Posts Tagged ‘CRPF’

Urgent Appeal: An old man assaulted by the Central Reserve Police in Assam

April 8, 2011

BARAK HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION COMMITTEE

Urgent Appeal No. BHRPC Case No 64/2011/UA/25/211 Dated: 9 April 2011

Dear Friends,

Acting on the information provided by Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC), the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) issued an Urgent Appeal concerning the case of torture of a 66-year-old person, his aged wife and son by a group of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officers at the victim’s residence. No action was taken upon a complaint filed at the Silchar Sadar police station concerning the incident. It is reported that the Office-in-Charge (OC), instead of investigating the case is demanding that Fariz settle his complaint against the CRPF and rather withdraw it should he not dare facing yet another assault from the CRPF. Fariz filed another complaint at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which was also not acted upon. Please take the suggested actions.

Yours sincerely

Waliullah Ahmed Laskar

Urgent Appeal Desk

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee

Rongpur, Silchar-9, Assam, India

INDIA: An old man assaulted by the Central Reserve Police in Assam

April 8, 2011

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-074-2011

Send an appeal letter

8 April 2011

——————————————————
INDIA: An old man assaulted by the Central Reserve Police in Assam

ISSUES: Torture; Impunity; Martial law; Rule of law

——————————————————

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) concerning the case of torture of a 66-year-old person, his aged wife and son by a group of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officers at the victim’s residence. It is reported that the CRPF tortured Mr. Fariz Uddin Barbhuiya, his wife and son on 27 July 2010 causing serious injuries to the old man. The CRPF assaulted Fariz since he had protested against the CRPF concerning a civil dispute. Fariz had to be hospitalised at the Silchar Medical College Hospital (SMCH) to recover from the injuries. No action was taken upon a complaint filed at the Silchar Sadar police station concerning the incident. It is reported that the Office-in-Charge (OC), instead of investigating the case is demanding that Fariz settle his complaint against the CRPF and rather withdraw it should he not dare facing yet another assault from the CRPF. Fariz filed another complaint at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which was also not acted upon. Fariz is a retired CRPF constable.

CASE NARRATIVE:

A team of about ten CRPF personnel entered the Fariz’s house and assaulted him along with his wife and son on 27 July 2010. Fariz was seriously injured in the incident and had to be hospitalised. The CRPF is a paramilitary force in India.

Fariz is a retired CRPF constable living in front of the 147 battalion of the CRPF camp. Fariz’s house is within the jurisdiction of Silchar Sadar Police Station in Cachar district of Assam state. Fariz supports his family with his pension and the earnings from a small shop where he sells betel nuts and operates a public call office (PCO). Fariz alleges that he was assaulted for protesting against the CRPF concerning a civil contract.

Fariz alleges that one Mr. Radheshyam Sahu, had obtained permission to cut and sell grass from the CRPF 147 battalion campus through a public auction. Thereafter, Sahu entered into a contract with Fariz on 22 April 2010 allowing Fariz to cut and sell grass for which he paid Sahu Rs. 7,500.00. Few days later, Fariz came to know that Sahu had allowed another person to cut and sell grass from the same campus. Aggrieved by the breach of contract, Fariz went to Sahu and demanded an explanation.

It is reported that Sahu ignored Fariz’s question and misbehaved to him. Fariz was disappointed and on 26 June complained to the commander of the battalion, Mr. T. K Hati, asking him to intervene. The commander reportedly informed Fariz that it was him who allowed the other person to cut and sell grass from the campus. Fariz then reminded the commander about the contract and requested the commander to return his money.

Fariz alleges that the officer shouted abuses at him when he demanded the officer to return the money. The officer then threatened Fariz and warned him that he will be taught a lesson for daring to demand the return of the money from a superior officer. Fariz went home disappointed. Fariz stated that following his argument with the commandant, a team of more than ten CRPF personnel accompanied by Mr. Sahu came to Fariz’s house at around 4.30pm on 27 July. Fariz claims that the team was led by the commander Mr. Hati and accompanied by CRPF constables Mr. Abani Nath, Mr. Shashi Bhushan, and Havildar Mr. Amir Uddin Laskar.

Fariz claims that the officers forcibly entered the house and started beating him without any warning. The officers assaulted Fariz with gun butts. The officers then kicked Fariz and punched him on his head and other parts of his body. Fariz’s wife, Aftarun Nessa Barbhuiya, and his son, Asif Akhtar Barbhuiya, tried to intervene and requested the officers to spare the old man. Fariz was lying on the ground soaked with blood. However, it is alleged that the CRPF then assaulted Aftarun Nessa and Asif Akhtar.

Fariz further alleges that the officers then damaged furniture, utensils and other valuable things in his house. Fariz claims that the officers then took the cash box of his shop that had approximately Rs. 2500.00 in it at the time. When the officers left, they warned Fariz against complaining to the authorities or to the police about the incident. The officers also threatened the family that they would be charged with false cases of keeping illegal firearms and ammunition if they sought help from the human rights organisations or informed the media. After the officers left the family called an ambulance and took Fariz to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital (SMCH). Fariz was admitted at the SMCH and after a few days when his health improved discharged from the hospital.

It is reported that Fariz filed a complaint at the Silchar Sadar Police Station on 28 July 2010 concerning the incident and requesting the police to take appropriate actions against the CRPF officers. The police registered an FIR (First Information Report) based on the complaint as Silchar PS (police station) Case No. 1445/10 under Sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 448 (punishment for house-trespass), 325 (punishment for causing grievous hurt), 323 (punishment for causing hurt), 427 (mischief causing damage), 307 (attempt to murder) and 149 (punishment of being a member of unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC). Sub-Inspector Mr. Jitu Mani Goswami was the investigating officer (IO) of the case.

Fariz, however, alleges that the IO was not investigating the case. Instead, the Officer-in-Charge (OC) of the Silchar Sadar Police Station was demanding Fariz to come to an amicable settlement with the accused CRPF personnel and withdraw the complaint. Another complaint was then filed at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on 5 February 2011 with the help of local human rights group, Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC). BHRPC informs that there have been no responses from the NHRC yet concerning the case.

BHRPC and Fariz allege that the assault and theft was a punishment for daring to complain to the CRPF commandant as well as demanding money back from the officer, which the officer viewed as challenging his authority, that too by a retired and old former constable. In places like Assam in India, the CRPF and other paramilitary units have absolute impunity wherever they are posted. The AHRC has reported more than 300 cases of torture, murder and rape committed by the CRPF and other paramilitary units in India over the past six years. Most of these cases find some action only when the AHRC makes the incident public. The AHRC has also noted that in many cases the victims refuse to speak about the incident due to fear of further assault or threat from these agencies. India also does not have any form of witness protection laws or mechanisms.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write letters to the authorities listed below asking them to intervene in the case immediately.

The AHRC is also writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the question of torture seeking an intervention in the case.

To support this appeal click here

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

INDIA: Please investigate the case of assault by the CRPF of a 66-year-old man at his residence along with his wife and son

Name of victims:

1. Mr. Fariz Uddin Barbhuiya aged about 66 years residing within the jurisdiction of Silchar Sadar police station in Cachar district of Assam state

2. Ms. Aftarun Nessa Barbhuiya, wife of Fariz

3. Mr. Asif Akhtar Barbhuiya, son of Fariz

Names of alleged perpetrators:

1. Mr.Radheshyam Sahu, owner of the High Tech Communication shop

2. Mr. TK Hati, commander of the 147 battalion of CRPF camp stationed under the jurisdiction of Silchar Sadar police station in Cachar district of Assam state

3. Mr. Abani Nath, constable of the 147 battalion of CRPF camp stationed under the jurisdiction of Silchar Sadar police station in Cachar district of Assam state

4. Mr. Shashi Bhushan, constable of the 147 battalion of CRPF camp stationed under the jurisdiction of Silchar Sadar police station in Cachar district of Assam state

5. Mr. Amir Uddin Laskar, Havildar of the 147 battalion of CRPF camp stationed under the jurisdiction of Silchar Sadar police station in Cachar district of Assam state

Date of incident: 27 July 2010

Place of incident: Victim’s residence

I am writing to seek immediate actions in the case reported to me of assault by the Central Reserve Police (CRPF) of a 66-year-old man, his wife and son at his residence on 27 July 2010. I am concerned to know that the complaints filed by the victims at the local police station and at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) have not been acted upon. On the contrary, the local police is demanding that the victim settle the case with the CRPF outside the police station and withdraw his complaint, or dare facing yet another assault from the CRPF.

I am informed that there were about ten CRPF officers who entered the Fariz’s house and assaulted him along with his wife and son. Fariz was seriously injured in the incident and had to be hospitalised. The CRPF is a paramilitary force in India.

