Posts Tagged ‘Police violence’

Assam: Custodial death of Hasan Ali and death of Mohidul Islam in police firing

January 15, 2018

According to the newspaper reports, one Mohidul Islam, aged about 25 years, was killed due to police firing on 10 January 2017 in Darrang district of Assam. He was a part of people gathered to protest custodial death of one Hasan Ali (37).

Reports say, the police picked up Mr Hasan Ali from his house in Attakari No. 2 village in Doula locality under Darrang district on 9 January night on suspicion of possessing illegal weapons[1]. He was hale and hearty at the time. After a few hours in police lock up, he died. It is believed that he succumbed to torture inflicted on him by police to extract confession and information. After getting information of his death in police custody, people of the locality held a protest rally and then gathered in front of Daula Police Station at around 11 am on 10 January. The place is around 100 km away from Guwahati. According to reports, police tried to disperse the people by charging them with batons and tear gas. However, after a while they opened fire and killed Mr.Mohidul Islam and injured several others including one Mr Gulam Mustafa (60 years, and Ms Gul Rehana (14 years). The injured are admitted in the Guwahati Madical College and Hosipital.[2]  A passersby named Akbar Ali (25years), who was a specially-abled person, also sustained serious injuries and was admitted in Mongoldoi Civil Hospital. In chaos that ensued after opening fire on people, three police personal were also injured. [3]

Hasan Ali is survived by his wife and five children.  [4]

Photo of late Mohidul Haque shared on Facebook by one Mr Hussain Ahmed Madani

Photo of late Mohidul Islam shared on Facebook by one Mr Hussain Ahmed Madani

From the reports in the media it is apparent that police violated the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials adopted by the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, Havana, Cuba, held from 27 August to 7 September 1990 as well as other international human rights standards in use of force by police personnel and thus the state is responsible for the death of Mr. Mohidul Islam. In fact, in recent times using disproportionate force against protesting people has become a normalized in Assam. On 30 June 2017 one person named Md.Yakub Ali was killed police firing while participating in a protest rally against illegitimate inclusion of people as “D-Voters”. College students in Margheritha were beaten up with police sticks on September 19, 2017. Another similar use of disproportionate force was happened against peaceful protesters in Golaghat on December 19, 2017. In all these cases the victims are mostly people belonging to minority communities.

Deaths in such disproportionate use of force clearly amount to extra-judicial executions. This highhandedness of police is used to repress any legitimate protests against government policies and actions. This is systematic violations of not only right to freedom of speech and expression, right to freedom of assembly and right to freedom of association, but also the right to life.

As to the custodial torture and death, it is rampantly practiced in Assam as a normal course of investigating and combating crimes. This is despite the fact that a confession made to a police officer is not admissible as a evidence in court of law. India singed the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment but yet to ratify. However, torture is prohibited by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other treatises to which India is a state party. Torture is also prohibited under the peremptory norms of international law.

Although India is yet to pass a specific legislation prohibiting torture absolutely, it is already prohibited by the Constitution, particularly Article 21.

Most importantly, de facto impunity provided by the state to accused law enforcement officials is most glaring. It defeats the rule of law.

In these both custodial death and the death, a magisterial inquiry under section 176 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 should have been no such inquiry has been ordered. No FIR was registered against the perpetrators in both the incidents

BHRPC filed a complaint at the National Human Rights Commission praying, inter alia, for:

  1. A fair and impartial investigation by an independent body apart from the ordered police inquiry may be directed and ensured.
  2. The two-different investigation should be ordered, one in the custodial death of Mr. Hasan Ali and another in the killing of Mr. Moidul Islam.
  3. The ex-gratia amount of five lakh seems insufficient for the support of a family of six persons counting the expenses for the study of five of the deceased’s children. So, at least 10 lakh rupees must be paid to the next of kin of both the deceased as compensation.
  4. Compensation should also be paid to all other person who sustained injuries on that day.
  5. Long term measures should be taken to curb the torture and custodial death as well as disproportionate use of force resulting in death and injury of peaceful protesters.

For further details, please contact:

Taniya Laskar, Secretary General, Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC)

Silchar, Assam. Email:, Mobile:+919401616763

[1] 1killed, 8 hurt in Assam highway firing, The Telegraph, Jan 11,2018 retrieved on Jan 13,2018.

[2] Cops fire at mob protesting custody death in Assam, Times of India, Jan11,2018, retrieved on 13,2018.

[3] Ibid ,1.

[4]Govt. announces Rs. 5 lakhs for families of 2 men killed in Dhula. Indian Express, Jan 12th, 2018, retrieved on 13th Jan, 2018.