Waliullah Ahmed Laskar, published at TwoCircles.net on 26 February 2011
Guwahati: The incidents of excessive use of power by our security forces against civilians in troubled areas continue occurring at regular interval. In a similar incident, 66-year-old Fariz Uddin Barbhuiya of village Kashipur under Silchar Sadar police station in Cachar district in Assam was allegedly assaulted by a team of CRPF jawans more than six months ago but no action has been taken against them yet.
Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) issued a report concerning the case of 66-year-old Mr. Fariz Uddin Barbhuiya of village Kashipur under Silchar Sadar police station in Cachar district in the North East Indian state of Assam. The communication stated that on 27 July 2010 a team of more than 10 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel entered his house, assaulted him, his son and wife causing serious injury to the old man allegedly for protesting against breach of contract by CRPF. A case has been filed at the police station but the police have not taken any visible actions yet. Another complaint has been filed at the National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC) but there is no response as yet from the commission either.
According to the report, Fariz Uddin, a retired CRPF personnel lives in his house in front of the camp of 147 battalion of CRPF, a paramilitary force of the central government of India, at 77Kashipur, Cachar. He now supports his family with his pension and a little earnings from a small shop of betel nut (pan-shop) and a phone booth.
The report states that one Mr. Radhashyam Sahu, owner of High Tech Communication, was iven the right to cut green grass from the campus of the 147 battalion at a public auction as the highest bidder. Subsequently on 22 April 2010 Mr. Sahu entered in a contract with Mr. Fariz Uddin that allows the latter to cut the grass and sell them for six months in consideration of advance payment of rupees 7500.00 (seven thousand and five hundred). After a few days Mr. Fariz Uddin came to know that another person was allowed to collect the grass and sell them. He was even not informed of the fact. Aggrieved by the breach of contract, Fariz Uddin went to Mr. Sahu and demanded an explanation. It is reported that Mr. Sahu ignored the question and misbehaved with Fariz Uddin. Then Fariz Uddin brought the matter to the notice of the commander of the battalion Mr. TK Hati with a request for redress on 26 July 2010. Mr. Hati told that he himself engaged the other person who was collecting grass. When Fariz Uddin reminded Mr. Hati about the contract and requested him to return his money the later reportedly got furious and started hurling verbal abuse at him. He also threatened Farzi Uddin with dire consequences and warned him that the commander will teach him a lesson, as alleged in the communication. He went home disappointed and fearful.
Signboard of the PCO owned by Fariz Uddin Barbhuiya that was vandalised by the CRPF
The report further states that without further ado a team of 10/12 CRPF personnel accompanied by Mr. Radhashyam Sahu went to his house at about 4.30pm on 27 July. The team included Constables Mr. Abani Nath, Mr. Shashi Bhushan, havildar Mr. Amir Uddin Laskar and was led by Mr. TK Hati. The victim claimed that the CRPF team forcibly entered into his house and started beating him without rhymes or reasons. They administered blows on him with their gun butts. They kicked him with their boots and punched him on the head and other sensitive parts of the body. Fariz Uddin’s wife Aftarun Nessa Barbhuiya and their son Asif Akhtar Barbhuiya tried to come in-between to save him. They also urged the para-military forces to spare the old man’s life. However, it is alleged that the CRPF team assaulted the mother and son too.
It is further alleged that the CRPF team damaged furniture, utensils and other valuable things in the house. The victims claimed that the raiding team also snatched away the cash box of their shop that contained approximately rupees 2500.00 (two thousand and five hundred).They left the house leaving the old man on the ground soaked in blood. When they were leaving, it is alleged, they warned the victims against complaining to the authorities and the police. They threatened the family that they would be charged with false allegations of keeping illegal firearms and ammunitions if they sought help from human rights organisations and inform the media.
Blood on the ground at the house of Mr. Fariz Uddin
After the CRPF team left, the family called an ambulance and took Mr. Fariz Uddin to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital. He was admitted at the SMCH and when his health improved after a few days’ treatment he was released.
Fariz Uddin also filed a complaint at the Silchar Sadar police station on 28 July 2010. An FIR was registered at the police station based on the complaint as Silchar PS Case No. 1445/10 under sections 147 (rioting or violence by an unlawful assembly), 448 (house trespass), 325 (causing grievous hurt), 323 (causing hurt), 427 (mischief causing damage), 307 (attempt to murder) and 149 (punishment of member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Sub Inspector Mr. Jitu Mani Goswami was made the investigating officer (IO) of the case.
Fariz Uddin, however, alleged that the IO was not investigating the case properly. Instead, the officer-in-charge (OC) of the police station Mr. SK Chouhan was putting pressure on him to come to an amicable settlement with the accused CRPF personnel.
BHRPC suspects that the OC has been influenced by the accused. BHRPC also filed a complaint at the NHRC on 5 February 2011. BHRPC is yet to receive any response from the NHRC.