Fariz is a retired CRPF constable living in front of the 147 battalion of the CRPF camp. Fariz’s house is within the jurisdiction of Silchar Sadar Police Station in Cachar district of Assam state. Fariz supports his family with his pension and the earnings from a small shop where he sells betel nuts and operates a public call office (PCO). Fariz alleges that he was assaulted for protesting against the CRPF concerning a civil contract.

Fariz alleges that one Mr. Radheshyam Sahu, had obtained permission to cut and sell grass from the CRPF 147 battalion campus through a public auction. Thereafter, Sahu entered into a contract with Fariz on 22 April 2010 allowing Fariz to cut and sell grass for which he paid Sahu Rs. 7,500.00. Few days later, Fariz came to know that Sahu had allowed another person to cut and sell grass from the same campus. Aggrieved by the breach of contract, Fariz went to Sahu and demanded an explanation.

It is reported that Sahu ignored Fariz’s question and misbehaved to him. Fariz was disappointed and on 26 June complained to the commander of the battalion, Mr. T. K Hati, asking him to intervene. The commander reportedly informed Fariz that it was him who allowed the other person to cut and sell grass from the campus. Fariz then reminded the commander about the contract and requested the commander to return his money.

Fariz alleges that the officer shouted abuses at him when he demanded the officer to return the money. The officer then threatened Fariz and warned him that he will be taught a lesson for daring to demand the return of the money from a superior officer. Fariz went home disappointed. Fariz stated that following his argument with the commandant, a team of more than ten CRPF personnel accompanied by Mr. Sahu came to Fariz’s house at around 4.30pm on 27 July. Fariz claims that the team was led by the commander Mr. Hati and accompanied by CRPF constables Mr. Abani Nath, Mr. Shashi Bhushan, and Havildar Mr. Amir Uddin Laskar.

Fariz claims that the officers forcibly entered the house and started beating him without any warning. The officers assaulted Fariz with gun butts. The officers then kicked Fariz and punched him on his head and other parts of his body. Fariz’s wife, Aftarun Nessa Barbhuiya, and his son, Asif Akhtar Barbhuiya, tried to intervene and requested the officers to spare the old man. Fariz was lying on the ground soaked with blood. However, it is alleged that the CRPF then assaulted Aftarun Nessa and Asif Akhtar.

Fariz further alleges that the officers then damaged furniture, utensils and other valuable things in his house. Fariz claims that the officers then took the cash box of his shop that had approximately Rs. 2500.00 in it at the time. When the officers left, they warned Fariz against complaining to the authorities or to the police about the incident. The officers also threatened the family that they would be charged with false cases of keeping illegal firearms and ammunition if they sought help from the human rights organisations or informed the media. After the officers left the family called an ambulance and took Fariz to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital (SMCH). Fariz was admitted at the SMCH and after a few days when his health improved discharged from the hospital.

It is reported that Fariz filed a complaint at the Silchar Sadar Police Station on 28 July 2010 concerning the incident and requesting the police to take appropriate actions against the CRPF officers. The police registered an FIR (First Information Report) based on the complaint as Silchar PS (police station) Case No. 1445/10 under Sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 448 (punishment for house-trespass), 325 (punishment for causing grievous hurt), 323 (punishment for causing hurt), 427 (mischief causing damage), 307 (attempt to murder) and 149 (punishment of being a member of unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC). Sub-Inspector Mr. Jitu Mani Goswami was the investigating officer (IO) of the case.

Fariz, however, alleges that the IO was not investigating the case. Instead, the Officer-in-Charge (OC) of the Silchar Sadar Police Station was demanding Fariz to come to an amicable settlement with the accused CRPF personnel and withdraw the complaint. Another complaint was then filed at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on 5 February 2011 with the help of local human rights group, Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC). BHRPC informs that there have been no responses from the NHRC yet concerning the case.

BHRPC and Fariz allege that the assault and theft was a punishment for daring to complain to the CRPF commandant as well as demanding money back from the officer, which the officer viewed as challenging his authority, that too by a retired and old former constable.

I am also informed that in places like Assam in India, the CRPF and other paramilitary units have absolute impunity wherever they are posted. I am informed that the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has reported more than 300 cases of torture, murder and rape committed by the CRPF and other paramilitary units in India over the past six years. In most of these cases actions were initiated only when the AHRC made the incident public. I am also informed that the AHRC has noted that in many cases the victims refuse to speak about the incident due to fear of further assault or threat from these agencies as it has happened in this case.

I therefore request you to intervene in this case to ensure the following:

1. That the police must immediately record the statement of the victims;

2. That the police investigate the case without any further delay;

3. That if required the witnesses provided protection by the police;

4. That the NHRC informs Fariz and/or BHRPC the status of the complaint they have filed at the NHRC without any further delay.

Yours sincerely,

—————-

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. K. Vijay Kumar, IPS
Director General
Central Reserve Police Force
Block No. 1, C.G.O. Complex
Lodhi Road
New Delhi – 110001
INDIA

2. DIG (ADM), NES (Ops) Sector NES
Operations Headquarters
Jorhat
Assam
INDIA

3. Mr. Tarun Gogoi
Chief Minister of Assam
Assam Secretariat, Dispur
Guwahati-6, Assam
INDIA
Fax: +91 361 2262069

4. Director General of Police
Assam, Ulubari
Guwahati-7, Assam
INDIA

5. Chief Justice
Guwahati High Court
Government of Assam
INDIA
FAX +91 361 2604122 or +91 362 2735863 (Registrar General)
E-mail: hc-asm@nic.in, hicourtg@rediffmail.com

6. Chief Secretary
Assam Secretariat, Dispur
Guwahati-6, Assam
INDIA
Fax: +91 361 2260900
Email: psccy_it@assam.nic.in

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

See the appeal at AHRC website: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-074-2011

Advertisements

Urgent Appeal: CRPF Wireless operator tortured by the superior for pursuing studies

February 25, 2011

BARAK HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION COMMITTEE

Urgent Appeal No. BHRPC Case No 62/2011/UA/23/210 Dated: 25 February 2011

Dear Friends,

Acting on the information provided by Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC), the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) issued the following Urgent Appeal concerning the case of torture of a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), a central paramilitary force, wireless operator by his superiors at 147 battalion at Kashipur in Cachar district, Assam. Please take the suggested actions.

Yours sincerely

Waliullah Ahmed Laskar

Urgent Appeal Desk

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee

Rongpur, Silchar-9, Assam, India

Download pdf version

INDIA: Wireless operator tortured by the superior for pursuing studies

February 25, 2011

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-047-2011

To support the appeal please click here

25 February 2011

——————————————————
INDIA: Wireless operator tortured by the superior for pursuing studies

ISSUES: Torture; arbitrary detention; impunity

——————————————————

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the case of torture of a wireless operator, Mr. Surinder Singh Chouhan, serving with the 147 Battalion of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for pursuing an MBA study programme. The victim in this case was threatened and put in confinement and assaulted by his fellow constables upon instructions from the Commandant. The victim managed to escape from the custody of his tormentors and filed a complaint against the perpetrators and sought treatment at the hospital. However the local police took the victim into custody at Guwahati and handed over to the CRPF head quarters. The victim was later released but the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of CRPF initiated a departmental enquiry against the victim.

CASE NARRATIVE:

Mr. Surinder Singh Chouhan, aged about 39 years, has been working with 147 battalion of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) as a wireless operator since 1 September 2008. Surinder was posted at the Head Quarters (HQ) of the battalion at Kashipur, Silchar, Assam state. Surinder has served in many operations with army companies of different battalions including C-company at Gharmura, D-company at Karimganj, E-company at Hailakandi and F-company at Fulertal.

Surinder alleged that some of his superiors were spiteful towards him when he wanted to study for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme, for which he duly fulfilled all the requirements. On 4 October 2010, Surinder got admitted in the MBA course under the Sikkim Manipal University with due permission from his Commandant Mr. T.K. Hati and then he drew a bank draft of Rs. 12,500.00 in the name of the university to pay his admission fee. On the next day, Surinder requested permission to meet the commandant for a discussion concerning his admission to the MBA programme, his study at the university and his duty as a CRPF officer. However, Surinder’s request was denied.

Surinder was then sent to the Deputy Commandant for Operations (DCO), Mr. Nabeen Chandra by Sub-Inspector Mr. T.N. Tripati. Thereafter, Surinder was presented before the Commandant on the same day evening around 7pm. The Commandant behaved in a rude manner and threatened Surinder that he would snatch his job. Then he detained Surinder in a jail and subjected him to ill-treatment for three days without any written order.

