The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Drunk’ jawans kill boy, batter family
- Parents and sister don’t know 19-year-old Masud is dead

Balurghat, March 6: A 19-year-old boy, who was thrashed by BSF jawans on Sunday, died at the North Bengal Medical College Hospital last night.

Unaware of his death, Masud Rana Sarkar’s parents and sister are also battling for life after being beaten up by a bunch of jawans.

The Sarkars of Daudpur, 27 km from here in South Dinajpur, were assaulted the same day that another jawan shot down a goatherd in nearby Hili, plunging the border force’s relations with civilians to a new low.

A group of 15-20 jawans, armed with guns and lathis and allegedly drunk after Holi revelry, raided the house of Lat- ifur Rahman Sarkar around 1.20 on Sunday afternoon.

They first beat up Sarkar and Masud, both of whom slumped to the ground, and then Masud’s mother Mazeda and sister Fenciara.

Neighbours took them to the district hospital after the jawans had left.

The mother and daughter are still there. Masud, a first-year student of Balurghat College, and his father were shifted to Siliguri yesterday after their condition deteriorated.

Two groups from the nei- ghbouring villages of Palipara and Nadipara apparently clashed over irrigation water early on Sunday. The group losing the fight is said to have asked the BSF to intervene.

Some drunk jawans landed up soon after, not at Palipara or Nadipara but at adjacent Daudpur. “They picked out Latifurbhai’s house, though they had no role in the dispute,” said a villager who did not want to be named.

“They entered the house from the rear, abusing us all the while. They beat us mercilessly,” Mazeda said from the hospital bed this afternoon.

She did not know that the beating had turned fatal for her son. Nor did her daughter, lying next to her, know about Masud’s fate.

Monohar Ali Mondal, the chief of the local panchayat, said the jawans also threatened him, though he didn’t know why. “They pushed me to the ground and said they could shoot me.”

As the news of Masud’s death trickled into Daudpur this morning, residents blocked the road to Balurghat for almost 12 hours.

District magistrate Sayeed Sarfaraz Ahmed met Mazeda and Fenciara at the hospital. “I will demand an explanation from the BSF. They cannot continue like this,” he said.

No BSF officer was available for comment.

Jails and social welfare minister and Balurghat MLA Biswanath Chowdhury said he would seek the chief minister’s intervention.

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