Ms. Chintamoni Mondal & her son
1 February 2013
National Human Rights Commission
I want to draw your attention on our complaint dated 20.4.2012, about ghastly torture perpetrated upon Mr. Bharat Mondal, belongs to Schedule Caste community, by posted Border Security Force personnel at Murshidabad district. The background of the incident; Mr. Bharat Mondal was an agrarian laborer before losing his lands to erosion by the river. This is a problem also faced by many of Bharat’s neighbors, and like them, Bharat had no means of livelihood or income to support his family of six. Although Bharat has a job entitlement card under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 scheme, he did not get any work, and so had to allegedly resort to cross-border smuggling of cattle for income.
It is revealed in our fact finding that around 8am on 30 December 2011, Bharat attempted to smuggle seven or eight head of cattle across the border when the Border Security Forces (BSF) jawans apprehended him. They roughly handled him, stripped him naked and assaulted him severely. The BSF hit him repeatedly with wooden sticks and rifle butts and also kicked him with boot clad feet. Bharat’s left arm was broken as a result of the violent assault. Bharat bled profusely and lost consciousness, whereupon the BSF jawans left him to die.
When Bharat’s wife, Ms Chintamoni Mondal, heard about the torture and critical condition of her husband, she rushed to the scene with a few neighbors and brought Bharat to Godhanpara Block Primary Health Centre for treatment. The doctor who attended to Bharat at GBPHC referred Bharat to the Domkal Sub-Divisional Hospital and Baharampur New General Hospital because of the severity of Bharat’s condition. We also informed the Commission that though his family desperately needs the income, Bharat’s condition precludes the possibility of returning to work.
The BSF personnel subsequently warned Bharat’s family and neighbours against registering a complaint at the police station or disclosing details of the incident to others. Yet the aggrieved family somehow plucked up the courage to make a written report before the Superintendent of Police of Murshidabad on 23 March 2012 and forwarded a copy of that complaint to the Officer-in-Charge of Raninagar Police Station. Individuals who had witnessed the incident include Mr Sri Nath Mondal (son of Mr Amir Chand Mondal), Mr Panchanan Mondal (son of Mr. Dhananjay Mondal), Ms Sumitra Mondal (wife of Mr Sri Nath Mondal) and other residents of the Char Sahebnagar Village, Harudanga Post Office under the jurisdiction of Raninagar Police Station in Murshidabad. Despite the effort to pursue the matter through established branches of the justice system, the police have not taken any action to investigate and prosecute the BSF jawans responsible for the senseless, unprovoked and violent attack on Bharat which forced his wife to make a complaint before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate; Lalbagh’s Court under section 156 (3) of Criminal Procedure Code against the perpetrators.
In this given context, Mr. Bharat Mondal’s family is living under severe distress and penury. His wife; Ms. Chintamani Mondal made an appeal before the Block Development Officer of Raninagar II Block on 8.10.2012, copying it to the District Magistrate of Murshidabad district where she narrated her woes and requested for an early respite but till date no action has been taken. Mr. Bharat Mondal lost all his physical ability to work and more or less in a crippled physical condition due to torture perpetrated upon him by the BSF. His family consists of his wife and four minor children; all aged between 5 to 15 years, and out of school. Though, Bharat’s wife made subsequent request to local Panchayet for enlistment in BPL category but unheeded. Her dwelling (a hutment) is in dilapidated condition and during the last monsoon she with her minor children and ailing husband forced to spend nights on open fields. She is in very week physical condition and worried about very physical existence of her family. She visited the said BDO in number of times and requested for governmental deliverances but without any respite.
I am requesting your Commission to direct the relevant authority to extend the livelihood options (i.e. BPL card, NVNG, Annapurna, etc) to this tortured family who are living in brinks of extinction.
National Convener- PACTI
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