On October 7, Surinder requested to be informed of his faults for which he was given punishment but nobody cared to answer him. Instead, Surinder was suspended from his duties on October 8. Surinder was then confined to the guardroom with hand-cuff on his hands from 8 to 11 October. Surinder alleges that he was severely tortured both mentally and physically while he was in the confinement. CRPF constables at the behest of superiors told Surinder by pointing a gun to his head that ‘this is your last moment and you’re going to die now’, an act that they allegedly repeated several times.

The Commanding Officer of F-company, Mr. Anwar Hussain, sent Surinder to the HQ for treatment on October 13 because his health had deteriorated by then. But on the same day the Radio Grid Supervisor, Mr. K. P. Singh, ordered to shift Surinder to D-company at Karimganj. Surinder informed the supervisor about his poor health but no one listened to him. It is reported that Surinder was forced to serve his duty at D-company Karimganj despite his poor health condition.

Surinder alleges that on October 21, seven persons, namely Mr. Rajender Singh, Mr. Rakesh Kumar, Mr. Brojesh Kumar, Mr. Sukhbinder Singh, Mr. Narendra Singh, Mr. Upendra Singh and Mr. Prem Chand Kahar came to him and started assualting him with sticks and chains without any reason. Surider further alleges that on October 23, the commanding officer of D-company, Mr. TN Tripati, ordered him to go for a CRPF operation without weapons at Ratabari area, which was reportedly a disturbed area. When Surinder urged the commanding officer to give him weapons for, it was denied.

It is reported however that the official records are manipulated to show in the duty register that Surindar was engaged at the signal centre under the command of Mr. Manoj Singh. The duty register shows that Surinder was on duty at the signal centre from 7am to 1pm on October 23 and again from 7pm the same day till 7am the next day morning.

Surinder alleged that the commanding officer sent him for the operation only to harass him by putting his life at risk despite his poor health. Surinder performed his duties along with the Superintendent of Police (SP) of Karimganj district in a search operation for nearly 24 hours at Ratabari area without any food and water. While returning from the operation one of Surinder’s colleagues felt very sick and therefore Surinder carried the Light Machine Gun (LMG) of his colleague.

Surinder also alleges that on October 27 once again some persons assaulted him without any reason. They assaulted Surinder so bad that he fell down on the ground. They assaulted Surinder, on his face, chest, stomach and other sensitive parts of the body including his private parts. Surinder further alleges that they forced a broken stick into his anus. Surinder then somehow managed to escape from the clutchs of his tormentors and filed a complaint against the perpetrators in the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) at Silchar. The CRPF on the other hand filed a missing person report alleging that Surinder has gone missing at the Silchar Sadar police station. For the injuries Surinder suffered on this occasion, he received treatment at the Silchar Medical College Hospital.

A complaint was sent to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on November 22 by the Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC), Assam regarding the case. The NHRC registered a case and issued an order on December 7 transmitting the complaint to the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, for taking action. The NHRC also asked the Union Home Ministry on December 15 to submit an action taken report within four weeks.

In the meanwhile, Surinder has been arrested by the police at Guwahati and sent back to the HQ of his battalion at Kashipur, Silchar. Later, Surinder was released from the HQ and granted him leave. It is reported that a departmental enquiry is being conducted by the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of CRPF. But at this juncture an independent inquiry in the case is required rather than a mere departmental inquiry.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write letters to the authorities listed below requesting them to intervene in the case. The case must be investigated and if the allegations made by the victim are found to be true the perpetrators must be punished.

The AHRC is also writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment seeking an intervention in the case.

To support this appeal, please click here
:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

INDIA: The allegations of torture of a CRPF officer must be independently investigated

Name of victim: Mr. Surinder Singh Chouhan, aged about 39 years, working as Wireless Operator, at the CRPF 147 battalion, Kashipur, Silchar, Assam state

Names of alleged perpetrators:

1. Mr. T.K. Hati, Commandant of 147 battalion of Central Reserve Police Force

2. Mr. T.N. Tripati, Sub-Inspector of CRPF and a Commanding Officer of D-company 147 battalion of CRPF

3. Mr. Anwar Hussain, Commanding Officer of F-company 147 battalion of CRPF

4. Mr. K.P. Singh, Radio Grid Supervisor of 147 battalion of CRPF

5. Mr. Rajender Singh, Constables of 147 battalion of CRPF

6. Mr. Rakesh Kumar, Constables of 147 battalion of CRPF

7. Mr. Brojesh Kumar, Constables of 147 battalion of CRPF

8. Mr. Sukhbinder Singh, Constables of 147 battalion of CRPF

9. Mr. Narendra Singh, Constables of 147 battalion of CRPF

10. Mr. Upendra Singh, Constables of 147 battalion of CRPF

11. Mr. Prem Chand Kahar, Constables of 147 battalion of CRPF

Date of incident: 5 – 11 October 2010; 21 October 2010 and 27 October 2010

Place of incident: 147 battalion of CRPF

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the torture and ill-treatment of Mr. Surinder Singh Chouhan by the Commandant for pursuing his studies for an MBA degree. Surinder has been working with the 147 battalion of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) as a wireless operator since 1 September 2008. I am informed that Surinder was posted at the Head Quarters (HQ) of the battalion at Kashipur, Silchar. Assam. Surinder has served in many operations with army companies of different battalions including C-company at Gharmura, D-company at Karimganj, E-company at Hailakandi and F-company at Fulertal.

I am informed that on 4 October 2010, Surinder got admitted to an MBA programme at the Sikkim Manipal University after obtaining the permission of his Commandant, Mr. T.K. Hati. On the next day, Surinder requested for permission to meet the commandant for necessary talks in connection with his admission, study and duty. However, Surinder’s request was denied and sent to the HQ.

I am informed that Surinder was then sent to the Deputy Commandant for Operations (DCO), Mr. Nabeen Chandra by Sub-Inspector Mr. T.N. Tripati. Thereafter, Surinder was presented before the commandant the same day evening around 7pm. The commandant behaved badly with him and threatened Surinder that he would snatch his job. He then detained Surinder and subjected Surinder to ill treatment for three days without any reason.

I am informed that on October 7, Surinder requested to be informed of his faults for which he was punished. But he did not receive any answer. Instead, Surinder was suspended from his duties on October 8. Surinder was then handcuffed and confined to the guardroom from 8 to 11 October. Surinder alleged that he was severely tortured both mentally and physically while he was in confinement.

I am informed that the Commanding Officer of F-company, Mr. Anwar Hussain, sent Surinder to the HQ for treatment on October 13 because his health had deteriorated. But on the same day the Radio Grid Supervisor, Mr. K. P. Singh, ordered to shift Surinder to D-company at Karimganj. Surinder informed the supervisor about his poor health but he was forced to comply the order.

Surinder alleged that on October 21, seven persons namely Mr. Rajender Singh, Mr. Rakesh Kumar, Mr. Brojesh Kumar, Mr. Sukhbinder Singh, Mr. Narendra Singh, Mr. Upendra Singh and Mr. Prem Chand Kahar came to him and started assaulting him with sticks and chains. Surider further stated that on October 23, the commanding officer of D-company, Mr. TN Tripati, ordered him to go for an operation without weapons at Ratabari area, which was reportedly a disturbed area. When Surinder urged the commanding officer to give him weapons it was denied.

I am informed that the official records were manipulated to show in the duty register that Surindar was engaged at the signal centre under the command of Mr. Manoj Singh. The duty register reportedly shows that Surinder was on duty at the signal centre from 7am to 1pm on October 23 and again from 7pm the same day till 7am the next day morning. Surinder alleges that the commanding officer sent him in the operation only to harass him by putting his life at risk. Surinder performed his duties along with the Superintendent of Police (SP) of Karimganj district in a search operation for nearly 24 hours at Ratabari area without any food and water. While returning from the operation one of Surinder’s colleagues felt very sick and therefore Surinder carried the Light Machine Gun (LMG) for his colleague.

Surinder alleged that on October 27 once again some persons assaulted him without any reason. They assaulted Surinder so badly that he fell down. They assaulted Surinder on his face, chest, stomach and other sensitive parts of his body including his penis. Surinder further alleges that they forced a broken stick into his anus. Surinder then somehow managed to escape from the clutchs of his tormentors and filed a complaint against the alleged perpetrators at the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate CJM) at Silchar. However, on the other hand, the CRPF also has filed a complaint at the Silchar Sadar police station alleging that Surinder has gone missing from his unit. Surinder was treated at the Silchar Medical College Hospital.

