The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), a member of OMCT SOS-Torture Network, about the incommunicado detention and alleged torture and ill-treatment of Mr. Mijanur Molla and Mr. Jalil Gazi., by members of the Border Security Force (BSF), in events occurred in District-North 24 Parganas, West Bengal. OMCT is gravely concerned that to date, there has been reportedly no effective investigation into these allegations.
According to the information received, on 26 March 2011, at about 11.30 pm, Mr. Mijanur Molla, aged about 25 years, and Mr. Jalil Gazi Mondal, aged about 33 years, who resided at Sonpur village, were arrested in their respective homes by around 25 BSF constables from Kaijuri-Gaborda Border Outpost (BOP), Battalion no. 47 of BSF. The BSF constable reportedly entered into their respective houses by breaking the front door and then subjected the abovementioned two men to severe beating, in presence of their family members. Thereafter, the BSF constables took them to the nearby BSF Camp, where they were allegedly subjected to torture, including electric shocks.
According to the same information, on 27 March 2011, almost 17 hours after their arrest, the BSF took Mr. Mijanur Molla and Mr. Jalil Gazi Mondal to Swarupnagar Police Station, where the BSF filed a written complaint against Mr. Mijanur Molla and Mr. Jalil Gazi Mondal accusing each of them of carrying more than 10 kg of Ganja (cannabis). The police subsequently registered a First Information Report (FIR) under section 20(b)(ii) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act and then prepared a seizure list in presence of the BSF constables but without any independent witness being present, stating that the aforementioned amount of Ganja was recovered from both Mr. Mijanur Molla and Mr. Jalil Gazi Mondal. The BSF have also not given any explanation for the delay of almost 17 hours between the arrest of Mr. Mijanur Molla and Mr. Jalil Gazi Mondal and their transfer to the nearest police station, namely Swarupnagar Police Station, although Section 52(3) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act requires that a person arrested under the Act be presented to the officer-in-charge of the nearest police station without unnecessary delay.
On 23 March 2011, Mr. Mijanur Molla and Mr. Jalil Gazi Mondal were reportedly produced before the Additional Sessions Judge 6th Court in the city of Barasat. They both remain detained at Swarupnagar Police Station pending trial, after the bail applications that had been filed in court were rejected. OMCT has also been informed that, since the beginning of their detention, Mr. Mijanur Molla and Mr. Jalil Gazi Mondal have been denied access to their families, a doctor and a lawyer.
On 26 March 2011, the families of both Mr. Mijanur Molla and Mr. Jalil Gazi Mondal submitted one written complaint before the Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Basirhat, North 24 Parganas, regarding the arrest of their relatives from their house by BSF constables without disclosing any reason. On 1 April 2011, Ms. Tajlima Bibi, Mr. Mijanur Molla’s wife, also submitted one written complaint before the same SDPO, regarding the acts of torture, including the electric shocks, inflicted by the BSF constables to her husband in their home and at the BSF camp. There is currently no information available on the existence of any investigation or progress of investigation regarding these complaints.
OMCT is concerned for the safety of Mr. Mijanur Molla and Mr. Jalil Gazi Mondal and recalls that the authorities are legally bound to effectively ensure the physical and psychological integrity of all persons deprived of liberty in accordance with international human rights law. The authorities must also ensure that Mr. Mijanur Molla and Mr. Jalil Gazi Mondal are afforded their rights to access to effective counsel, their families and medical assistance.
OMCT also calls on the competent authorities to ensure that the investigation into the allegations of torture and other ill-treatment of Mr. Mijanur Molla and Mr. Jalil Gazi Mondal is carried out promptly, effectively, thoroughly, independently and impartially, in accordance with international human rights standards, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law.
Please write to the authorities in India/ West Bengal urging them to:
- Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Mijanur Molla and Mr. Jalil Gazi Mondal;
- Grant them immediate and full access to a lawyer of their choice and their families, as well as guarantee that they are promptly examined by independent doctors and receive adequate and free medical care, in accordance, inter alia, with the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners;
- Order their immediate release in the absence of valid legal charges that are consistent with international law and standards, or, if such charges exist, bring them promptly before an impartial, independent and competent tribunal and guarantee their procedural rights at all times;
- Carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the allegations of torture and other ill-treatment of Mr. Mijanur Molla and Mr. Jalil Gazi Mondal in accordance with international human rights standards, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
- Ensure that an effective remedy as well as the right to full redress, including compensation, is granted to the victims;
- Guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.
- Mr. Shri Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, Prime Minister’s Office, Room number 152, South Block, New Delhi, Fax: + 91 11 2301 6857;
- Mr. P. Chidambaram, Union Minister of Home Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, 104-107 North Block, New Delhi 110 001 India, Fax: +91 11 2309 2979;
- Hon'ble Mr. Justice S.H. Kapadia, Chief Justice of India, Supreme Court, Tilak Marg, New Delhi -1, Fax: +91 11 233 83792, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Justice K. G. Balakrishnan, Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission of India, Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi 110 001, Fax: +91 11 2334 0016, Email: email@example.com;
- Jusice N. C. Sil, Acting Chairman, West Bengal Human Rights Commission, Bhabani Bhaban, Alipur, Kolkata -27. Fax +91 33 24799633, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
- M. K. Narayanan, Governor, West Bengal, Raj Bhaban, Kolkata – 62, Phone: +91 33-2200 1641, Fax: +91 33 – 2200 2444 / 2200 1649, email@example.com;
- Mr. Sri Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Chief Minister, Government of West Bengal, Writers’ Buildings, BBD Bagh, Kolkata – 1, Fax - +91 33 22145480, Email - firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com;
- Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations (Geneva), Rue du Valais 9, 1202 Geneva, Tel: +41 22 906 86 86, Fax: +41 22 906 86 96, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of India in your respective country.
Geneva, 20 July 2011.
 FIR no. 70/2011 dated 27.3.2011.