A day after a rights group Masum moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) demanding an independent probe and arrest of the Border Security Force (BSF) trooper allegedly involved in committing "sexual offence" on a Bangladeshi woman last month, the BSF denied the allegation.
"The BSF refutes the contents of letter written by Masum to the NHRC and requests everyone to have faith in legal system of the country and not derive conclusion before the investigation is completed by (West Bengal's North 24 Parganas) district police," said the statement issued by the BSF headquarters, South Bengal frontier.
Giving its version of the chain of events July 10, the BSF said the 30-year-old woman was apprehended along with her eight-year-old child when she was trying to "illegally cross over to Bangladesh from India".
"During questioning, probably to hide her crime, (the woman) alleged that one member of the BSF party, which apprehended her, has raped her in the presence of her son," the BSF said.
The constable accused by the woman of raping her was suspended, and a first information report (FIR) was "immediately lodged with the Gaighata Police Station," it said.
"The woman was referred to government hospital Bongaon by police where she refused to undergo any medical test," the statement said.
The BSF said the woman never complained of any "rape or molestation by the BSF" when she gave a statement before the additional chief judicial magistrate, Bongaon.
The BSF said contrary to the allegation, the women's husband was not apprehended.
"The case is under police investigation. A court of Inquiry has been ordered by BSF also," it said.
The BSF claimed that the medical examination of the accused constable immediately after the complaint was lodged "did not find any evidence of his having committed rape".
"It seems that in-order to cover illegal crossing of international border and to hide the network of the touts involved in illegal migration on Indo-Bangladesh border, the image of the BSF is being maligned," the statement said.
The letter by Kirity Roy, secretary, Masum, had drawn the NHRC chairman's attention to the incident near the Angrail BSF camp in the Khedapara village.
"The woman was trying to cross the Indo-Bangladesh border under Gaighata Police station with her husband and minor son after reaching the place from Mumbai where her husband used to work as the helper of a mason," said the letter.
Refusing to buy the BSF arguments, Roy told IANS: "They always issue such denials. If no rape has been committed, that has to be proved through a credible investigation.
"It is also not uncommon for a woman to refuse to undergo medical examination in a foreign land after undergoing so much trauma. The woman needs psychological counselling. Were any arrangements made for that?" asked Roy.