post.
On 22/10/2009 at around 1 pm our fact finding team again asked Mr. Mahadeb Roy, Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police of Lalgola Police Station, over phone whether any case against the BSF personnel has been initiated or not. He told that till date he has not received any complaint against the BSF personnel from victim’s family. But the postal acknowledgement receipt of the complaint letter sent to Lalgola Police Station clearly shows that the letter was received on 9/9/2009.