Friday, July 02, 2010

killing of a Scheduled Caste youth by stabbing while in BSF custody, nexus with police

Name of the deceased: Sumanta Mondal, aged- about 22 years, son of- Mr। Nimai Mondal, Village & Post- Borderpara, Police Station- Raninagar, District- Murshidabad

Name of the perpetrators – 1) Mr. Sailesh Kumar; Constable (CT No. 00722731) 2) Mr. Ramji Pandey; Inspector and Three other on duty Border Security Force (BSF) Personnel (name unknown) all attached with 151 Battalion of BSF- B Company posted at Harudanga Out Post (OP) no. VIII

Place of Incident: adjacent to Harudanga out post no. VIII

Date and time of the incident: 16.06.2010 at about 7.00 pm (as reported by the villagers)

Case Detail

On the fateful day Sumanta and his three companions tried to smuggle out buffalos from the said point. It was raining heavily at that time. The youths tried to take advantage of the situation. Two of his companions accomplish their mission, another returned back but Sumanta was caught by the said BSF personnel. It was reported in a Bangla daily that BSF ‘approved’ 20 buffalos to be smuggled but ‘offenders’ tried for 50. Ill-fated Sumanto belonged to a family listed in Bellow Poverty category.

After taking him into their custody, the said perpetrators killed him. Mr. Nilanjan Roy; Sub Inspector of Raninagar police station reached at the place of occurrence and brought the body by a BSF vehicle with registration number HR- 39A 7419 to Godhanpara Primary Health Center at around 10.30 pm same date. Five BSF personnel were in the vehicle, while the body was brought to the said Primary Health Center. At the Health Center, Medical Officer, Dr. Sabyasachi Chakroborty examined the body and at about 11.15 pm informed the persons present at the Health Center that Sumanta died at least 8-10 hours back. He also examined the constable Sailesh Kumar and found no injury in his body, as reported, though Sailesh complained about pain in his body. BSF corroborated that Sumanto died due to firing from Sailesh Kumar’s service riffle and thereafter filed a criminal case against the deceased as Raninagar PS Case No. 328/10 dated 17.06.2010, under sections 147/148/149/186/188/353/307/379/411 of Indian Penal Code and 12 of PP Act. From Godhanpara Primary Health Center body was sent to Raninagar police station.

At about 12 midnight, Mr. Biplab Chandra De; Circle Inspector of Domkal made inquest over the body at Raninagar police station while the body was rested on the said BSF vehicle. At 12.45 am on 17.06.2010, Mr. Arunabh Das; Block Development Officer of Raninagar Block- 2 made inquest report at the same place therefore at the top of BSF vehicle.

The assembled crowd was skeptical about the injury mark in the chest of the deceased as they were not convinced that it was due to bullet firing as narrated by the BSF officials. While the Company Commander was asked about the same and entry and exit wounds, he replied as the bullet was fired from an Insus Riffle from a close proximity, so the bullet got stuck inside the body, though the statement itself has no rationale. Dr. Sabyasachi Chakroborty again visited Raninagar police station at about 1.30 pm for reexamine the body, especially the back of the body, and after not finding any exit wound, had a discussion with Mr. Ramji Pandey, the Company Commander. The nature and size of the injury mark was quite abnormal in respect to bullet injury. Mr. Pandey tried to satisfy the doctor by saying it was from Insus riffle and close proximity and it was stuck inside. But the abnormally large wound made the said doctor dissatisfied with Pandey’s logic. The Circle Inspector of Domkal, Mr. Biplab Dey echoed Mr. Pandey’s observation and directed Mr. Nilanjan Roy to write down for seizure of the bullet which was supposedly inside the body.

At around 2.15 pm on 17.06.2010 the body was sent for Post Mortem Examination (PME) to Lalbagh Sub Divisional Hospital, again by using the same BSF vehicle. The on duty doctor deputed for PME refused to do the same at the Lalbagh SD Hospital, because police in their forwarding note mentioned that death was due to firing but he opined differently and as the hospital don’t have forensic facilities he referred Baharampur New General Hospital (police morgue) for PME.

The body was lying at the Baharampur New General Hospital till next day evening, at around 5.00 pm on 18.06.2010, the doctor deputed for PME; Dr. Gourishankar Das came out of the morgue and told the relatives he did not performed PME over Sumanta’s body. While the relatives asked for the reason, he said death was not due to bullet injury which was contradictory to forwarding report of police and it seems to be a complex case, so the PME would be done at Burdwan Medical College which has proper facilities with forensic department to ascertain the cause of death and weapon used. The investigating officer of the case Mr. Nilanjan Roy; SI, was present at the place. While he was asked about the reason of death, he replied that could be determined after PME. The body was sent to Burdwan Medical College Hospital on the same day but appallingly, PME was not done at Burdwan Medical College and Hospital till 20.06.2010. At last it was done at 1.15 pm on 20.06.2010 by Dr. Debashis Sarkar. As reported Dr. Sarkar told Mr. Jagabandhu Mondal; uncle of the deceased, who was present at Burdwan Medical College and Hospital, that Sumanta was not died due to bullet injury instead he was killed with the help of dagger or spear like weapon. To ascertain the reason of death some portion of corpse has been sent to Kolkata for further examination.

The body was cremated at Khagra crematory in Murshidabad on 20.06.2010.

Report by:
Kirity Roy
Secretary- Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM)
National Convenor- Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity (PACTI)

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