Indian court sets March 18 for hearing after 5 years

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:45, Feb 15,2020


An Indian High Court bench on Friday posted further hearing in the Felani Khatun killing case to March 18 after the government has submitted its argument during the hearing.

Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha secretary Kirity Roy in a statement said that after five years, the matter was listed on Friday before the bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice KM Joseph, and Bijan Ghosh, the lawyer on behalf of the petitioners, stood in the hearing.

‘We are informed that the [Indian] government side today submitted their argument and the next date will be on March 18,’ said Kirity in the statement.

The statement read that border killing has been a ‘highly contentious bilateral issues’ between India and Bangladesh despite Delhi’s repeated assurance to end killings along the border with Bangladesh, the situation was the same as previous.

Felani Khatun, a 15-year-old Bangladeshi girl, was killed by the Indian Border Security Force when she was returning home with her father on January 7, 2011.

Her body was hanging from the border fence made of barbed wire for more than four hours.

On August 19, 2011, the father and mother of the deceased travelled to the BSF office at Cooch Behar to give evidence before the Security Force Court at the trial of Constable Amiya Ghosh but they were neither allowed to attend nor observe the trial.

On September 6, 2013, the BSF constable, Amiya Ghosh, was acquitted.

Anguished by the decision of the Security Force Court, the victim’s father wrote a letter to the High Commissioner of the Indian High Commission in Dhaka and to Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha, or MASUM in short, for asking the Indian government to take action against the constable who killed his daughter and asking for compensation.

On November 17, 2014, the father came to India and gave evidence before the Review Court and once again they were not permitted to attend the rest of the proceedings.

On July 29, 2015, the father, Mohammad Nur Islam, and Kirity Roy of MASUM jointly filed a writ petition before the Supreme Court of India and prayed for the constitution of a Central Bureau of Investigation team consisting of officers from outside the state of West Bengal to take over the investigation of the abovementioned case and to prosecute the offenders in accordance with law.

But there was no development in respect of this case since 2015 and after five years, the matter was on Friday.

According to MASUM’s own fact finding, from 2011 to 2019, a total of 86 Indian citizens were killed by the Indian Border Security Force, where specific complaints were made to authorities.

 ‘It has been nine years since Felani was killed and justice is still eluding.  MASUM demands a fair trial of the case and we hope that the Indian top court will deliver a positive verdict in the case,’ the statement read on Friday. 

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