Sunday, April 22, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

BSF men tortured, then shot dead
Last rites of mutilated bodies performed

Tura (Meghalaya), April 21
The last rites of the 15 BSF personnel, tortured and killed by the Bangladesh Rifles on the Assam-Bangladesh border, were performed today with gun salute.

The bodies of the two Muslim personnel were interred first, while those of 13 Hindu men were cremated in the presence of 118 BSF Battalion Commandant S. K. Jutsi and other senior officers, at the 118 BSF grounds here, a BSF officer said.

As the bodies were in a “highly mutilated condition”, they were not handed over to family members who were informed of the deaths by telegram and on the telephone, the officer said.

The BSF men belonged to Punjab, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.

Earlier, as the bodies arrived at Tura this morning from Mankachar in three trucks, they were received by the Commandant, 118 BSF Battalion, with passion running high among the jawans.

“The dead were among us and our brothers. How can we remain quiet?” a BSF jawan asked.

Deputy Commandant B. R. Mondal, who was among the dead, was a very popular figure in Mankachar.

Several of the 15 BSF soldiers were shot through the eye after being subjected to severe torture including pouring of boiling water, during their captivity in Bangladesh.

As the bodies were “too bad in shape”, the BSF authorities decided not to send them to their families and performed the last rites here this afternoon with full state honours in the presence of BSF chief Gurbachan Jagat.

The bodies, mutilated beyond recognition, were handed over to the Indian authorities by Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) late last night at a checkpost near Boraibari along the border with Assam.

A senior BSF officer said the bodies bore “injuries with both sharp and blunt instruments, burn marks and profuse signs of acute physical torture.”

Several of them had been “shot through the eye after being tortured”, he said, maintaining that “it is quite possible that some of our boys might have died because of sheer torture.”

“Tell-tale signs of boiling water having poured on some of the soldiers was evident from the fact that their skin was peeling off,” he said, adding that India has asked Bangladesh to investigate how the BSF soldiers were killed amidst reports that many of them were lynched by a mob. PTI


Slain BSF personnel

Tura (Meghalaya), April 21
The following are the names of the 15 BSF soldiers killed by Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) in Boraibari along the border with Assam on Wednesday.

Deputy Commandant B. R. Mandal; Sub-Inspector Panna Lal; Sub-Inspector Amrik Singh; Head Constable Roman Gouda; Head Constable U. Raman Nair; Head Constable B. R. Nath; Constable Mohammad Mofil Uddin; Constable Anand Singh; Constable Sudhir Yadav; Constable Gurbax Singh; Constable Pradeep Kumar; Constable Sukhwinder Singh; Constable Sanatan Dhalla; Constable Abdul Hakim Sheikh; and Constable Desh Raj. PTI


B’desh orders probe

Dhaka, April 21
Bangladesh today announced an investigation into the mutilation of bodies of 15 BSF personnel killed by Bangladesh Rifles on the Indo-Bangladesh border in Assam.

“We will launch an investigation” into the matter, Foreign Secretary Syed Moazzem Ali told newsman here.

He said that the Bangladesh Government had received the India’s protest about the incident and was aware of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s concern over the matter, and “our reply will be reflective of his concern.” PTI

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