I am informed that a complaint was sent to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on November 22 by the Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC), Assam regarding the case of Surinder. I am informed that the NHRC has registered a case and issued an order on December 7 transmitting the complaint to the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, for appropriate actions. It is also reported that the NHRC also has asked the Union Home Ministry on December 15 to submit an action taken report within four weeks.

I am informed that in the meanwhile Surinder has been nabbed by the police at Guwahati and sent back to the HQ of his battalion at Kashipur, Silchar. Later, Surinder was released from the HQ and granted him leave. I am informed that the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of CRPF against Surinder initiated a departmental enquiry.

At this juncture, an independent inquiry in the case is required rather than initiating a departmental inquiry against Surinder.

I therefore request you to ensure an independent inquiry into the incident is ordered, not by the CRPF, but by a judicial officer, like the Judicial Magistrate in Asaam. The victim must be offered all possible protection during the period of investigation. The statement of the victim must be recorded and if the statement corroborates the allegations of torture along with the medical reports on the incident, a prosecution must be initiated in a civilian court against the perpetrators and they punished as prescribed in the penal law of India.

Yours sincerely,


—————-
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. A. K. Anthony
Defence Minister
Government of India, 104 South Block
New Delhi
INDIA
Fax: +91 11 23015403
Email: cvo@nic.in

2. Dr. P. Chidambaram
Home Minister
Griha Mantralaya
Room No. 104, North Block
Central Secretariat, New Delhi 110001
INDIA
Fax: +91 11 2301 5750, 2309 3750, 2309 2763
E-mail: hm@nic.in

3. Mr. K. Vijay Kumar, IPS
Directorate General
Central Reserve Police Force
Block No. 1, C.G.O. Complex, Lodhi Road
New Delhi – 110001
INDIA

4. DIG (ADM), NES (Ops) Sector
NES (OPS) Headquarters
Jorhat, Assam
INDIA

5. Mr. Tarun Gogoi
Chief Minister of Assam
Assam Secretariat, Dispur
Guwahati-6, Assam
INDIA
Fax: +91 361 2262069

6. Chief Justice
Guwahati High Court
Assam
INDIA
FAX +91 361 2604122 or +91 362 2735863 (Registrar General)
E-mail: hc-asm@nic.in, hicourtg@rediffmail.com

7. Chief Secretary
Assam Secretariat, Dispur
Guwahati-6, Assam
INDIA
Fax: +91 361 2260900
Email: psccy_it@assam.nic.in

8. Mr. Justice S. Barman Roy
Chairperson
Assam Human Rights Commission
STATFED H.O. Building, GMC Road
Bhangagarh, Guwahati
Pin – 781005, Assam
INDIA
Fax: +91 361 2529450, 2527076
Email: hrca@sancharnet.in

To send letters please click here


Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

AHRC URL: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-047-2011

CRPF assaulted a senior citizen at his home in Assam

February 24, 2011
Wounded Mr. Fariz Uddin Barbhuiya at the Silchar Medical College and Hospital, Silchar

Wounded Mr. Fariz Uddin Barbhuiya at the Silchar Medical College and Hospital, Silchar

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) received a communication giving details of the case of 66-year-old Mr. Fariz Uddin Barbhuiya of village Kashipur under Silchar Sadar police station in Cachar district in the North East Indian state of Assam. The communication stated that on 27 July 2010 a team of more than 10 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel entered his house, assaulted him, his son and wife causing serious injury to the old man allegedly for protesting against breach of contract by CRPF. A case has been filed at the police station but the police have not taken any visible actions yet. Another complaint has been filed at the National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC) but there is no response as yet from the commission.

According to the communication and information received from other reliable sources, Fariz Uddin, a retired CRPF personnel lives in his house in front of the camp of 147 battalion of CRPF, a paramilitary force of the central government of India, at Kashipur, Cachar. He now supports his family with his pension and a little earnings from a small shop of betel nut (pan-shop) and a phone booth.

The victim stated that one Mr. Radhashyam Sahu, owner of High Tech Communication, was given the right to cut green grass from the campus of the 147 battalion at a public auction as the highest bidder. Subsequently on 22 April 2010 Mr. Sahu entered in a contract with Mr. Fariz Uddin that allows the latter to cut the grass and sell them for six months in consideration of advance payment of rupees 7500.00 (seven thousand and five hundred). After a few days Mr. Fariz Uddin came to know that another person was allowed to collect the grass and sell them. He was even not informed of the fact. Aggrieved by the breach of contract, Fariz Uddin went to Mr. Sahu and demanded an explanation. It is reported that Mr. Sahu ignored the question and misbehaved with Fariz Uddin. Then Fariz Uddin brought the matter to the notice of the commander of the battalion Mr. TK Hati with a request for redress on 26 July 2010.  Mr. Hati told that he himself engaged the other person who was collecting grass. When Fariz Uddin reminded Mr. Hati about the contract and requested him to return his money the later reportedly got furious and started hurling verbal abuse at him. He also threatened Farzi Uddin with dire consequences and warned him that the commander will teach him a lesson, as alleged in the communication. He went home disappointed and fearful.

The victim further stated that without further ado a team of 10/12 CRPF personnel accompanied by Mr. Radhashyam Sahu went to his house at about 4.30pm on 27 July. The team included constables Mr. Abani Nath, Mr. Shashi Bhushan, havildar Mr. Amir Uddin Laskar and was led by Mr. TK Hati. The victim claimed that the CRPF team forcibly entered into his house and started beating him without rhymes or reasons. They administered blows on him with their gun butts. They kicked him with their boots and punched him on the head and other sensitive parts of the body. Fariz Uddin’s wife Aftarun Nessa Barbhuiya and their son Asif Akhtar Barbhuiya tried to come in-between to save him. They also urged the para-military forces to spare the old man’s life. However, it is alleged that the CRPF team assaulted the mother and son too.

It is further alleged that the CRPF team damaged furniture, utensils and other valuable things in the house. The victims claimed that the raiding team also snatched away the cash box of their shop that contained approximately rupees 2500.00 (two thousand and five hundred).They left the house leaving the old man on the ground soaked in blood. When they were leaving, it is alleged, they warned the victims against complaining to the authorities and the police. They threatened the family that they would be charged with false allegations of keeping illegal firearms and ammunitions if they sought help from human rights organisations and inform the media.

Signboard of the PCO owned by Fariz Uddin Barbhuiya that was vandalised by the CRPF

Signboard of the PCO owned by Fariz Uddin Barbhuiya that was vandalised by the CRPF

After the CRPF team left, the family called an ambulance and took Mr. Fariz Uddin to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital. He was admitted at the SMCH and when his health improved after a few days’ treatment he was released.

Fariz Uddin also filed a complaint at the Silchar Sadar police station on 28 July 2010. An FIR was registered at the police station based on the complaint as Silchar PS Case No. 1445/10 under sections 147 (rioting or violence by an unlawful assembly), 448 (house trespass), 325 (causing grievous hurt), 323 (causing hurt), 427 (mischief causing damage), 307 (attempt to murder) and 149 (punishment of member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Sub Inspector Mr. Jitu Mani Goswami was made the investigating officer (IO) of the case.

Fariz Uddin, however, alleged that the IO was not investigating the case properly. Instead, the officer-in-charge (OC) of the police station Mr. SK Chouhan was putting pressure on him to come to an amicable settlement with the accused CRPF personnel.

It is suspected that the OC has been influenced by the accused.

After receiving the communication BHRPC gathered other relevant information from its sources. BHRPC then filed a complaint at the National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC) on 5 February 2011. BHRPC is yet to receive any response from the NHRC.

Date: 24 Feb. 11

Place: Silchar, Assam, India

CRPF personnel tortured and ill-treated by his superiors in Assam

February 24, 2011

CRPF personnel tortured and ill-treated by his superiors in Assam

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) received a communication from a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel alleging that he has been tortured and subjected to other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by his superior officers. The victim is a wireless operator with 147 battalion of CRPF. But the higher officials allegedly often have sent him in risky operations without arms even at times when he is ill. He has been kept in confinement in inhuman conditions and has also been assaulted and beaten up brutally. Stick has been entered into his anus. The victim is still kept imprisoned in a makeshift tent and reportedly he is still being subjected to inhuman treatment.

According to information received by BHRPC, Mr. Surindar Singh Chouhan, S/o late Anand Bahadur Singh Chouhan, aged about 39 years, has been working with 147 battalion since 1 September, 2008. He was posted at the head quarters (HQ) of the battalion at Kashipur, Silchar, Assam. However, he was also sent in operations with many companies of the battalion including C company at Gharmura, D company at Karimganj, E company at Hailakandi and F company at Fulertal etc.

