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Prosecute CISF personnel for firing on unarmed villagers: MASUM to NHRC

Questioning the CISF’s claims of a mob attack, MASUM members asked why unarmed villagers were attacked during the incident.

Sabrangindia 14 Apr 2021

Image Courtesy:timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Prosecute concerned Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel for killing four Muslim migrant labourers, casting their vote for the Assembly election, Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) Secretary Kirity Roy appealed to the National Human Rights Commission on April 12, 2021.

Roy’s letter to the human rights body referred to an incident on April 10 in the Cooch Bihar district of West Bengal where four persons – Manirul Kaman, Nur Alom Mia, Chamiul Haque and Hamidul Mia – were shot dead and seven other people were injured grievously.

Calling the incident one that “throws a pile of shame to the world’s largest democracy” Roy demanded immediate suspension of the perpetrators, including District Superintendent of Police, and demanded proper security and compensation to victims’ families. Further, she demanded prosecution of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) West Bengal President Dilip Ghosh, who said in a public rally that such an incident will occur again in subsequent phases of campaign.

In their fact-finding report, the MASUM pointed out that the Central Election Commission failed to act against Ghosh’s hate speech. It also claimed that the central government was responsible for “this brutal atrocity and arbitrary attitude of the forces.”

As per the report, the incident occurred in Sitalkuchi block of Jorpati village when a CISF jawan assaulted 14-year-old physically-challenged boy Mrinal Haque in the market place, not far from the polling booth conducting the fourth phase of the election. A newspaper report claimed that the security officer attacking Mrinal grabbed him by the neck and hit him several times. When he fell to the ground, some villagers protested and helped him escape the assaulter.

Mrinal’s brother, who recorded the incident on his phone along with officers’ attempt to shift Mrinal in a car, was also beaten by personnel. Soon, the sector mobile officer informed the Quick Reaction Team (QRT) that arrived at the place with around five more CISF officers.

Following this, two jawans opened fire at the villagers, shooting four villagers in the chest. The report states that the CISF jawans who fired openly were brought in from outside while security forces near the polling booth left the place after the shooting. After some time, state police and other voting agents posted there also left the area. Voters who tried to record the incident met the same fate as the two boys.

While Mrinal survived the firing, he was sent to the Mathabhanga SD Hospital. 50-year-old Binoy Burman received a gunshot on his thigh. Yet another survivor Debendra Das received blunt injury on the head. As per the official statement, two polling officers and an ASHA worker were also injured in the incident.

Shortly after the incident, the CISF released a statement that the security force had opened fire against a mob of 50 to 60 miscreants who appeared while jawans were making their rounds. The statement claimed that the mob entered the polling booth and tried to snatched the weapons of CISF personnel. This statement was seconded justification by District SP.

In response, Roy put forward the following questions regarding the feasibility of the firing:

Why did a CISF jawan beat Mrinal Haque, son of Majid Mia, in the market area?

Whether the firing upon innocent people was a legitimate exercise of self-defence?

Whether the use of force was proportional to the resistance offered?

How dangerous was the situation to warrant seven rounds of lethal firing upon innocent villagers?

Why did the personnel fire on unarmed villagers?

If the situation seemed dangerous, why didn’t the CISF first lathi-charge the mob? Why were tear-gas shells not used instead?

Why was the presiding officer not consulted before the firing? Who was in-charge of the polling activity in that area?

Who was the commanding officer that ordered the firing and in which direction?

The organisation also questioned the fact that no security officer was injured despite claims of a “dangerous situation.”

Regarding the deceased, the report said that Nur Alom was the only earning member of his five-member family. He had returned to his village to cast his vote. His post-mortem report claims an “unnatural death.”

Similarly, Manirul Jamal and Chamiul were also the main breadwinners of their families. Jamal’s cousin alleged that the CISF personnel intentionally fired towards the Muslim people, as per the instruction of BJP leaders. Another victim, Hamidul Mia is survived by his pregnant wife and other family members.

A video recording the accounts of victims and family-members may be viewed here ((TRIGGER WARNING: Disturbing images and sounds of gunshots))

“The perpetrator CISF personnel not only violated rights guaranteed in Article 21 of Indian Constitution but also the premise of Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as Goal number 8 and 16 of Sustainable Development Goal earmarked by United Nations. In both these international instruments, the Indian government is a party. Perpetrators also violated Article 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8 of the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, Eighth United Nation Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders,” said Roy, demanding an immediate judicial inquiry into the incident.

Related:

Sitalkuchi killings: This blood won’t wash easy…
Battleground Bengal: Five killed in Sitalkuchi, EC and Central forces under scanner again
Battleground Bengal: Giasuddin Molla, Dilip Ghosh attacked
Battleground Bengal: EC's different strokes for different folks

Prosecute CISF personnel for firing on unarmed villagers: MASUM to NHRC

Questioning the CISF’s claims of a mob attack, MASUM members asked why unarmed villagers were attacked during the incident.

