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Bangladesh anger over India torture video

media captionAnger in Bangladesh over India torture video

A video showing Indian border guards torturing a suspected Bangladeshi cow smuggler has prompted widespread condemnation and anger in Bangladesh.

Eight Indian Border Security Force (BSF) guards have been suspended in connection with the incident.

The mobile phone footage shows the soldiers stripping and assaulting a suspected smuggler in Murshidabad.

The BSF is investigating what it called a "despicable" incident. The Bangladesh government has not yet responded.

It says it is awaiting the results of the Indian investigation.

The grainy video shows a young man being stripped, bound to a bamboo pole and beaten by the soldiers. It is not clear who shot the video.

"There is no doubt that the act is a despicable one. It is evident that eight soldiers were involved in this incident which happened on 9 December," senior BSF official Ravi Ponoth told the BBC.

Mr Ponoth said the soldiers were on duty at the a border outpost in Raninagar area of Murshidabad.


Bangladeshi media and human rights groups condemned the beating and social networking sites like Facebook are also full of comments by angry citizens.

image captionThe border has been a source of great tension between the two countries

Odhikar, a human rights organisation which has been documenting the killing of Bangladeshi civilians along the 4,000km (2485-mile) border by Indian forces, said the incident was "totally unacceptable, totally inhuman and unjust".

"The border has become the bloodiest one in the world," Adilur Rahman Khan, secretary of Odhikar, told the BBC.

"More than 1,000 Bangladeshi civilians have been killed by the Indian border guards in the last 10 years. The violent incidents did not reduce even after recent promises by the Indian authorities," he said.

A Calcutta-based rights group, Masum, said they had information that three young men - two of them Bangladeshi nationals - had been held by the soldiers on the border.

"Later, one of the Bangladeshi men was mercilessly beaten up," said Kiriti Roy, secretary of Masum.

The BBC's Mark Dummett in Delhi says the government in Dhaka has always complained about the treatment of its citizens by Indian border guards.

Every year dozens of Bangladeshis are shot dead crossing the border, and many others are beaten.

Cattle smuggling across the border is common, and villagers on both sides have been found to be involved in it.