Bangladesh, India: Human Rights Hanging On The Border Fence

Posted on | januari 14, 2011 | 2 Comments


Bangladeshis were shocked by widely published photographs of the dead body of a 15 year old Bangladeshi girl hanging on the India-Bangladesh border Fence. According to news reports the girl named Felani was shot dead by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) at Anantapur while she was illegally crossing the border with her father on the way back to Bangladesh.


Mahmud Faisal elaborates how the girl was caught in this tragic fate:


Her father managed to cross the barbed wire, but Felani’s clothes got stuck in the wire and she started screaming in fear. Noticing her BSF shot instantaneously and a bullet went through her body. But she did not die. If BSF wanted it could end her misery by putting more bullets into her. But they waited four hours to be sure that she stopped screaming and she is dead. She was screaming “water, water” while she was hanging in the barbed wire, hurt. Nobody listened to her and BSF finally took away her dead body. After 30 hours she was brought back to Bangladesh like hanging a dead cow.

Indian Border Security Force And barbed Wire. Image by Sanjeev Syal. Copyright Demotix

In a recently published 81-page report titled, “Trigger Happy: Excessive Use of Force by Indian Troops at the Bangladesh Border”, Human Rights Watch found numerous cases of indiscriminate use of force, arbitrary detention, torture, and killings by the Indian Border Security Force, without adequate investigation or punishment.

“The border force seems to be out of control, with orders to shoot any suspect,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The border operations ignore the most basic rule of law, the presumption of innocence.”

Bangladeshi human rights organization Odhikar says in a report that BSF kills one Bangladeshi in every four days. It also says that BSF killed 74 innocent Bangladeshi citizens in 2010, injured seventy-two and kidnapped 43. In the past decade more than 1000 Bangladeshis were killed in the border regions by BSF.

Alfaz Anam says:

In Saturday’s Naya Diganta (Bangla News Daily) we see a photograph of the body of little Felani in red cloth hanging on the barbed wire of India-Bangladesh border. Seems like a piece of Bangladesh hanging. Why was she killed? [..]
Bangladeshi citizens are being subjected to this inhuman atrocity out of extreme hatred towards them. BSF could easily arrest Felani and take necessary legal measures. But they did not as she is a Bangladeshi. Death is her ultimate punishment.

In this way Parul (another 13 year old civilian Bangladeshi girl killed in 2009 by BSF) and Felanis die everyday. These are not highlighted in the news prominently. They do not have any security. Six Bangladeshis were killed in the first week of new year (2011). [..] India has also borders with alleged enemy state Pakistan. In Kashmir there are regular shootouts between border guard. But no civilian is killed like this. It seems that unarmed Bangladeshis are greater enemy than Pakistan to the Indian guards.

Rahnuma Ahmed highlights in a post titled “Killing Thy Neighbors” why despite all these threats people cross border between Bangladesh and India legally and illegally:

The fence divides and separates. Villages. Agricultural lands. Markets. Families. Communities. It cuts across mangrove-swamps in the southwest, forests and mountains in the northeast.

It split up Fazlur Rehman’s family too, the fence snaked into their Panidhar village homestead, his younger brother who lived right next door, is now in another country (Time, February 5, 2009). Other border residents have had their homes split in two, the kitchen in one country, the bedroom in another.

Netizens are also frustrated with feeble government response. Helal M Rahman at Blog Platform Amar Bornomala complains:

After all these incidents the highest authorities of the government remain silent and they are not doing anything to stop these indiscriminate killings.

Blogger Arif Jebtik writes [bn]:

This will continue to happen. Nothing will change. A long highway will be built with loans from India. Cars from neighboring states will roll into Bangladesh on that highway. We are civilized hosts, we will never treat them with bullets rather with steamed fine rice and Hilsha fish curry.
The BSF chief will continue to preach about peace and friendship after bagging Jamdani Sari as gifts for his wife.

Via SMS we will merrily spread the information that the Bangladesh cricket captain Shakib Al Hasan has been sold in auction of the Indian Premier League for 30 million Taka ($425000). Our housewives will continue to watch Indian TV serials and shed their tears during tragic scenes.

But we will never shed tears for our sister who was butchered in the border inhumanely.

We will just utter the magic words like parrots, long live India-Bangladesh friendship.

AUTHOR: Rezwan


2 Responses to “Bangladesh, India: Human Rights Hanging On The Border Fence”

  1. Elisabeth Moore
    januari 14th, 2011 @ 09:09


  2. সৌরভ চ্যাটার্জী
    januari 9th, 2012 @ 17:05

    দুঃখের সংবাদ, ভারতেও সাধারণ লকেদের মধ্যে এই চর্চা চলছে… :-(

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