Surider alleged that some of his superiors became spiteful towards him when he wanted to study MBA, for which he duly fulfilled all requirements. On 4 October 2010 Surindar took admission to MBA course under the Sikkim Manipal University with due permission from the commander Mr. TK Hati and drew a bank draft of Rs. 12500/- in the name of the university to pay his fees. On 5 October he requested for permission to meet the commandant at the head quarters for necessary talks in connection with his admission, study and duty. But his request was denied. When he insisted that his meeting with the commander is very important, the officer got furious and sent him to the head quarter imputing some false allegations on him. He was then sent to the DC OPS Mr. Nabeen Chandra by Sub-Inspector Mr. TN Tripati and Mr. Roy forcibly and very rudely while they also continued to hurl verbal abuses at him. At 19:00 hours same day he was presented before the commandant. The commander also behaved very roughly and threatened him that he would snatch his job and would put him into jail. He was kept in confinement without any written order and subjected to ill-treatment for three days.

On 7 October he requested to be informed of his faults for which he was given punishment. Nobody cared to answer. On 8 October he was suspended from his duties. From 8 to 11 October he was confined to the guardroom with his hands cuffed. Surinder alleged that he was severely tortured both mentally and physically while he was kept there. CRPF constables at the behest of superiors would tell him that this was his last moment and he is going to die while they pointed gun on his head. They did it innumerable times.

When he was with F company he fell ill and was sent to the head quarters by the Officer-in-Command Mr. Anwar Hussain for treatment on 13 October, 2010. But on the same day Mr. K. P. Singh, the Radio Grid Supervisor ordered him to shift to D company at Karimganj. He told the supervisor about his health condition, but no heed was given. On 13 October, 2010 he reported at D company at Karimganj despite inconvenience due to his physical condition.

Surinder alleged that on 21 October 7/8 soldiers including Rajender Singh, Rakesh Kumar, Brojesh Kumar, Sukhbinder Singh, Narendra Singh, Upendra Singh, Prem Chand Kahar came to him and started beating him with sticks and chains without rhymes or reasons. Surinder claimed that the constables tried to make him angry and to provoke him into attacking them. However, he did not fall into the trap. Then they tried to compel him to assault the quarter guard Mr. Jaibuddin Khan. But he did not do that. These tricks were applied by the OC with an intention to find a ground for filing a criminal case against Surinder.

Surider further stated that on 23 October 2010 the OC of D company Mr. TN Tripati ordered him to go in an operation and search duty without arms at Ratabari area, which was reportedly a disturbed area. When Surinder urged the OC to give him arms for his safeguard, he was denied.

Surindar claimed that according to the rules his duties should be assigned by the ASI/ RO Mr. Monoj Singh in place of the OC. So, he objected to such irregular assignment of duties by the OC in violations of rules. However, he was compelled to obey. Surinder further stated that the official record was manipulated and it is shown in the duty register that he was engaged by the ASI/RO Mr. Monoj Singh at signal centre. It register shows that he was on duty there since 07:00 hours to 13:00 hours on 23 October 2010 and again since 19:00 hours on 23 October 2010 to 07:00 hours on 24 October 2010. But in reality he was forcibly sent to the risky operation and search duty. Surinder also stated that he was aware that anybody could be shifted to any duty during emergency and he claimed that there was no such emergency. Moreover, there were many other eligible personnel for the duty. Surinder claimed that the OC sent him in the operation only to harass him by putting his life and limbs at risk. He performed his duties with the Superintendent of Police (SP) of Karimganj district in a search operation looking for some suspects for approximately 24 hours at Ratabari area without food, water etc. While returning from the operation one of his colleagues felt very sick and he carried his LMG.

Surinder further alleged that on 27 October once again some constables assaulted him. They beat up him so furiously that he fell down on the floor. But they did not stop. They beat him on his face, chest, stomach and other sensitive parts of his body including the privates. They entered broken stick into his anus. Surinder stated that some of the constables namely Upendra Singh, Prem Chand Kahar and Dilip Kumar did not want to inflict such brutal torture on him. But they were compelled by threats of similar treatment by Mr. Hati.

Surinder then somehow managed to escape from the clutch of his tormentors as he alleged. He filed a complaint against the alleged perpetrators at the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Silchar. He also received treatment at the Silchar Medical College and Hospital.  He tried to keep himself out of the reach of his battalion. However, they filed a missing case at the Silchar Sadar police station.

At this point in time on 4 November Surinder sent a communication to the BHRPC giving details of his situation. BHRPC filed a complaint at the National Human Rights Commission of India on 22 November. The NHRC registered a case and passed an order on 7 December transmitting the complaint to the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, for appropriate actions. The NHRC also asked the Home Ministry on 15 December to submit an action taken report within four weeks. But the BHRPC did not receive any information even after seven weeks.

Meanwhile Surinder has been nabbed by the police at Guwahati and sent back to the head quarters of his battalion at Kashipur, Cachar. He has informed BHRPC through a friend that he is being kept under the sky in a poorly made makeshift tent which is unable to protect him from the cold. Every now and then he was being beaten up and subjected to other inhuman treatment. According to the information, food and other necessities were also not being properly provided.

On 11 February the victim was released and granted leave. He went home that day. BHRPC received information that the Home Ministry also reportedly asked for a report from the CRPF at the direction of the NHRC. But the inquiry is being conducted by a DIG of CRPF. It is suspected that the inquiry by another officer of the force against his colleagues would not be objective. On the other hand, the CRPF also initiated a departmental inquiry against him.  A thorough, prompt and independent inquiry in the case is a must.

11 February, 2011

Silchar, Assam

Illegal Arrest, Torture of Civilians by Central Reserve Police Force Personnel

January 18, 2011

Illegal Arrest, Torture of Civilians by Central Reserve Police Force Personnel

On 19 March, 2008 at about 10.30 pm one Gypsy and two 407 truck-ful of CRPF personnel belonging to 147 battalion camping at Kashipur, Cachar along with Mr. S C Nath, an Assistant Sub Inspector of Police posted at Borkhola police station in Cachar, came at Behara Bazar under the jurisdiction of Katigorah police station, Cachar and picked up Mr. Ranjit Roy, Mr. Birbikram Deb and Mr. Raju Kar at gun point.

These three youth are ordinary residents of Behara Bazar and by occupation businessmen with small shops at the bazaar. As usual they were shutting the shutters of their shops after the day’s drudgery to go home when they were accosted by the said security forces. The CRPF personnel started to beat them with gun butt and bayonet inflicting intentionally severe pain causing sufferings and hurts on their persons apparently to intimidate them and rob them of their belongings. When at the scream of the victims people started to come out and gather around the scene the CRPF men took them aboard a vehicle and went away.

They went to an adjacent temple named Loknath Mandir at Nilcherra and woke up Mr. Sandipan Chakrabarti and Subir Guha, drivers of the temple, who were asleep there. Here also the CRPF jawans applied their gun butts and bayonets causing more serious injuries to both the said persons with intention to force them to board a vehicle at which Mr. Swapan Bhattacharya, the priest of the temple, protested. Abuses and intimidation were also hurled at him. But on the possibility of waking up nieghbourhood people by this hullabaloo the CRPF personnel left these two victims.

Now they went with the first mentioned three victims not to the Katigorah police station under which jurisdiction they were in action but to the Borkhola police station and tried to persuade Mr. Ajijur Rahman, the Officer in Charge of the police station, to register an FIR against the victims by producing six fresh bullets and claiming that these had been found with the victims. After interrogation Mr. Ajijur Rahman denied to admit the CRPF theory that the victims belonged to any non-state armed organizations as well as to frame them as such. But Mr. Ajijur Rahman himself detained the victims illegally for the whole night instead of making arrangement for their medical treatment. He acted in contravention of strictures of the law of the land and international human rights law, perhaps, as well-known practice of Assam Police suggests, for a few thousand rupees from the victims.

There was an eerie environment of fear and tension everywhere in Barak Valley when the news reached people the next morning. Despite this, some individuals and organizations including Barak Human Rights Protection Committee came into action and contacted senior police officers and the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar. The five victims were sent to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital, Silchar for treatment.

ASI S C Nath stated on 20 March, 2008 at the Office of the Superintendent of Police in the presence of media and social and human rights activists that CRPF personnel themselves had kept the bullets in the pockets of the victims forcibly. Senior CRPF officer S S Bohar made himself present at the SP office a little later and apologized to the people for the incident of the day before. He admitted that CRPF acted wrong information and also promised that there would be an inquiry into the matter. SP, Cachar also promised to take necessary actions in this regard.

