District Trinamul leaders on Monday fumed at the BSF and at Nisith Pramanik, the Cooch Behar MP and Union minister of state for home affairs, over his “silence” at the death of a 45-year-old villager found dead on Sunday a day after he went missing near the India-Bangladesh border.
The leaders echoed the deceased Jalal Mian’s family that the BSF beat him to death. On Sunday, Jalal’s family filed a case, alleging that the BSF had killed him.
On Monday morning, Udayan Guha, the northBengal development minister, reached Baramaricha, Jalal’s village under the ambit ofSitalkuchi police station, and spoke with the deceased’s family members and neighbours.
“I have checked with Jalal Mian’s neighbours and family. He had no past record of being involved in border smuggling or any other illegal activity. Why did the BSF catch and beat him to death then? We believe senior officials of the central force should consult psychiatrists to find out why some of their personnel are killing Indian villagers at the border instead of protecting them,” said Guha.
Guha also referred to the death of Prem Kumar Barman, another youth of the district who died in December last year after the BSF reportedly fired pellets at him. Abhishek Banerjee, the all-India general secretaryof Trinamul, had raised Prem’s death at a public meeting, triggering Trinamul’s demonstration near Pramanik’s house.
“We want to know whythe local MP, who is also a junior minister in the home ministry, is silent. He speaks at length on several issues but whenit comes to the killing of innocent villagers by the BSF,he goes into mute mode. The MP should immediately resign as he can’t protect peopleof his constituency,” said Partha Pratim Roy, Trinamul’s spokesperson in Cooch Behar.
Trinamul insiders said that in their campaign ahead of the rural polls, they will refer to such incidents and tell people that personnel of the central security forces do not face legal steps even after killing people.
“In 2021, during the Assembly polls, the CISF personnel gunned down four youths in Sitalkuchi. The BSF tortures and kills people at regular intervals at the border. No one is arrested or punished. We are planning an extensive movement on the issue, in consultation with our party’s state leadership,” said a party functionary.
An observer said that people in border villages did have grievances against the BSF.
Police officers, who are probing Jalal’s death, said they were waiting for his post-mortem report.
“We will also speak with his family members and communicate with the BSF to gather more information,” said an officer.