India to hold revision trialStaff Correspondent
India’s Border Security Force has decided to hold ‘a revision trial’ in the case of the killing of Bangladesh teenaged girl Felani Khatun who was shot dead in the Kurigram border in January 2011, a BSF release from New Delhi said on Friday.
Felani was killed on January 7, 2011 in the area of border outpost Choudharyhat in Coochbehar of West Bengal ‘due to firing by constable Amiya Ghosh of 181 Battalion BSF,’ the release said.
The BSF made the decision only a day after Bangladesh’s foreign minister Dipu Moni on Thursday told reporters at the foreign ministry that Bangladesh would appeal to India if Dhaka did not get justice at the end of
the final process of the trial in the Felani murder case.
‘It is a tragic murder. We wanted to know the details of the trial process. We will definitely appeal if we do not get justice finally,’ she said.
Felani was one of 214 Bangladeshis killed in the borders between January 2009 and June 2013 after the Awami League-led government had assumed office.
A General Security Forces Court (of the BSF) trial against Amiya was held for alleged killing of the Bangladeshi girl, the release said, adding that the trial court found the accused ‘not guilty’ and pronounced the findings on September 6.
‘As per BSF Act and Rules, proceedings were reviewed by legal experts. The competent authority has not agreed with the findings of court and has decided to hold revision trial in the instant case,’ the release said.
The BSF is reported to have shot dead Felani when she was crossing the border into Bangladesh over barbed-wire fences at Anantapur of Phulbari in Kurigram. The incident and a photograph of Felani being stuck shot dead in the barbed-wire fence caused local and international outcry.
The BSF court in its judgment said that constable Amiya was not guilty of shooting the 15-year-old Bangladeshi girl as she crossed into Bangladesh from the Indian side.
About two years and eight months after the incident, the court, which is equivalent to a military court martial, on August 13, 2013 began the trial at the 181 BSF Battalion headquarters in Coochbehar amid restrictions after an investigation of the killing.
The court recorded the deposition of Felani’s father Nurul Islam and her uncle Hanif Ali as witnesses in the case on August 19.
As the news of Amiya’s acquittal was published, Felani’s family, rights groups and political parties in Bangladesh expressed their dissatisfaction about the judgment and rejected the verdict.
In his reaction to the verdict, Felani’s father on September 6 told New Age, ‘I am really disappointed at the verdict.… I will seek justice from international court.’
He, however, had said, ‘If the accused has not killed my daughter, then who has killed her?’
‘I narrated the whole incident to the court — how my daughter was shot dead from a close distance even after our humble request to the BSF guards,’ he had said.
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India’s Border Security Force has decided to hold ‘a revision trial’ in the case of the killing of Bangladesh teenaged girl Felani Khatun who was shot dead in the Kurigram border in January 2011, a BSF release from New Delhi said on Friday. Felani was killed on January 7, 2011 in the area of border outpost... Full story
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