On the other hand, Mr. Biswajit Sinha, the OC of Katigorah police station denied to register the complaints filed by the Mr. Ranjit Roy and his two companion victims and by the authority of Nilcherra Loknath Mandir as FIRs. Mr. Ranjit Roy and others alleged in their complaints that Mr Tapan Deb, Mr. Sujit Deb of village Dinanathpur and Mr. Sanjay Mahato of village Chayaranbasti were behind the whole incident. Local people alleged that these three persons are known as CRPF informer as well as members of an AOG having a camp in the area. Mr. Kanailal Bhattacharya, joint secretary of Desh Bondhu Club, was called on his cell number 94353 72029 from +9194356 66043 at 6. 57 pm on 21 March, 2008 and threatened with death apparently for his co-operation with BHRPC fact-finding team. The caller was Tapan Deb and the number from which the call was made is usually used by local chief of the AOG, Mr. Bhattacharya alleged. He also claimed that Mr. Tapan Deb, Mr. Sujit Deb and Mr. Sanjay Mahato have been using the AOG camp as their hideout. Local people also alleged that Mr. Haidar Hussain Laskar, an ASI at Behara Outpost works as an informer of the AOG more than as a police officer on the ground that if he was given any information regarding the trafficking of arms and ammunitions and other illegal activities of the AOG he cautions them instead of taking any actions against them.

In the complaint Mr. Ranjit Roy, Mr. Birbikram Deb and Mr. Raju Kar also alleged that the CRPF personnel took away rupees 2,275.00 (two thousand two hundred and seventy five) only, rupees 6,000.00 (six thousand) only and a wrist watch and rupees 2,320.00 (two thousand three hundred and twenty) only from them respectively at gun point.

Fake encounter killing of Jamir Uddin by CRPF personnel

January 18, 2011

Fake Encounter Killing of Jamir Uddin by CRPF Personnel

In a home invasion 5 (five) Central Reserve Police Force personnel belonging to Gharmura Camp of E-147 company at about 10 am on 22 Oct, 2007 shot dead one Jamir Uddin Laskar, about 35 years of age, of village Bainchera (also known as Bhaichera) under the Katlichera Police Station in Hailakandi, Assam.

At the time of the incident the deceased was collecting grass to graze his cattle from a paddy field near his house where five CRPF men accompanied by one Rizwan Uddin, who is known to be a CRPF informer, accosted him. His wife Anowara Begum, sister Sazna Begum and neighbour Moizun Nesa came to the place of occurrence after getting information. They saw and heard Rezwan Uddin was asking the men in uniform to shot Jamir Uddin pointing his fingers towards the latter who was dumbfounded at the sight. At that moment Sazna and Anowara started to cry and beseech the men with arms to spare the life of Jamir Uddin at which they were beaten, kicked, abused and humiliated.

At the instance of Rezwan Uddin the CRPF fired a shot targeting Jamir Uddin which was missed, the second shot also missed but the third bullet hit on the back of the target, who had already started to run away, and piercing his chest exited.

The critically injured victim was sent to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital, Silchar where he was declared dead at 6-30 P.M that day.

Urgent Appeal Regarding an Incident Where Central Reserve Police Force open fire indiscriminately in a market place in Assam, killing one

June 10, 2010

URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Get Pdf version of the document
Urgent Appeal No. BHRPC Case No 58/2010/UA/23/210 Dated: 10 June 2010
Dear Friends,
Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) forwards this Urgent Appeal issued by Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) regarding an incident Central Reserve Police Force open fire indiscriminately in a market place in Assam, killing one
with request to all to take suggested actions.
Yours Sincerely
Waliullah Ahmed Laskar
15, Panjabari Road, Six Mile,
Guwahati-781037, Assam

INDIA: The Central Reserve Police Force open fire indiscriminately in a market place in Assam, killing one

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-084-2010

10 June 2010
——————————————————
INDIA: The Central Reserve Police Force open fire indiscriminately in a market place in Assam, killing one

ISSUES: Extrajudicial execution; impunity; militarisation; excessive use of force
——————————————————

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that on 23 May 2010, a team of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel opened fire indiscriminately and without warning in a small market place in Panchaboti, and later shot dead Mr. Iskandar Ali Barbhuiya, an innocent person on mere suspicion. The attitude of the CRPF has raised suspicions that they may try to use a complaint they have filed against two persons they arrested to justify their murder. This case must be immediately investigated to challenge the impunity surrounding the numerous human rights violations committed by security personnel in North-East India.

CASE NARRATIVE:

According to the information we have received from the Barak Human Rights Protection Committee who carried a fact-finding investigation into the case, on 23 May 2010 at 4.30pm, a team of 11 or 12 CRPF personnel opened fire indiscriminately and without warning in Panchaboti, a small market place in Cachar, Assam, spreading panic among the shoppers and merchants present who tried to escape by finding shelter in nearby shops and houses. Witnesses report having seen one man, later identified as Mr. Iskandar Ali Barbhuiya, running through a small field in direction of the nearby river, Sonai, and jumping into the river while the CRPF personnel were shooting at him. According to the witnesses, no provocation triggered the firing. (Photo: Mr. Iskandar Ali Barbhuiya, Source: BHRPC, Assam)

Following the firing, the CRPF arrested two persons: Moniruddin Barbhuiya, aged about 32 years, son of Abdul Majid Barbhuiya of village Bidruhipar, Sonai Police Station, Cachar, Assam and Mr. Abdul Khalik, aged about 25 years, son of Siraj Uddin of village Sundari Part-II, Sonai Police Station, Cachar, Assam. The CRPF claim that they were there on a routine patrolling when they observed suspicious behaviour from Moniruddin, Abdul Khalik and Iskandar. They further state that when they challenged them, the three suspects tried to run away thereupon the CRPF opened fire. According to the CRPF, the suspects are ordinary criminals who do not belong to any organisation and Moniruddin was found in possession of a 9mm pistol and four bullets.

The CRPF handed over both arrestees to the Palonghat police out post under Dholai Police Station at 9pm on that day. The Dholai police registered a case against Moniruddin, Abdul Khalik and another unnamed person (vide Dholai Police Station Case No. 99/2010 dated 23 May 2010 under Section 47 of the Indian Arms Act, 1959). According to the fact-finding team, the First Information Report has been drafted in such a way that Iskandar can be incriminated as the third accused and therefore could be used by the CRPF to justify its crime.

On 24 May the Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Dholai Police Station produced the two accused before a magistrate praying for police custody of the accused which was granted for seven days. They were then sent to the judicial custody.

At about 1pm on 26 May, some people of the Sundari Part-II village saw a dead body adrift in the Sonai river. They informed Kachudaram police outpost and at about 3pm, police officers from the outpost and the police station came and sent the body to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital for autopsy. At about 11am on 27 May the police handed over the body to Monijun and the last rites were performed at about 2.30pm on the same day.

According to the persons who performed the pre-funeral rituals like washing of the body, they saw two bullet holes in the body: one on the victim’s waist and the other one on the left side of his neck. Nevertheless the autopsy report has not yet been provided to the family and Monijun and other villagers fear that the CRPF may want to interfere with the content of the autopsy report.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

According to the police sources, Moniruddin, who was arrested in possession of the pistol, told that he is a labourer who worked in Mizoram for many months and found a pistol near a river, picked it up and was trying to sell it. He stated that Iskandar had nothing to do with them.

Iskandar Ali Barbhuiya, is a small business man from Bidruhipar village. He had left his family house and told his wife, Monijun, that he was going to the Panchaboti area to collect betel nuts and that he would latter visit his sister Champarun Nesa at Krishnapur, Amragat and asked his wife not to worry if he did not return on the same day. When on 24 May, Monijun heard about the firing, she contacted her sister-in-law who informed her that Iskandar did not visit her the day before. Monijun subsequently contacted all the relatives of her husband but none had any idea where her husband was. On 25 May, she and her sister-in-law Sitarun Nesa went to Sonai Police Station and informed the police in writing about her husband’s disappearance. This is entered in the general diary of the police station vide GD Entry 601 dated 25 May 2010.

According to the villagers and the police officials, the victim had never been involved in any crime and had no previous confrontations with the police. Mr. Kutub Ahmed Mazumber, a member of the Assam Legislative Assembly also told that he knew Iskandar personally and that Iskandar was a very good person.

On 28 May, hundreds of people held a condolence meeting, presided by Nazrul Islam Ahmed, Vice President of Sonai Anchalik Panchayat. Three resolutions were passed condemning the killing and terming it as an intentional murder of a law-abiding and peace-loving citizen by power fuddled unscrupulous security forces; expressed condolence to the family for their loss and demanded compensation to be paid to the family by the government and prosecution initiated against the CRPF personnel involved in the case.
Monijun filed a complaint before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Cachar on 29 May praying for the court to direct the police to conduct a proper investigation of the murder, after having a case registered against the CRPF under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The complaint was forwarded to the Sonai Police Station and was registered as an FIR vide Sonai Police Station Case No. 126/10 dated 4 May 2010.
Iskandar was the only earning member of a family of six and his death leaves his wife and their four children without stable incomes and resources.

