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4 July, 2015 00:00 00 AM
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Indian court upholds BSF manís acquittal

Family rejects verdict, calls for trial in int'l court
Khandaker Mahfuz, Our Correspondent, Kurigram
Indian court upholds BSF manís acquittal

A special court of India's Border Security Force (BSF) in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal has upheld the acquittal of lone accused BSF Constable Amiya Ghosh in the murder of Bangladeshi girl Felani Khatun through revision trial in the wee hours yesterday.
The special court resumed the revision trial of the Felani murder case on June 30 at the BSF Battalion Headquarters in Sonari Seuty area of Cooch Behar after three months. The court conducted the trial for three working days and acquitted the accused Amiya Ghosh at midnight on July 3.
The verdict has left Felani’s family shattered and upset over what they termed as injustice. “We have heard the verdict. We do not accept this verdict of the BSF special court where the accused Amiya Ghosh has himself admitted that he is her (Felani's) killer,” said Felani’s father Nur Islam, rejecting the verdict. “We want the trial to be conducted again in the international court,” he added.
Public Prosecutor and lawyer representing the Bangladeshi side in the case, Advocate Abraham Lincoln, said the verdict went against the idea of human rights. “The BSF may increase border killings after the verdict and a new crisis in border management will arise. The verdict is an opposite of human rights and rights justice,” he said.
“The Indian government can appeal against the verdict. Besides, Felani’s father can also appeal to an upper court in India against the verdict,” said Abraham Lincoln, adding that there was need for help from human rights organisations.
Lt Colonel Jakir Hossain, Director of 45 Battalion of the Border Guard Bangladesh in Kurigram, did not agree to comment on the verdict. “I have not received a copy of the verdict yet,” he said.
Fourteen-year-old Felani was allegedly shot dead by BSF's Amiya Ghosh while she, along her father Nurul Islam, were entering Bangladesh through the barbed wire fences at the Aanatapur border point in Phulbari upazila of Kurigram district early in the morning on January 7, 2011.
Hit on the chest, her body kept hanging from the barbed wire as her clothes got entangled with the wired fence. The killing drew widespread attention and received immense flak from across the globe.
Trial in the case began on August 13, 2013, in the BSF special court of 181 BSF Battalion Headquarters in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal in India. The court recorded testimonies of Felani’s father Nurul Islam and her maternal uncle Abdul Hanif on August 19, 2013.
On September 6, 2013, the special court declared Amiya Ghosh (member of 181 BSF Battalion) as ‘not guilty’ of the death of the 14-year-old Bangladeshi girl Felani Khatun. Shocked to hear the verdict, Felani’s father Nural Islam appealed to the Indian High Commissioner in Bangladesh for a revision trial in the case and demanded a compensation of his business in India.
The revision trial began in the special court on September 22, 2014, on his appeal. After being adjourned thrice, the court resumed hearing on June 30 and announced its verdict in the early hours of July 3.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Protection Platform (MASUM) leader Kirity Roy said that they are going to challenge the BSF court verdict to a higher Indian court. We have discussed the matter with Felani’s family, Roy added.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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