The parents of Felani Khatun have expressed frustration as they are yet to get justice for the brutal killing of their daughter by India’s Border Security Force (BSF) seven years ago.
Felani's father Nurul Islam Nuru demanded damages and maximum penalty for BSF trooper Amiya Ghosh, the only accused in the Felani killing case.
“It has been seven years since my daughter was killed and justice is still eluding us,” he said.
Felani was shot dead at Phulbari upazila’s Anantapur border on January 7, 2011, by BSF 181 battalion Chowdhuryhat camp member Amiya Ghosh. Images of Felani’s lifeless body dangling in the border fence for four hours triggered a massive public outcry.
A BSF special court in Cooch Behar started trying Amiya on August 13, 2013, following continuous demand by the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB). But on September 6, that court cleared the BSF trooper of the murder charge.
He was acquitted again two years later by the same court after hearing a review of its verdict.
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It has been learned that the Indian chief justice has accepted both writ petitions by Felani’s father. The court is scheduled to hear them on January 18. Nurul is hopeful about getting justice this time.
“I believe the Indian apex court will hand down maximum penalty to Felani’s killer BSF trooper Amiya Ghosh,” he said.
Nuru said they were passing through a hard time. “There is no-one who looks after my family. I can no longer go to India to earn money,” he said. “I request the government to take care of my children or at least bear their educational expenses.”
Felani’s mother Jahanara Begum also pleaded the same. “After Felani’s killing, the then home minister Sahara Khatun had promised to take care of us and stand by us. But now, nobody even bothers to enquire how we are doing,” she said.
About the trial over her daughter’s killing, Jahanara said: “I demand Amiya Ghosh be punished this time. My daughter’s soul will get peace if he is punished and then I can die in peace.”
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Kurigram’s Public Prosecutor Abraham Lincoln said the chief justice of the Indian Supreme Court had received the writ filed by Felani’s father and fixed January 18 as the date for the hearing.
“We hope the Indian top court will deliver a positive verdict in the case,” he said.
Border killing has been a highly contentious bilateral issue between Bangladesh and India. Despite Delhi’s repeated assurance to end killings along the border with Bangladesh, the situation has improved little.
According to BGB, the Indian border guards have killed 767 Bangladeshis between 2001 and 2017.