Friday, February 24, 2012

Torture at Border : 8 BSF jawans to face court martial

The Indian Border Security Force has initiated court martial proceedings against eight of its personnel seen in a video torturing a Bangladeshi youth in West Bengal state's Murshidabad district last month.

The suspended eight personnel, according to BSF chief Utthan K Bansal, were found "prima facie" guilty after a court of inquiry was conducted into the incident. 

The personnel can put up their defence during the court martial.

"The staff court of inquiry [into the incident] has been completed. Now, we are ordering a court martial where the record of evidence will be taken. That is the procedure under the BSF act. After that, the presiding officer will decide the level of punishment," the BSF director general said yesterday.

"Prima facie, they have been found guilty. Now, the extent of the guilt and what defence they [the eight jawans] have to put forward...all that is part of the court procedure and once we have that, we will further take action. The presiding officer will decide the punishment," he added.

Captured by a mobile phone, the footage was on aired Indian television channels last month, showing the BSF troopers stripping and kicking Abdul Sheikh, 32, of Abasia in Chapainawabganj.

He was allegedly smuggling cattle across the border when BSF troops had intercepted him.

The eight personnel belong to the 105th battalion of the border guarding force and the incident took place in its Charmurasi boundary outpost in Murshidabad.