BACKGROUND COMMENTS:

The military and paramilitary forces heavily deployed in North-East India have repeatedly demonstrated their disdain toward the principles of proportionality and restrain in the use of force which should govern the functioning of security forces in a democratic country. The AHRC has been documenting numerous cases of human rights violations committed by the security forces deployed in the region, in which people may be harassed, tortured, raped or killed with the police being unable and unwilling to investigate the case and to provide protection to the victims. Please see UAC-080-2010 another case, which took place on the same day as Iskandar’s killings, in which the rights of the ordinary citizens of Assam were violated by security forces and in which the police refused to file the case.

The UN basic principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials are the relevant guidelines to the democratic functioning of security agencies. This indiscriminate firing in Panchaboti disrespects Principle 4 according to which the law enforcement officials should only use force and firearms as the last resort, if ‘other means remain ineffective’ and Principle 5 mandates the law enforcement officials to exercise restraint in the use of force and firearms in order to minimise damage and injury and to respect and preserve human life.

More specifically, Principle 10 states that ‘law enforcement officials shall identify themselves as such and give a clear warning of their intent to use firearms, with sufficient time for the warning to be observed, unless to do so would unduly place the law enforcement officials at risk or would create a risk of death or serious harm to other persons, or would be clearly inappropriate or pointless in the circumstances of the incident.’ Not warning of their intention before shooting is an act of carelessness and negligence from the CRPF personnel which could have resulted in further losses. The incident proves how little human life is valued by the members of the paramilitary forces.

The attitude of the CRPF have raised suspicions that they may try to use the FIR and to manipulate the post-mortem report to preserve themselves from a legal process. Regarding the large record of human rights violations committed in the North-Eastern Indian States which went uninvestigated and unpunished, it is necessary to make sure that Iskandar’s family will have access to an independent process, as reminded in Principle 23 of the UN basic principles.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please join us in writing to the following authorities to express your concern regarding this case of slaying and ask for its proper investigation and the prosecution of the perpetrators. Also join us in

Please be informed that the AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, calling for his intervention in this case.

——————————————————

To support this appeal, please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

INDIA: Please investigate the CRPF firing in Panchaboti market in Assam

Name of victim: Iskandar Ali Barbhuiya, 42 (aged about 42, son of late Abdul Matlib Barbhuiya) resident of Bidruhipar, Cachar District, Assam
Names of alleged perpetrators: Between 11 and 12 Central Reserve Police Force personnel from A147 Battalion led by Mr Muatoshi Dubichu, Deputy Inspector of Police and in-charge of Shachinpur Camp
Date of incident: 23 May 2010
Place of incident: Panchaboti market place, Cachar District, Assam.

I am writing to draw your attention to the killing of Iskandar Ali Barbhuiya after a team of Central Reserve Police Force Police opened fire indiscriminately and without warning in a small market place in Panchaboti, Cachar, Assam on 23 May 2010 at about 4.30pm.

According to the information I have received from the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), witnesses report having seen one man, later identified as Mr. Iskandar Ali Barbhuiya, running through a small field in direction of the nearby river Sonai and jumping into the river while the CRPF personnel were shooting at him. According to the witnesses, no provocation triggered the firing and the CRPF personnel did not warn about their intention to open fire beforehand.

I know that on the morning of that day, Mr. Iskandar Ali Barbhuiya, 42, a small business man from Bidruhipar village went to the area to collect betel nuts. After he did not return home for a few days, his wife, Monijun contacted all his relatives to enquire about his whereabouts and since no one was able to inform her about them, she and her sister-in-law Sitarun Nesa went to Sonai Police Station and informed the police in writing about her husband’s disappearance (Entered in the general diary of the PS vide GD Entry 601 dated 25 May 2010).

I am informed that following the firing, the CRPF arrested two persons: Moniruddin Barbhuiya (32, son of Abdul Majid Barbhuiya of village Bidruhipar, Sonai Police Station, Cachar, Assam) and Abdul Khalik (25, son of Siraj Uddin of village Sundari Part-II, Sonai Police Station, Cachar, Assam). The CRPF claim that they were there on a routine patrolling at that time when they observed suspicious behavior from Moniruddin, Abdul Khalik and Iskandar. They state that when they challenged them the three suspects tried to run away following which the CRPF opened fire. According to the CRPF, Moniruddin was found in possession of a country made 9mm pistol.

I know that the CRPF handed over both arrestees to the Palonghat police outpost under Dholai Police Station at 9pm on that day. The Dholai police registered a case against Moniruddin, Abdul Khalik and another unnamed person (ie. Iskandar), (vide Dholai PS Case No. 99/2010 dated 23 May 2010 under sSection 47 of the Indian Arms Act, 1959). On 24 May the Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Dholai Police Station produced the accused before a magistrate praying for police custody for them which was granted for 7 days. They were then sent to the judicial custody.

I am concerned that the FIR has been drafted in such a way to lead the police investigation to conclude that Iskandar was the third suspect and that it may be an attempt by the CRPF to promote a version of the event which would justify the indiscriminate firing. This version is contradicted by a statement from one of the arrestees, Moniruddin, that he had found the pistol when he was working in Mizoram and was trying to sell it in the market that day and that Iskandar had nothing to do with them. I am informed that according to the villagers and the police officials, Iskandar had never been involved in any crime and had nothing against him in the police record. A member of Assam Legislative Assembly, Mr. Kutub Ahmed Mazumder, also confirmed that Iskandar was ‘a very good person’.

I know that Iskandar’s body was discovered at about 1pm on 23 May by some villagers from Sundari Part-II adrift in the river Sonai. They informed Kachudaram police outpost under Sonai Police Station and at about 3pm, police came and sent the body to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital for autopsy. At about 11 am on 27 May the police handed over the body to Monijun and the last rites were performed at about 2.30pm.

The persons who performed the pre-funeral ritual bathing of the body saw two bullet holes in the body: one on the victim’s waist and the other one on the left side of his neck. Nevertheless the autopsy report has not yet been provided to the family and I am aware that Monijun and other villagers fear that this might be because the CRPF wants to change its content.

I know that Monijun has filed a complaint before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Cachar on 29 May praying for the court to direct the police a proper investigation of the murder after having a case registered against the CRPF under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The complaint was forwarded to the Sonai Police Station and was registered as an FIR vide Sonai Police Station Case No. 126/10 dated 4 June 2010.

Additionally, as required by the directives issued by the National Human Rights Commission of India, the post-mortem examination must be video graphed and a separate report about the incident must be send to the Commission.

I know that reports of extrajudicial executions and human rights violations committed by security forces which are heavily deployed in the State of Assam are numerous and often go uninvestigated, promoting the impunity of the perpetrators and encouraging further exactions.

I therefore urge you to promptly intervene into this case by:

1. Launching an independent and impartial investigation into the case registered as FIR vide Sonai Police Station Case No. 126/10 dated 4 May 2010 in Sonai Police Station;
2. Taking appropriate measures to guarantee the protection of the victim’s families and of the witnesses against threats and intimidation from CRPF personnel;
3. Making sure that all the CRPF personnel involved in this murder are temporarily suspended from their duty during the course of the investigation. If enough evidence is gathered, they should be brought before a civilian court and face sanctions which are proportionate to the damage they inflicted;
4. Providing adequate compensation and interim relief to the victim’s family: Iskandar was the sole earning member of a family of 6 and his death leaves his wife and their four children without stable incomes and resources;
5. Providing the post-mortem report to the family without delay.

I am looking forward to your intervention.

