statesman news service
KOLKATA, 12 JUNE: Border Security Force jawans killed a fourteen-year-old boy in the border area of Nadia District and threw his body over into Bangladesh, a human rights NGO has alleged in a complaint to the National Human Rights Commission.
The Border Security Force’s Kolkata Headquarters did not respond today to a request for comment about the allegation.
The fourteen-year-old boy was picked up by the BSF in the late evening on 10 May, said Mr Kirity Roy, secretary of Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (Masum), an NGO that works in the border areas. He filed a complaint with the commission a couple of days ago.
The boy had gone home from a concert where his mother was singing, in order to charge his mother’s phone and “after that he took the alley adjoining to the fence as he was scared of snakes on the usual road,” said the complaint.
“At that time two BSF personnel from Tungi BSF camp apprehended him on suspicion that he was a smuggler and dragged him to the said BSF camp,” it continues, offering the names of local eye-witnesses.
When family members went the next day to get the boy, the BSF denied they had taken him into custody, Masum said. His body was later found by some farmers on the Bangladesh side of the border. The victim’s uncle lodged an FIR at the local police station in Krishnaganj.
It’s not the first complaint made by Masum in recent months involving children and the BSF. In April, the NGO wrote to the National Human Rights Commission alleging that a BSF soldier from Gunrajpur border out-post in North 24-Parganas had sexually abused two minors in late March. The BSF did not respond to a request for comment about that case.
“In 80 per cent of cases where there is child abuse by the BSF it is not reported,” the secretary of Masum, Mr Roy, said today. “Only in 20 per cent of cases do they raise the issue.”
Complaints are “generally amicably settled by involving the local panchayat leaders who are also involved in smuggling and have a nexus with the BSF," he said.
In April, Masum had written to the National Human Rights Commission alleging that a BSF soldier from Gunrajpur border out-post in North 24-Parganas had sexually abused two minors in late March