Monday, July 22, 2024

BSF personnel accused of pawing minor girl in EJH


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The border guarding force claimed its personnel were attacked by Kuliang villagers shielding a group of B’deshi sugar smugglers

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, June 20: A woman identified as Martina Pohshna from Kuliang village in East Jaintia Hills has accused the Border Security Force personnel of pawing and sexually molesting her 15-year-old daughter and also assaulting her husband at around 11.30 pm on Wednesday.
In a statement, the BSF countered by accusing the local villagers of facilitating the cross-border movement of Bangladeshi smugglers while alleging that an Indian woman attacked one of its personnel with an axe, resulting in an injury on his right hand.
The BSF also claimed another of its personnel sustained an injury in his left hand due to stone pelting.
In the FIR lodged with the officer in charge of the police patrol post at Umkiang, Pohshna said three people who claimed to be BSF personnel but were not in uniform, forcefully entered her house by kicking the door when her family was having food.
According to her, the three men attacked and assaulted her husband Shanroi Lyngdoh Lynkhoi while he was washing his hands after food.
“I screamed along with my daughter after seeing my husband being beaten up by the BSF personnel. They continued to attack my husband without any provocation on our part. They took an axe from our house and they tried to attack us with it along with a knife which they had brought. My daughter and I tried to snatch the axe but we were overpowered by these criminals,” Pohshna said.
She further stated that the three men dragged her husband outside the house and continued to attack him mercilessly till his ribs were broken.
“We tried to save him from the attack but were overpowered by them. They left the house after attacking us mercilessly,” she said.
Pohshna also alleged the three people returned on June 20 at around 12.30 am along with more than 15 others and started assaulting her husband again. She said they snatched her daughter’s mobile phone and sexually abused her.
“They kicked me on the back when I tried to save my daughter from them. My daughter was in great pain when they grabbed and gagged her. They pointed their guns at us and threatened to shoot us,” the woman claimed.
While leaving, the men threatened her daughter and said they would see her if she went to Umkiang.
“Later today, I learnt that the assaulters were BSF personnel. My daughter can identify these criminals if confronted. Therefore, I wish to request your good office to kindly register a case under the appropriate provision of law, find and arrest the culprits as per the law,” she stated.
In the FIR, she mentioned that a short video of the attack recorded by one of the villagers can be used as evidence.
East Jaintia Hills SP, Giri Prasad M said the police registered a case after the FIR was received at the Khliehriat women’s police station and the investigation is on.
Stating that since the victims claim that the assailants are BSF personnel and can identify them, he said the police will do the needful during the investigation and identify the perpetrators.
He further said the BSF also is submitting an FIR in this regard and a case will be registered after it is received.
The BSF claimed that a group of 30-35 Bangladeshi smugglers, helped by local Indian villagers, infiltrated Indian territory at around 9 pm on June 19 through the unfenced area of the Kuliang border outpost (BOP) under their jurisdiction.
BSF spokesperson, Vijay Godara said the intruders aimed to receive sugar consignments from the Indian smugglers of Kuliang.
He said that upon receiving this information, a special BSF party was rushed to the spot. As the BSF personnel approached, the Bangladeshi miscreants attempted to flee towards Kuliang.
“During the pursuit, the BSF party was confronted by local villagers to give safe passage to the Bangladeshi smugglers, who jointly began pelting stones at our personnel and hurled abusive language and threats,” he said.
Godara further said that in the ensuing altercation, an Indian woman attacked a BSF man with an axe, resulting in an injury on his right hand while another sustained injury in his left hand due to the stone-pelting. The situation was promptly reported to the local police patrol post at Umkiang under the Lumshnong police station.
“It is important to highlight that Kuliang is close to the international border, making it a vulnerable and smuggling-prone area. Local Indian smugglers often store large quantities of sugar in their houses or designated points, which are later smuggled into Bangladesh with the assistance of Bangladeshi smugglers, exploiting unfenced patches and adverse weather conditions,” the spokesperson said.
He further said that the BSF troops have seized more than one lakh kilograms of sugar in the Kuliang area since January 2024, preventing significant cross-border smuggling attempts.
He urged residents in border areas to refrain from engaging in illegal activities and avoid facilitating Bangladeshi smugglers in cross-border activities.
“It has been a routine affair for the Indian villagers engaged in illegal activities to confront the BSF personnel whenever they try to execute their mandated duty to prevent smuggling along the international border,” Godara said.
He said the BSF remains committed to performing its duties around the clock to prevent trans-border crimes. In light of this incident, the BSF is lodging a protest note with the Border Guard Bangladesh regarding the illegal crossing of Bangladeshi smugglers into Indian territory.


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