BSF court ‘acquits’ Ghose in Felani killing case

The General Security Forces Court of India’s BSF has upheld a previous court of inquiry verdict absolving its Constable Amiya Ghose from charges of murdering Bangladeshi girl Felani Khatun.

felaniSm_463064167Desk Report : The Border Security Force has not formally announced the GFSC verdict as it needs clearance of its director general. But BSF sources and counsel for Felani’s family told that the GFSC had found Ghose not guilty after extensive deliberations on Thursday night. Felani’s family can challenge the GFSC verdict in an Indian court.His father Nurul Islam rejected the verdict as a ‘parody of justice’. He went to India’s Cooch Behar twice to testify in the trials. “I will again appeal for proper trial,” he told .“Amiya Ghose should have hanged. Instead, the Indian government made a mockery of us in the name of trials,” he added. Kurhigram Judges Court Public Prosecutor Abraham Lincoln, who provided legal assistance to Felani’s family, told: “This verdict raised questions about India’s judicial system. “This verdict will embolden BSF about border killings. This would create a crisis in border management.” He also commented that the verdict contradicted the concepts of human rights and justice. Kurhigram BGB Director Lt Col Zakir Hossain refused to comment on the issue. “We did not officially get the verdict yet. When we do, senior authorities will decide.” The GFSC is the BSF’s own court and the five senior officials, who sat to judge the Felani murder case, had also conducted the initial court of inquiry against Ghose. On June 6, 2013, the initial court of inquiry had found Ghose not guilty and acquitted him of the murder charges. The 15-year old Felani Khatun was shot dead on Jan 7, 2011 while she was trying to cross barbed-wire fencing near Choudhury haat. She was trying to cross back to Bangladesh with her father after her marriage was settled. Images of her body hanging on the border fence triggered mass outrage in both Bangladesh and India.  After a huge furore in Bangladesh over the initial court of inquiry, the BSF ordered a retrial in September last year. But Constable Ghose lost consciousness after four days of hearing and his blood pressure was reported to be very high. Later, he was found to be suffering from kidney ailments and put on dialysis. The final hearing at the GFSC started on June 30 and continued until late on Thursday. West Bengal’s human rights group MASUM, which has closely followed the trial, has rubbished the GFSC verdict. Its chief Kirity Roy has described the verdict as ‘pre-meditated’ and said the BSF had decided to protect their trooper at any cost.