India/ West Bengal: Alleged extrajudicial killing of Mr. Sumanta Mondal
Case IND 130710
Alleged excessive use of force/ Alleged extrajudicial killing/ Risk of impunity
The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in India/ West Bengal.
Brief description of the situation
The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), a member of OMCT SOS-Torture Network, about the killing of Mr. Sumanta Mondal, aged about 22 years old, from Borderpara, Murshidabad District, in June 2010, by Border Security Force (BSF).
According to the information received, on 16 June 2010, around 7 pm, Mr. Sumanta Mondal, along with three other companions, tried to smuggle out buffalos, when he got caught, near to Harudanga out post no. VIII, by some BSF personnel attached with the 151 Battalion of BSF-B Company and subsequently killed. The exact circumstances of Mr. Sumanta Mondal’s death are unclear but it is reported that he was unarmed when he left with his companions. At around 10.30 pm, a Sub Inspector of Raninagar police station reportedly came to the place of occurrence and took the dead body of Mr. Sumanta Mondal to the Godhanpara Primary HeatlhCenter.
According to the BSF, Mr. Sumanta Mondal was killed by firearm after he tried to attack the BSF personnel who caught him. To this end, the BSF filed a criminal case against Mr. Sumanta Mondal, on 17 June 2010, notably for “attempt to murder” under section 307 of the Indian Criminal Code.
Nevertheless, according to the same information received, the alleged BSF officer involved in the death of Mr. Sumanta Mondal did not suffer any injury and, according to several doctors who examined the body of Mr. Sumanta Mondal, the injury mark in his chest did not correspond to a bullet firing. A Post Mortem Examination was subsequently carried out at Burdwan Medical College Hospital, on 20 June 2010. According to the doctor who performed the examination, Mr. Sumanta Mondal was killed by a dagger or a spear, and not by a bullet wound. Further examination of the body is reportedly ongoing. OMCT is, however, concerned that, to date, there has beenno effective investigation into the killing of Mr. Sumanta Mondal.
The International Secretariat of OMCT is gravely concerned about the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Sumanta Mondal. Indeed, OMCT has already documented several cases in which Indian BSF have resorted to excessive use of force, including deadly force. OMCT recalls that India has international treaty obligations to protect the right to life at all times and that the State authorities must ensure that security forces comply with international human rights standards on law enforcement, in particular those relating to the use of force. Under these standards, lethal force by law enforcement officials may be used only when strictly necessary and to the extent required for the performance of their duty.
Accordingly, OMCT calls on the competent Indian authorities to carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the killing of Mr. Sumanta Mondal, in accordance with international human rights standards, inter alia, with the UN Principle on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law.
Please write to the authorities in India/ West Bengal urging them to:
i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Sumanta Mondal’s family;
ii. Carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the circumstances of the killing of Mr. Sumanta Mondal, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
iii. Ensure that an effective remedy as well as the right to full redress, including compensation, is granted to the victim’s family concerned;
iv. Guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.
Ø Mr. Shri Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, Prime Minister’s Office, Room number 152, South Block, New Delhi, Fax: + 91 11 2301 6857;
Ø Mr. P. Chidambaram, Union Minister of Home Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, 104-107 North Block, New Delhi 110 001 India, Fax: +91 11 2309 2979;
Ø Justice K. G. Balkrishnan, Chief Justice of India, Supreme Court, Tilak Marg, New Delhi -1, Fax: +91 11 233 83792, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Ø Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission of India, Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi 110 001, Fax: +91 11 2334 0016, Email: email@example.com;
Ø Jusice N. C. Sil, Acting Chairman, West Bengal Human Rights Commission, Bhabani Bhaban, Alipur, Kolkata -27. Fax +91 33 24799633, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Ø M. K. Narayanan, Governor, West Bengal, Raj Bhaban, Kolkata – 62, Phone: +91 33-2200 1641, Fax: +91 33 – 2200 2444 / 2200 1649, email@example.com;
Ø Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations (Geneva), Rue du Valais 9, 1202 Geneva, Tel: +41 22 906 86 86, Fax: +41 22 906 86 96, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of India in your respective country.
Geneva, 13 July 2010
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.