BANGLADESH/INDIA: Report on human rights violations by the Indian Border Security Force in the Indo-Bangladesh border 

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is forwarding a press release issued by Odhikar, a human rights organization in Bangladesh, on 5 February 2005, with regard to human rights violations committed by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) in the Indo-Bangladesh border. The press release was written based on Odhikar’s report which covers the last five years (from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2004).

The AHRC has also been raising our deep concern about the violations by committed by the BSF through previous urgent appeals. The latest such appeal was about a young man who was killed by the BSF’s firing in the South Dinajpur district, West Bengal, India on 23 January 2005 (See further: UA-18-2005).

If you have questions or want to know more about the report, please do not hesitate to contact Odhikar.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

February 05, 2005

Odhikar report on human rights violations in the Indo-Bangladesh border

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) and Indian miscreants kill 357 Bangladeshis in five years, push-in attempt creates inhuman situation in the border areas

Bangladesh is bordered on three sides by India and frequent disruptions erupt in the border areas. Incidents of small conflicts and tension are common phenomena in the border areas. Trespass into Bangladesh by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) has caused terrible human rights violations in many of the border areas. Bangladeshi people are killed and kidnapping and incidents of mugging and extortion have been alleged to occur.

As many as 357 Bangladeshis were killed inside the Bangladesh territory by armed Indian hoodlums and members of the Border Security Force (BSF) in the last five years, according to a report by Odhikar, a human rights organization in Bangladesh. The report, which was prepared on the basis of compilation of reports from national dailies, said Indian criminals and members of the BSF violated human rights in a total of 1,774 incidents from 1 January, 2000 to 31 December, 2004.

The incidents – include murder, abduction and mugging – reportedly took place in the north and southwestern border areas, following intrusion of the BSF and Indian criminals into Bangladesh. According to Odhikar report, most of the victims were local peasants, farmers and agricultural workers.

During the same span of time, 37 people including 8 children went missing, 453 people were injured, 467 arrested, 462 abducted and five women were raped, while 48 incidents of snatching and looting occurred – all allegedly by members of the BSF and Indian hoodlums they allowed to enter into Bangladesh territory.

Seventy six people were killed by BSF and Indkan miscreants fvom 1 January, 2004 to 31 December 2004. During same period,/35 people were knjured, 9 were arrested and 73 were abducted while 5 incidents of snatching took place by BSF.

BSF and Indian citizens were responsible for 43 deaths, 82 injuries, 120 abductions, 7 missing, two rapes of Bangladeshis and 8 incidents of snatching in the year 2003.

One hundred and five people were killed by BSF and Indian miscreants from 1 January, to 31 December 2002. During the same period, 54 people were injured, 30 people including 8 children went missing, 366 were arrested and 118 were abducted while 12 incidents of snatching took place by BSF.

BSF killed 94 Bangladeshis in the year 2001. In their hands, 244 people got injured, 60 people were arrested, 45 people were abducted and one person was raped. Ten incidents of snatching took place during the same period.

During the year 2000, 39 Bangladeshis were killed, 38 were injured, 11 were arrested, 106 were abducted and two women were raped by BSF and Indian miscreants. Thirteen incidents of snatching also took place in border areas during the same period.

The gravest situation developed in the border areas during push-in attempts of BSF. Bangla speaking minority Indian citizens were brought in from various provinces of India by BSF in the Indo-Bangladesh border. Branding them as illegal Bangladeshis, BSF tried to push these people inside Bangladesh territory through various parts of the border areas. This has created tense and inhuman situation. Among these groups, majority were female and children whom BSF positioned in front of push-in groups as shield against resistance from Bangladesh border force BDR. Push-in attempts were made at the dead of night, early morning and in cold weather. The fateless Indian people caught stranded in the no-man’s land in between weapons of border security forces of two neighbouring countries without food and water for long time. In most of the instances, BDR pushed these people back into Indian territory but they were not allowed to move from border areas by Indian BSF. Most of these people belong to low-income group and were forced to live in inhuman condition in border areas. Odhikar thinks that attempt of push-in of Bangla speaking Indian citizens might cause large scale border conflict anytime between the two neighbouring countries.

Odhikar demands proper international investigation and trial of alleged killing, abduction and rape of Bangladeshi citizens by the Indian BSF. Odhikar also demands investigation of push-in attempts by Indian BSF and trial of persons responsible. Odhikar appeals to international human rights community to campaign against misdeeds and push-in of Indian citizens by BSF.

Masood Alam Ragib Ahsan
House # 35 (Ground Floor), Road # 117
Gulshan, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh
Tel: +880-2-9888587
Fax: +880-2-9886208

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

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Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : FA-04-2005
Countries : Bangladesh,