Sunday, June 23, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Five years on, Felani's family still waiting for justice

Update : 07 Jan 2016, 05:56 PM

The family members of Felani Khatun still hope that they would get justice for the murder of the 15-year-old girl by the members of Indian Border Security Force in 2011.

On the fifth anniversary of her death yesterday, Felani's parents organised special prayers and free foods for the poor and destitute people at their house in Kurigram.

“The self-confessed killer [constable Amiya Ghosh] was acquitted twice by a BSF court. We have long been waiting for justice but not sure when they [BSF] will hold a fresh trial and punish the killer,” Felani's father Nurul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune.

The BSF authorities in August last year said they would consider holding a fresh trial in a new court. Meanwhile, Border guard Bangladesh officials said that they would assist Felani's family in getting justice.

Amiya was first acquitted by a special BSF court on September 22, 2013 and then on July 2, 2014 because of “inconclusive and insufficient” evidence against him, the court said in both occasions.

Meanwhile, a petition filed jointly by Nurul Islam and West Bengal-based rights group Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) on July 14 last year rejecting the second verdict is yet to be heard by the Indian Supreme Court.

The court initially accepted the petition and sought explanation on the case from India’s home minister, central government, West Bengal chief secretary, and the BSF director general.

Kurigram public prosecutor Abraham Lincoln, who has been assisting Felani's family in the case, said the Supreme Court on December 15 last year deferred the hearing since the designated bench had been reorganised. “I do not know what we will get. But we are waiting for justice,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.

BGB chief Maj Gen Abdul Aziz said that a BSF team was scheduled to visit Bangladesh soon to discuss about the fresh trial in the case.

On January 7, 2011, Felani, 15, was shot dead by the BSF at Anantapur border point in Kurigram’s Phulbari upazila while she was trying to climb over the barbed wire fence. She was on her way to Bangladesh with her father from Delhi where she used to work as a domestic help.

A photo showing Felani hanging from the fence was widely circulated by the media, sparking protests among the people against arbitrary killing along the Bangladesh-India border.

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