Monday, September 05, 2011

Human Rights Defender faces constant threat by the BSF

Kirity Roy
Secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM)
National Convenor, Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity (PACTI)

40A, Barabagan Lane (4th Floor), Balaji Place, Shibtala, Srirampur
Hooghly 712203
West Bengal

Kanai Mondal threatened by the BSF:

In a shocking turn of affairs Human Rights Defender faces constant threat by the BSF personnel for keeping in touch with us. Mr. Kanai Mondal, son of Late Lakhindar Mondal of Char Rajanagar village, post office - Char Rajapur, police station Raninagar, is an old friend and well-wisher of MASUM. He is a strong propagator of human rights and has been instrumental in spreading human rights awareness in his locality.  

On the 30th of August 2011, Char Mourashi Camp in-charge of Border Security Force threatened Mr. Kanai Mondal for dire consequences and of framing false charges as soon as he goes for tilling his land. His land (dag number: 12, 13 and 32 under Mauza – Char Katlamari) is at the lining of the international Indo-Bangladesh border. It must be mentioned here that the area does not have any fencing and is open, divided by the river Padma. BSF personnel are posted nearly 2-3 kilometers inside the Indian Territory. So people have cultivation land behind the Out Posts of BSF, have to take regular permission to visit their lands in Indian Territory. Thus every time Kanai Mondal visits his land he has to come across the BSF personnel. Mr. Kanai Mondal was in the process of cultivating lentils in his land, but as a result of the threat he has stopped going to his land.

Kanai Mondal was threatened previously:

This is not the 1st time that Kanai Mondal has been threatened by the BSF, only on July 13th 2011, the BSF came in two vehicles, fully armed and threatened Kanai Mondal with a gun in his head of dire consequences if he further indulges in human rights activities. This threat came as a result of Kanai Mondal hanging human rights posters provided by us (asking the local people to stand up for their rights against torture perpetrated by the BSF). We at MASUM had filed a complaint with the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi – 1 on the same day.

BSF also made a false accusation against Mr. Kanai Mondal vide Raninagar Police Station Case No. 152/08 (G.R. No.-820/08) dated 23.07.2008 under Sections 147/ 148/ 149/ 186/ 333/ 325/ 326 of Indian Penal Code. This case was registered after BSF killed a minor boy, Shilajit Mondal because he tried with his best to save the life of the victim.

Reason behind the threat (victim of BSF torture Mr. Mahadeb Mondal):

Again, the threat of 30th of August 2011, came as a result of Kanai Mondal standing by Mahadeb Mondal, (son of Babulal Mondal, aged about-44 years,  by occupation- farmer, residing at village-Char Rajanagar, Police Station-Raninagar, District-Murshidabad). It must be mentioned here that Mr. Mohadeb Mondal is also a victim of BSF torture, that on 7.5.2011 at about 12 O’clock Mahadeb Mondal, while working in his farming land, which is near Char Mourasi BSF Camp, Police Station- Raninagar, District-Murshidabad), was out of no rhyme or reason beaten up and injured by three BSF Constables from Char Mourasi BSF Camp (BOP Post under Kaharpara BSF Company Head Quarter under Raninagar Police Station, District-Murshidabad). The perpetrator BSF constables had also caused further mischief to the farming land of the victim by looting huge quantity of “Green Potato” (‘Potol’ in Bangla language) from his land and snatched away his voter identity card no.WB/09105/618206.

The Mohadeb Mondal along with his father then went to Raninagar Police Station with a written complaint disclosing the incident but the police only recorded the matter in General Diary Entry Book vide Raninagar Police Station GDE no. 357/2011 dated 7.5.2011. The police did not take any action whatsoever against the accused BSF constables. The victim sustained injuries due to the assault perpetrated by the BSF jawans for which he underwent medical treatment at the Godhanpara Primary Health Centre. 

MASUM, sent a complaint to the Inspector General, Border Security Force, South Bengal Frontier, 2B Lord Sinha Road, Kolkata – 71, on the 14th of July 2011, demanding the BSF authorities to issue strict caution to the BSF personnel posted in the border areas and forbidding them from indulging into any unlawful activities thereby causing damage and mischief to the livelihood and peaceful living of the people residing there. We also demanded a neutral enquiry into the incident of Mahadeb Mondal and asked the BSF authorities to direct the local police to initiate legal proceeding against the accused BSF constables and recover the vorter identity card that had been snatched away from the victim. Lastly but not the least we have also demanded that the victim be adequately compensated for the physical and psychological torture that he underwent and for the property that has been damaged.

Kanai Mondal stands in solidarity with Mahadeb Mondal:

On the 30th of August, Mahaded Mondal was asked to visit the BSF camp in order to sign a paper for withdrawing his case. But Mahaded Mondal was not willing to drop his case so instead he met HRD Mr. Kanai Mondal and informed him about the BSF proposition. Kanai Mondal promptly called us at the MASUM office and asked for our suggestion on the matter. We asked Kanai Mondal to inform Mahadeb Mondal not to meet with the BSF untill and unless they give him a letter in writing regarding the same. Mahadeb Mondal, meticulously followed the suggestion offered by MASUM and informed the BSF of his willingness to visit the camp if and only if they gave him in writing, to come and visit their camp. 

It took the BSF no time to figure out that it was Kanai Mondal who had actually stood by Mahadeb and taken our support and that the information of the BSF misdeeds had reached MASUM office through Kanai Mondal. Thus they came and threatened him for life and framing false charges to implicate him.

Now, Mr. Kanai Mondal is under threat and as a result cannot visit or cultivate his land. He has to flee away from his house and for last two days he is in our office. It is a crucial situation at the moment since if he is unable to plant the lentils in his land then he will have to go without income or food for the rest of the year.


• carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the incidents with a view to bring those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;
• Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological security and integrity of the victim so that he can carry his livelihood peacefully.
• The authorities should also create an enabling environment and ensure respect for the rights of individuals in West Bengal engaged in the peaceful promotion of respect for human rights.

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