India must prosecute Border Security Force personnel caught on tape torturing a Bangladeshi cattle smuggler, Human Rights Watch urged Tuesday.
As GlobalPost's Maher Sattar reported earlier this year, India's border with Bangladesh -- dubbed "the Wall of Death" by locals -- has become a killing ground as security forces seek to stop contraband. "Human rights group Odhikar accuses the BSF of killing over 1,000 Bangladeshis in the past decade," Sattar reported. "The BSF themselves admit responsibility for the deaths of 364 Bangladeshis and 164 Indians since 2006."
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch argues that those deaths are hardly an aberration, where India's security forces are concerned, pointing out that the Indian government has awarded a medal to a police superintendant alleged to have ordered the torture and sexual assault of a female schoolteacher in Chhattisgarh state, instead of investigating him.
“Whenever offenses attributed to the BSF occur, its leadership insists that there will be an internal inquiry and action taken,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “But secret proceedings and suspensions or transfers won’t end the abuses. Torture is a serious crime that should be prosecuted in the courts.”