BSF killing innocents, says rights body

Thursday, December 9, 2010

KOLKATA - Human Rights Watch Thursday accused the Border Security Force (BSF) of killing innocents along the Bangladesh border, but the paramilitary denied the charge.

“The BSF has gone out of control. With permission to shoot any suspect in Indian territory, it has killed over 1,000 people in the past 10 years,” Human Rights Watch South Asia director Meenakshi Ganguly said here.

“The BSF personnel are not punished for their wrongdoings… That is why the killings are going on.” she said.

The BSF denied the allegation, saying those killed included those who attacked its personnel at the border.

BSF Inspector General C.V. Murlidhar told IANS that orders banning the assembly of people were imposed along the India-Bangladesh border between sunset and sunrise.

“So if such people are innocent, why should they assemble near the border at night?

“We have intelligence inputs that ammunition and fake Indian currency are also smuggled by cattle smugglers. How can we allow them to infiltrate into Indian territory,” Murlidhar asked.

He said if any BSF trooper was found guilty, action was taken against him. “Our enquiry process is so fast that no one can allege that BSF men are not punished for wrongdoings.”

Ganguly said: “The government should prosecute BSF soldiers responsible for violating the right to life. Proper measures should also be taken to compensate the victims’ families.”

She urged the Bangladesh government to take necessary steps as several of the victims were Bangladeshi nationals.

She admitted that in many instances, victims of the BSF were found to be smugglers, but she added that they should be dealt with as per the law of the land.

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