We condemn the brutal torture of a Bangladeshi man by India’s Border Security Force (BSF). As this newspaper reported yesterday, Md Azim Uddin, after having illegally trespassed into India to smuggle cattle into Bangladesh, was caught by the BSF and tortured for three days. And at one point during the torture, BSF men used pliers to pull out all 10 of his fingernails. While we cannot condone the practice of illegally trespassing into another country, torturing a detainee is completely unacceptable and a reprehensible crime.
Such practices are reminiscent of medieval times and have no place in today’s world. Is this how someone in the custody of the BSF is normally treated? We don’t expect this type of inhuman behaviour to be the standard practice. This conduct is also indicative of a lack of discipline and accountability. It is difficult to imagine well-trained members of a disciplined security force using torture to terrorise a man simply for trespassing, which could have been dealt with, and frequently is, without resorting to savagery.
Unfortunately, such heavy-handedness by the BSF against Bangladeshis, as we have seen, is not completely uncommon. Earlier this week, BSF men shot and killed another Bangladeshi youth for the same offence along the Dongaon border area in Haripur upazila of Thakurgaon.
This is not the sort of behaviour we expect from our neighbour, with whom we share a long history of good relations and mutual respect. We hope our authorities will bring the matter to the attention of its Indian counterparts. Those who have engaged in this despicable crime must be punished and prompt action must be taken so that such incidents will not be repeated. No human being, no matter what their crime, should be treated in such an inhuman way.