The footage of BSF men torturing a Bangladeshi who has been identified as Habibur Rahman, inset, of Shibganj, Chapainawabganj. Photo: TV grab and Star file
The Indian Border Security Force today handed over Rs 50,000 as compensation to a Bangladeshi citizen for torturing him brutally in Murshidabad district of Paschimbanga more than two years ago.
The BSF also apologised for the gruesome stripping and torture of Habibur Rahman which triggered widespread commotion at home and abroad with rights bodies demanding prosecution of the BSF members involved, reports our Rajshahi correspondent.
Habibur, son of Saidur Rahman, is a resident of Satrasia village in Shibganj upazila in Chapainawabganj.
The BSF men caught Habibur with two others on December 9, 2011 when 10-12 men sneaked into Murshidabad district through Khanpur border in Paba upazila of Rajshahi to fetch some cattle and carried on brutality on him.
The nearly five-minute video footage aired on some Indian TV channels, including NDTV, showed that the victim was pushed to the ground with his hands and legs tied while three to four men in BSF uniform stripped and tortured him.
In an interview with The Daily Star at Monakosha border outpost in Chapainawabganj on January 19, 2012 Habibur told that stripping him, BSF jawans tied his hands and legs and beat him up before dumping his unconscious body in a mustard field near Raninagar camp in Paschimbanga’s Murshidabad district.
"When I opened my eyes, I was not sure if I was alive. I lay in the mustard field for a while to pull myself together. Though I was unable to move due to the excessive beating, I forced myself to get up and headed towards home," the victim said.
He estimated that he was about five to seven kilometres inside Indian territory.
"We found no cattle when we reached the rendezvous point. So, we started back for home," said Habibur, adding that it was around 11:00pm when the BSF men caught him with two others.
"They demanded Rs 1,000, a mobile phone and torchlight from me. As I said I did not have those, they started kicking and punching me. But that was only the trailer of what was to happen next. They took me to their camp at Raninagar on a tractor," he said.
Habibur was wearing a lungi, a pink shirt and a jacket.
"The real beating began the next morning," said Habibur, "Two jawans stripped me, tied my hands at the back and to a stick. They also tied my legs. Then they started to beat me with a stick." Habibur still was in shock as he described the BSF brutality.
"As I fell on the ground, three of them indulged in beating me up indiscriminately," said Habibur, failing to hold back his tears.
"At one point, one of them sat on my abdomen and held my feet up while another hit me on the bare sole with a stick. The torture continued for at least an hour," he said, adding that the jawans then dragged him a few yards, pulled him up and asked him to walk on his own.
"But I blacked out and fell down. A few hours later, I found myself lying in a mustard field," the victim said.
He showed the marks of injuries on his face, hands, legs and back.
On his return, Habibur did not dare go to a hospital out of fear of more ordeals. He chose traditional treatment instead.
On January 18, 2012, BSF suspended eight jawans after a video clip was aired on some Indian TV.