Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dhaka protests

Dhaka yesterday officially lodged protest with New Delhi over an incident of torture of a Bangladeshi man by the Indian Border Security Force last month.

"The Government of Bangladesh has conveyed its utter dismay about the incident to the Indian side. It has protested such abusive and violent action by BSF personnel despite repeated assurance from the Indian leadership about exercize of utmost restraint by BSF personnel," said a Bangladesh foreign ministry press release. 

"The Ministry has also requested the concerned authorities of India to conduct a thorough enquiry into the incident and take appropriate action against the BSF personnel responsible for the abusive and violent action. The Ministry has also requested for immediate action to prevent such and other violent incidents from recurring in future," the release added.

The protest was conveyed through the Indian high commission in Dhaka.

Different Indian TV channels including NDTV aired a video on Wednesday showing several BSF personnel beating up a stripped off Bangladeshi man, tying his hands at the back to a stick in Murshidabad district of Paschimbanga.

A senior official of the Bangladesh foreign ministry said yesterday, "We are highly disappointed with such a barbaric incident. We have asked Border Guard Bangladesh to give an inquiry report immediately."

The official said BGB already identified the victim and the investigation report is expected to reach the foreign ministry very soon.

"The incident is very unfortunate and we are disappointed," Mashfee Binte Shams, director general (South Asia) of the foreign ministry, told The Daily Star.

Reporting on the Indian authorities' move, our New Delhi correspondent quoted a spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs as saying, "BSF has taken prompt action to suspend its jawans involved in the incident, and full investigations have been ordered into the matter."

"Eight personnel have been identified and suspended pending enquiry," said Vikas Chandra, deputy inspector general at the BSF headquarters.

The suspended jawans have been identified as constables Birender Tiwari, VS Victor, Dhananjay Kumar Rai, Anand Singh, Amar Jyoti, Sanjeev KR, Suresh Chand, and Sunil Kumar.

They belong to the 105th battalion of BSF, and the incident took place at the Charmurasi border outpost.
A staff court of inquiry has been ordered by the BSF inspector general of the South Bengal Frontier to probe the incident.

"Vijay Kumar, commandant of BSF's 119 battalion, who is from a sector other than the place where the incident had happened, has been detailed to conduct the probe," a statement issued by the BSF headquarters said yesterday.

BSF sources said BGB will be requested to bring the victim to the zero-line for questioning and recording of a statement, and the enquiry report is expected to be submitted soon.

They said "strict disciplinary action" will be taken against the eight jawans based on the findings of the enquiry.