Case IND 030412/ IND 030412.CC
URGENT CAMPAIGNS/ CHILD CONCERNS
Alleged extra-judicial killings
The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in India/ West Bengal
Brief description of the situation
The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), a member of OMCT SOS-Torture Network, about the alleged extrajudicial killings of three minors, Sukumar Mondal aged around 15, Sunil Mondal aged 16, Raju Mondal aged about 17 and one adult, Babar Seikh aged about 19, near the village of Ranitala, in the district of Murshidabad.
According to the information received, at around midnight on 31 December 2011, Sukumar Mondal, Sunil Mondal, Raju Mondal and Babar Seikh were killed in front of Harudanga Mini Border Security Force (BSF) BOP Camp, near the Golpal rivulet situated at Nirmal Char by a group of about 30 members of the BSF, attached to the 105 Battalion, Harudanga BSF mini camp. Sukumar Mondal, Sunil Mondal, Raju Mondal and Babar Seikh were reportedly trying to smuggle cows when the BSF stopped them by firing from flare guns. The BSF then allegedly surrounded the four individuals, who were hiding in the ice cold rivulet, and started to beat them with sticks while preventing them to get out of the water.
On the following days, on 1 January 2012 and 2 January 2012, local villagers found the bodies of Sukumar Mondal, Sunil Mondal, Raju Mondal and Babar Seikh. They were then transferred to Lalbagh Sub Divisional Hospital for a post mortem examination. According to testimonies provided by villagers, the bodies had marks all over, in particular the body of Sukumar Mondal.
According to the same information, family members of the deceased made written complaints on 27 January 2012 to the Superintendent of Police of the Murshidabad district, after they were prevented to lodge a complaint at the police station against the BSF. It is reported that the Ranitala Police initiated four unnatural death cases (Case No. 1 and 2 for Sunil Mondal and Sukumar Mondal, dated 2 January 2012; and Case No. 3 and 4 for Babar Seikh and Raju Mondal, dated 3 January 2012). However, to date, no information on the status of the investigation has been reportedly disclosed.
OMCT has also been informed that, on 25 March 2012, family members of Sukumar Mondal, Sunil Mondal, Raju Mondal and Babar Seikh, along with other individuals, were stopped by four members of the BSF, attached to the Kaharpara BSF BOP, Company Head Quarter’s Out Post No. 1, when they were coming back in a rickshaw from a medical camp organised in Padma by MASUM. The four BSF members allegedly started to beat and verbally abuse them. They also threatened them in relation to the complaints saying that ‘you are making campaigns against BSF’.
The International Secretariat of OMCT is gravely concerned about the circumstances of the killing of Sukumar Mondal, Sunil Mondal, Raju Mondal and Babar Seikh and therefore calls on the competent authorities to ensure that an investigation is carried out promptly, effectively, thoroughly, independently and impartially, in accordance with international human rights standards, inter alia, with the UN Principle on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions, 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.
OMCT recalls that the authorities have to fulfil their obligations under the Indian Constitution and under international human rights law to protect the right to life and the right not to be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and to bringing to justice those responsible for violating this right.
OMCT has indeed documented many cases of indiscriminate killings and torture committed by the BSF over the years in West Bengal, against both Indian and Bangladeshi nationals, in an alleged effort to contain illegal cross-border activities. Although in some cases complaints were lodged, no effective investigations have been carried out and no perpetrators were brought to justice.
Please write to the authorities in India urging them to:
- Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of the families of Sukumar Mondal, Sunil Mondal, Raju Mondal and Babar Seikh;
- Put an end to any act of harassment against the victims’ families;
- Carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the circumstances of the killing of Sukumar Mondal, Sunil Mondal, Raju Mondal and Babar Seikh, and the threats and beatings against the members of their families, 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 adequate, effective and prompt reparation is granted to the victims’ families;
- Guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards
Ø Mr. Shri Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, Prime Minister’s Office, Room number 152, South Block, New Delhi, Fax: + 91 11 2301 6857;
Ø 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;
Ø 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;
Ø 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;
Ø Mr. Satyabrata Pal, Member, National Human Rights Commission of India, Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi 110 001, Fax: +91 11 2334 0016, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Ø Jusice N. C. Sil, Acting Chairman, West Bengal Human Rights Commission, Bhabani Bhaban, Alipur, Kolkata -27. Fax +91 33 24799633, Email: email@example.com;
Ø M. K. Narayanan, Governor, West Bengal, Raj Bhaban, Kolkata – 62, Phone: +91 33-2200 1641, Fax: +91 33 – 2200 2444 / 2200 1649, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Ø Miss Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister, Government of West Bengal, Writers’ Buildings, BBD Bagh, Kolkata – 1, Fax - +91 33 22145480, Email - email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Ø 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: email@example.com
Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of India in your respective country.
Geneva, 3 April 2012