Two Indian boys, Asif Iqubal, aged 13, and Sahin Sk., aged 15, were allegedly taken into custody by the Indian Police and shot at close range on 1 April 2007.
The two boys Asif Iqbal (13 year-old) and Sahin SK (15 year-old) were allegedly in the process of smuggling two cows across the border between India and Bangladesh, when the Commandant of the Border Security Force (BSF) belonging to the 140 Battalion posted at Kaharpara border out post saw them and ordered to catch them. Consequently, three or four subalterns caught them and fired them from point blank range, despite the young age of the two boys and the fact that they were unarmed. Two eyewitnesses were reportedly present during the incident.
The bodies of the two boys were allegedly brought and left for hours in front of the Raninagar police station, but no medical examination was undertaken to determine their condition and to confirm their death and the cause of it.
The boys were students of the Katlamari High School. They come from a socially and economically backward community in Murshidabad district and were struggling to find finances for their study. To find some extra income hey were working as a “cowboy” to cover their education cost. In Murshidabad district, there are traders of cattle who illegally trade cattle across the Indo-Bangladesh border. Usually the trade is carried out with the blessings of the local politicians and criminals and the BSF officers stationed in the area. Often this illegal trade is left unreported and the BSF officers, local police, politicians and the traders make money risking the life of poor peasants who owing to extreme poverty in the area agree to take cattle across the border, often at night.The BSF is stationed at the Indo-Bangladesh border to prevent illegal infiltration and also to prevent illegal cross-border trade. However, they allow the illegal trade and also human trafficking across the border, provided they are paid off. But in certain occasions the BSF take into custody some of the merchandise and also the accompanying persons for the records and produce them at the local police station. However in certain occasions they murder the persons captured in case they feared that they would expose the involvement of the BSF in the illegal traffic.It is alleged that Asif and Sahin were hired by one smuggler for passing two cows from Indian side to Bangladesh in exchange of only Rs 200/- (nearly 4.5 USD). It is also alleged that the personnel of 140 Battalion posting at the Kaharpara Border Out Post were bribed Rs 5000/- (nearly 111USD) to ignore such illegal trade.
Stop Child Executions Campaign is gravely concerned about thse executions and remind that India is party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and bound to the obligation therein to “[…] recognise that every child has the inherent right to life […][and to] ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child” (article 6). Furthermore, the SCE Campaign reiterate the concern expressed by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in its last Concluding Observations in 2004 as regards to the “numerous reports of alleged instances of killings of children by law enforcement officials” in India (CRC/C/15/Add.228, 26 February 2004, paragraph 42).
Please write to the authorities of India urging them to:
- order an impartial and exhaustive inquiry into the killing of these two children, identify all those responsible, bring them before a competent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
- ensure that, in case the allegations are proved, adequate compensation would be provided to the families of the victims;
- guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards and particularly guarantee the safety and the physical and psychological integrity of all children throughout the country and adopt immediate measures to put an end to extra-judicial killings of children and youths;
Provide appropriate protection to the witnesses of these alleged arbitrary executions.
– Raninagar Police Station, Tel: +91-3481-238038. Mr. Sunayan Basu, Officer-in-Charge of Raninagar Police Station, Tel: + 91 9732745592
– Justice Rajendra Babu, Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission of India, Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi 110 001, Tel: +91 11 230 74448, Fax: +91 11 2334 0016, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Justice Shyamal Kumar Sen, Chairman, West Bengal Human Rights Commission, Bhabani Bhaban, Alipur, Kolkata – 27. Phone +91-33-24797727, 24791629, Fax – 24799633, Email: email@example.com
– Shri Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, Prime Minister’s Office, Room number 152, South Block, New Delhi, Fax: + 91 11 2301 6857
– Shri Shivraj Patil, Union Minister of Home Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, 104-107 North Block, New Delhi 110 001 India, Fax: +91 11 2309 2979.
– Justice K. G. Balkrishnan, Chief Justice of India, Supreme Court, Tilak Marg, New Delhi -1, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
– H.E. Mr. Swashpawan Singh, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative to the United Nations (Geneva), Rue du Valais 9 (6ème étage), 1202 Geneva, Tel: +41 22 906 86 86, Fax: +41 22 906 86 96, Email: email@example.com