BSF court acquits trooper in Felani shooting case

Kolkata, July 3 (IANS) Upholding its previous verdict, a special BSF court has acquitted a trooper who was accused of shooting dead a minor Bangladeshi girl while she was crossing the border illegally, an officer said on Friday.

“The court in its verdict on Thursday acquitted constable Amiya Ghosh of 181 Battalion after founding him not guilty,” said a Border Security Force officer.

“The verdict, however, is subject to approval by an additional director general rank officer,” the officer added.

Felani Khatun, 15, was shot dead on January 7, 2011, allegedly by Ghosh while crossing over to Bangladesh at the international border checkpoint at Chaudharihat in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district.

The body allegedly hung on the fence for hours before border troops of both the countries brought it down.

Ghosh was charged with culpable homicide and the BSF launched a General Security Force Court (GSFC) trial against him which, on September 6, 2013, found him not guilty following “inconclusive and insufficient” evidence against him.

Not agreeing with the court’s findings, the BSF higher authorities subsequently ordered a revision trial.

Describing the latest verdict as a farce, state-based human rights group Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), said it was mulling to approach the Supreme Court.

“Ghosh’s acquittal was a foregone conclusion, this revision trial was also an eyewash. We are in touch with Felani’s father and collecting necessary documents to ensure justice. Unless the matter is taken to a court, preferably, the Supreme Court, nothing will happen,” MASUM chief Kiriti Roy said.

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