The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Traders’ ire on violent jawans

Behrampore, Nov. 6: The Dhuliyan Bidi Leaves Merchants’ Association has complained to the Border Security Force, the police and the administration about repeated harassment at the hands of the border guards.

The last straw proved to be the attack on bidi merchant Reja-ul-Haque on Monday night by three BSF jawans. While Haque has filed a first information report against the BSF men at the Samsergunj police station, the association has sought redress from the district magistrate, the superintendent of police, the BSF inspector-general and the battalion’s commanding officer.

“I was returning home with my wife from our relatives’ place at 9 on Monday night when three BSF personnel stopped my motorbike in front of their camp and assaulted me. The men were obviously drunk. They also insulted my wife. We were rescued by Abdul Gaffar, officer-in-charge of the Samsergunj police station,” Haque said.

Gaffar admitted to BSF excesses in the area. “BSF jawans often beat up innocent people without any provocation. We have to mediate on such occasions to restore peace and maintain law and order. Haque has already filed an FIR against the BSF men who allegedly beat him on Monday night,” he said.

Qutb-ud-din Biswas, owner of a watch shop, said BSF men beat him up on Monday night, as also another trader, Islam Sheikh, on Sunday, police said.

District magistrate Manoj Shah said he is yet to receive any complaint. “The incident will be officially investigated once we receive a complaint,” he said.

An officer with the BSF’s 62 Battalion said: “We’ve not received any complaint against jawans stationed at the Dhuliyan outpost. Our deputy inspector-general deals with such complaints.”

Association secretary Harun-al-Rashid threatened a strike if the complaint was not heeded. “Common people and traders of Dhuliyan, which is, incidentally, the only commercial town of the district, have been harassed by the BSF since its camp was set up in the area. We have appealed to the higher authorities to bring the BSF to book, failing which we shall call a trade strike in Dhuliyan.”

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