Yours sincerely,

—————-

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Tarun Gogoi
Chief Minister of Assam
Assam Secretariat, Dispur
Guwahati-6, Assam
INDIA
Fax: +91 361 2262069

2. Chief Secretary
Assam Secretariat, Dispur
Guwahati-6, Assam
INDIA
Fax: +91 361 2260900
Email: psccy_it@assam.nic.in

4. Director General of Police
Assam, Ulubari
Guwahati-7, Assam
INDIA

Thank you

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

Posted on 2010-06-10
AHRC URL: http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2010/3477/
BHRPC URL:

Brief Summery of The BHRPC Fact-finding Report of Extra-Judicial Killing of Iskandar Ali of Bidruhipar, Cachar

June 5, 2010

Brief Summery of

The BHRPC Fact-finding Report

of Extra-Judicial Killing of Iskandar Ali of Bidruhipar, Cachar

Reference No.: BHRPC Case No. 58/2010/FR/2010-11 Dated 5 June 2010

Get the pdf version

Assam: Security Personnel Kill an Innocent Person by Firing Indiscriminately at a Market Place in Barak Valley

Personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), a para-military force of the government of India deployed heavily in North Eastern states to provide aid to the state governments in maintaining public order, killed an innocent person on 23 May 2010 by firing without warning and indiscriminately at Panchaboti (known also as Jamalpar), a small market place within the area of Dholai Police Station (PS) in the district of Cachar, Assam, while trying to arrest two other persons reportedly acting on a tip-off. No investigation into the killing is ordered. Police, instead, registered a case against the deceased person incorporating his name in the First Information Report (FIR) filed against the two arrestees. There are fears that post mortem report can also be tempered. Impunity for such frequent extra-judicial killings is taken for granted in this part of India.

After receiving information the Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC), a human rights organisation based in Assam, formed a team for finding facts about the incidents. The team visited Bidruhipar, the village where the deceased lived which falls under Sonai PS in Cachar (Assam), spoken with his wife, children, brothers, other relatives and fellow villagers. The team also visited Panchaboti, where the incident occurred and other related areas. They spoke to some eye witnesses and local police officers. The account given here is based on the facts gathered in this way by the BHRPC.

Panchaboti is like a small market place where there are 19/20 shops of various kinds and people from the adjacent villages come for buying or selling household things and for other related purposes. A gathering of 40/50 persons are normally found there. The deceased Iskandar Ali Barbhuiya (aged about 42, son of late Abdul Matlib Barbhuiya) lived at a nearby village Bidruhipar (about 4 km away to the north eastern direction from Panchaboti separated by the river Sonai) under the Sonai PS. He was a small businessman primarily dealing with betel nuts. He would buy row betel nuts from markets and small village firms and sell them after processing. He was the sole earning member of a family of 6 comprising of his wife Monijun Nesa (aged about 38), son Rajib Hussain Barbhuiya (aged about 13) and daughters Jasmin Begum Barbhuiya (aged about 11), Yasmin Begum Barbhuiya (aged about 7) and Najmin Begum Barbhuiya (aged about 4). According to the villagers and the police officials, he was a peace loving person never involved in any crime or immoral acts and he had nothing against him in the police record.

At about 11 pm on the fateful day of 23 May he left his house telling his wife that he was going to the Panchaboti area to collect betel nuts which he would keep at the house of a friend for he intended to visit his sister Champarun Nesa at Krishnapur, Amraghat, though he expressed doubts that he would get time for the visit. He asked his wife not to worry if he did not return that day.

The persons who were present at the time of shooting by the CRPF at Panchaboti state that they heard and saw a group of 11/12 CRPF personnel from A147 Battalion led by Mr Muatoshi Dubichu, Deputy Inspector of Police and in-charge of Shachinpur Camp (Shachinpur comes under Dholai PS), who came there sometime ago, suddenly started firing indiscriminately at about 4.30 pm and people ran helter-skelter in panic. Most of them entered nearby shops and houses and closed the doors. Some of them saw Iskandar running over a small field towards the river Sonai, a tributary of the river Barak. He jumped into the river while CRPF were shooting at him. There was absolutely no provocation of any kind for the CRPF to open fire. The witnesses say that CRPF did not warn the people by any means before starting firing. It was not known at that time what happened to Iskandar. But the CRPF arrested Moniruddin Barbhuiya (aged about 32, son of Abdul Majid Barbhuiya of village Bidruhipar, PS Sonai, Cachar, Assam) and Abdul Khalik (aged about 25, son of Siraj Uddin of village Sundari Part-II, PS Sonai, Cachar, Assam) for whose arrest they came.

The CRPF claimed that they were on a routine patrolling at that time and they observed suspicious behaviour on the part of Moniruddin, Abdul Khalik and Iskandar. They challenged them and when the suspects started running away they opened fire and shot 7 rounds at them. As a result they succeeded in arresting two persons while another (meaning the deceased Iskandar) ran away. They did not know what happened to the later. But they found a country made 9 mm pistol and four pieces of bullets with Moniruddin. According to the CRPF, they are ordinary criminals and did not belong to any organisation. The CRPF handed over the two arrestees to the Palonghat police out post under Dholai PS at about 9 pm that day. Dholai police registered a case against Moniruddin, Abdul Khalik and another (meaning Iskandar but without naming) (vide Dholai PS Case No. 99/2010 dated 23 May 2010) under section 47 of the Arms Act, 1959. On 24 May the Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Dholai PS produced the accused before a magistrate praying for police custody for them which was granted for 7 days. Then they were sent to the judicial custody and at the time of writing this report they are still in jail.

According to the police sources, Moniruddin stated that he is a labourer and worked in Mizoram for a few months. One day in Mizoram when he went to a river to bath there he found a pistol lying there. He picked it up and was trying to sell it. Iskandar is nothing to do with them.

When in the night on 23 May Iskandar did not return home his wife Monijun was not worried and she thought that he had gone to his sister’s house at Krishnapur as she was told. The next day (24 May) Badrul Mia, a neighbour, asked Monijun if she was aware of an incident of firing at Panchaboti the day before where her husband went and whether he returned home or not. She became worried and contacted her sister-in-law at Krishnapur over the phone who told that Moniruddin did not visit her. Then she contacted each and every relatives of her husband but everybody expressed ignorance about the whereabouts of Iskandar. She along with her sister-in-law Sitarun Nesa went to the Sonai PS on 25 May and informed the police in writing that her husband was missing since the day before. It was entered in the General diary of the PS vide GD Entry 601 dated 25 May 2010.

At about 1 pm on 26 May some people of village Sundari Part-II (situated at a distance of about 2 km from Panchaboti) saw a dead body adrift in the river Sonai and informed Kachudaram police out post under Sonai PS. Police, first from the out post and then from the PS, came at about 3 pm and send the body to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital, Silchar for autopsy. At about 11 pm on 27 May the police handed over the body to Monijun. His relatives and fellow villagers performed the last rites at about 2.30 pm.

The persons who performed the pre-funeral ritual bathing of the body state that they saw two holes caused by bullets on the body; one on the waist and the other on the left side of the neck. Report of the autopsy has not been yet provided to the family. Monijun and other villagers fear that perhaps they want to change the report and that is why they are not giving it to her. The BHRPC is trying to access the report.

The local people did not believe the CRPF story. They say that it is possible that Moniruddin and Abdul Khalik were trying to sell the pistol. Probably they fixed the place and time for transaction with the purported buyer to complete the sale at Panchaboti on 23 May. According to them, it is not a case of routine patrol as the CRPF claim but it is probable that the CRPF somehow came to know of the transaction and accordingly they came to nab them red handed. But lack of professionalism and respect for the rights of the general citizens provoked them to open fire when they saw the suspects and it claimed an innocent life in the form of Iskandar. They emphatically say that Iskandar had nothing whatsoever to do with Moniruddin and his activities. He is the victim of carelessness of the security forces for the lives of innocent people. The story which is being told by the CRPF accusing Iskandar of being a partner or accomplice or involved with any other way with Moniruddin or his pistol is a typical attempt of covering up their guilt of killing him and it is gross injustice to the unfortunate soul of the deceased and his wife and children to stigmatise them in this way.

Mr. Kutub Ahmed Mazumder, a member of Assam Legislative Assembly representing the Sonai Constituency also told the BHRPC that he knew Iskandar personally and he is a very good person. He visited the widow on 30 May.

Hundreds of people of the neighbouring villages gathered on 28 May at Hatikhal, a convenient meeting place for the people living at neighbouring villages, and held a condolence meeting which was presided over by Nazrul Islam Ahmed, vice president of Sonai Anchalik Panchayat (Anchalik Panchayat is the middle layer of the three layer local government system consisting of Gaon Panchayat, Anchalik Panchayat and Zila Parishad) where resolutions passed; 1.Condemning the killing of Iskandar terming it as an intentional murder of a law-abiding and peace loving citizen by power fuddled unscrupulous security forces, 2. Condoling the family for their loss, and 3. Demanding compensation and prosecution of the responsible CRPF personnel.

Monijun filed a complaint before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Cachar on 29 May praying for directing the police for proper investigation of the murder under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The complaint was forwarded to the Sonai PS and was registered as an FIR vide Sonai PS Case No. 126/10 dated 4 May 2010.

The BHRPC also wrote to the authorities including the president, prime minister of India and the chairpersons of the National Human Rights Commission.

Report prepared by

Waliullah Ahmed Laskar

For BHRPC

On 5 June 2010

At Guwahati, Assam