NHRC rejects BSF authority’s report, awards Rs 6.5 lakhs compensation to victims

New Delhi: The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) today welcomed the order of the National Human Rights Commission (http://www.nhrc.nic.in/dispArchive.asp?fno=1892) that directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased, Masud Rana Sarkar and Rs 50,000 each to those injured in the assault by the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in South Dinajpur district in West Bengal. Rana was tortured to death by the BSF personnel on 5 March 2007 and three others were injured in the assault.

The NHRC took up the case after it received a complaint from the ACHR on 20 March 2007 alleging torture of the family members of Latifur Rahman Sarkar resulting in the death of his son, Masud Rana Sarkar (19 years) by the personnel of 72nd BSF at Daudpur village under Kumarganj police station in South Dinajpur district on 5 March 2007.

The General Security Force Court (GSFC) of the BSF had exonerated all the five accused BSF personnel who were tried for committing offences under Section 45 of BSF Act and rules i.e. ‘committing a civil offence’ read with Sections 302 and 323 Indian Penal Code i.e. ‘culpable homicide amounting to murder’ and ‘voluntarily causing hurt’. The Director General of the BSF requested the NHRC to close the case without providing the grounds on which the accused personnel were exonerated in the first place.

However, the Magisterial Enquiry Report submitted by the District Magistrate, South Dinajpur clearly established that a group of BSF personnel caused grievous injuries to the victims, including two women and the deceased died due to the injuries. Based on the magisterial inquiry, the NHRC recommended to the Ministry of Home Affairs to pay compensation to the victims and submit proof of payment and compliance report within six weeks.

“This is a case where the defence establishment tried to bury the truth. The ACHR appreciates the NHRC’s judgement that refused to go by the report of the BSF authorities and accepted the report of the Magisterial Inquiry Report.”, stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of ACHR.

“The ACHR will request the NHRC to recommend to the Ministry of Home Affairs to take appropriate legal action against the accused based on the findings of the District Magistrate of South Dinajpur,” further stated Mr Chakma

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