Image Courtesy:timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Prosecute concerned Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel for killing four Muslim migrant labourers, casting their vote for the Assembly election, Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) Secretary Kirity Roy appealed to the National Human Rights Commission on April 12, 2021.

Roy’s letter to the human rights body referred to an incident on April 10 in the Cooch Bihar district of West Bengal where four persons – Manirul Kaman, Nur Alom Mia, Chamiul Haque and Hamidul Mia – were shot dead and seven other people were injured grievously.

Calling the incident one that “throws a pile of shame to the world’s largest democracy” Roy demanded immediate suspension of the perpetrators, including District Superintendent of Police, and demanded proper security and compensation to victims’ families. Further, she demanded prosecution of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) West Bengal President Dilip Ghosh, who said in a public rally that such an incident will occur again in subsequent phases of campaign.

In their fact-finding report, the MASUM pointed out that the Central Election Commission failed to act against Ghosh’s hate speech. It also claimed that the central government was responsible for “this brutal atrocity and arbitrary attitude of the forces.”

As per the report, the incident occurred in Sitalkuchi block of Jorpati village when a CISF jawan assaulted 14-year-old physically-challenged boy Mrinal Haque in the market place, not far from the polling booth conducting the fourth phase of the election. A newspaper report claimed that the security officer attacking Mrinal grabbed him by the neck and hit him several times. When he fell to the ground, some villagers protested and helped him escape the assaulter.

Mrinal’s brother, who recorded the incident on his phone along with officers’ attempt to shift Mrinal in a car, was also beaten by personnel. Soon, the sector mobile officer informed the Quick Reaction Team (QRT) that arrived at the place with around five more CISF officers.

Following this, two jawans opened fire at the villagers, shooting four villagers in the chest. The report states that the CISF jawans who fired openly were brought in from outside while security forces near the polling booth left the place after the shooting. After some time, state police and other voting agents posted there also left the area. Voters who tried to record the incident met the same fate as the two boys.

While Mrinal survived the firing, he was sent to the Mathabhanga SD Hospital. 50-year-old Binoy Burman received a gunshot on his thigh. Yet another survivor Debendra Das received blunt injury on the head. As per the official statement, two polling officers and an ASHA worker were also injured in the incident.

Shortly after the incident, the CISF released a statement that the security force had opened fire against a mob of 50 to 60 miscreants who appeared while jawans were making their rounds. The statement claimed that the mob entered the polling booth and tried to snatched the weapons of CISF personnel. This statement was seconded justification by District SP.

In response, Roy put forward the following questions regarding the feasibility of the firing:

Why did a CISF jawan beat Mrinal Haque, son of Majid Mia, in the market area?

Whether the firing upon innocent people was a legitimate exercise of self-defence?

Whether the use of force was proportional to the resistance offered?

How dangerous was the situation to warrant seven rounds of lethal firing upon innocent villagers?

Why did the personnel fire on unarmed villagers?

If the situation seemed dangerous, why didn’t the CISF first lathi-charge the mob? Why were tear-gas shells not used instead?

Why was the presiding officer not consulted before the firing? Who was in-charge of the polling activity in that area?

Who was the commanding officer that ordered the firing and in which direction?

The organisation also questioned the fact that no security officer was injured despite claims of a “dangerous situation.”

Regarding the deceased, the report said that Nur Alom was the only earning member of his five-member family. He had returned to his village to cast his vote. His post-mortem report claims an “unnatural death.”

Similarly, Manirul Jamal and Chamiul were also the main breadwinners of their families. Jamal’s cousin alleged that the CISF personnel intentionally fired towards the Muslim people, as per the instruction of BJP leaders. Another victim, Hamidul Mia is survived by his pregnant wife and other family members.

A video recording the accounts of victims and family-members may be viewed here ((TRIGGER WARNING: Disturbing images and sounds of gunshots))

“The perpetrator CISF personnel not only violated rights guaranteed in Article 21 of Indian Constitution but also the premise of Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as Goal number 8 and 16 of Sustainable Development Goal earmarked by United Nations. In both these international instruments, the Indian government is a party. Perpetrators also violated Article 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8 of the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, Eighth United Nation Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders,” said Roy, demanding an immediate judicial inquiry into the incident.

Related:

Sitalkuchi killings: This blood won’t wash easy…
Battleground Bengal: Five killed in Sitalkuchi, EC and Central forces under scanner again
Battleground Bengal: Giasuddin Molla, Dilip Ghosh attacked
Battleground Bengal: EC's different strokes for different folks

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