Posts Tagged ‘Punishment’

Urgent Appeal: An old man assaulted by the Central Reserve Police in Assam

April 8, 2011

BARAK HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION COMMITTEE

Urgent Appeal No. BHRPC Case No 64/2011/UA/25/211 Dated: 9 April 2011

Dear Friends,

Acting on the information provided by Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC), the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) issued an Urgent Appeal concerning the case of torture of a 66-year-old person, his aged wife and son by a group of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officers at the victim’s residence. No action was taken upon a complaint filed at the Silchar Sadar police station concerning the incident. It is reported that the Office-in-Charge (OC), instead of investigating the case is demanding that Fariz settle his complaint against the CRPF and rather withdraw it should he not dare facing yet another assault from the CRPF. Fariz filed another complaint at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which was also not acted upon. Please take the suggested actions.

Yours sincerely

Waliullah Ahmed Laskar

Urgent Appeal Desk

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee

Rongpur, Silchar-9, Assam, India

INDIA: An old man assaulted by the Central Reserve Police in Assam

April 8, 2011

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-074-2011

Send an appeal letter

8 April 2011

——————————————————
INDIA: An old man assaulted by the Central Reserve Police in Assam

ISSUES: Torture; Impunity; Martial law; Rule of law

——————————————————

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) concerning the case of torture of a 66-year-old person, his aged wife and son by a group of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officers at the victim’s residence. It is reported that the CRPF tortured Mr. Fariz Uddin Barbhuiya, his wife and son on 27 July 2010 causing serious injuries to the old man. The CRPF assaulted Fariz since he had protested against the CRPF concerning a civil dispute. Fariz had to be hospitalised at the Silchar Medical College Hospital (SMCH) to recover from the injuries. No action was taken upon a complaint filed at the Silchar Sadar police station concerning the incident. It is reported that the Office-in-Charge (OC), instead of investigating the case is demanding that Fariz settle his complaint against the CRPF and rather withdraw it should he not dare facing yet another assault from the CRPF. Fariz filed another complaint at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which was also not acted upon. Fariz is a retired CRPF constable.

CASE NARRATIVE:

A team of about ten CRPF personnel entered the Fariz’s house and assaulted him along with his wife and son on 27 July 2010. Fariz was seriously injured in the incident and had to be hospitalised. The CRPF is a paramilitary force in India.

Fariz is a retired CRPF constable living in front of the 147 battalion of the CRPF camp. Fariz’s house is within the jurisdiction of Silchar Sadar Police Station in Cachar district of Assam state. Fariz supports his family with his pension and the earnings from a small shop where he sells betel nuts and operates a public call office (PCO). Fariz alleges that he was assaulted for protesting against the CRPF concerning a civil contract.

Fariz alleges that one Mr. Radheshyam Sahu, had obtained permission to cut and sell grass from the CRPF 147 battalion campus through a public auction. Thereafter, Sahu entered into a contract with Fariz on 22 April 2010 allowing Fariz to cut and sell grass for which he paid Sahu Rs. 7,500.00. Few days later, Fariz came to know that Sahu had allowed another person to cut and sell grass from the same campus. Aggrieved by the breach of contract, Fariz went to Sahu and demanded an explanation.

It is reported that Sahu ignored Fariz’s question and misbehaved to him. Fariz was disappointed and on 26 June complained to the commander of the battalion, Mr. T. K Hati, asking him to intervene. The commander reportedly informed Fariz that it was him who allowed the other person to cut and sell grass from the campus. Fariz then reminded the commander about the contract and requested the commander to return his money.

Fariz alleges that the officer shouted abuses at him when he demanded the officer to return the money. The officer then threatened Fariz and warned him that he will be taught a lesson for daring to demand the return of the money from a superior officer. Fariz went home disappointed. Fariz stated that following his argument with the commandant, a team of more than ten CRPF personnel accompanied by Mr. Sahu came to Fariz’s house at around 4.30pm on 27 July. Fariz claims that the team was led by the commander Mr. Hati and accompanied by CRPF constables Mr. Abani Nath, Mr. Shashi Bhushan, and Havildar Mr. Amir Uddin Laskar.

Fariz claims that the officers forcibly entered the house and started beating him without any warning. The officers assaulted Fariz with gun butts. The officers then kicked Fariz and punched him on his head and other parts of his body. Fariz’s wife, Aftarun Nessa Barbhuiya, and his son, Asif Akhtar Barbhuiya, tried to intervene and requested the officers to spare the old man. Fariz was lying on the ground soaked with blood. However, it is alleged that the CRPF then assaulted Aftarun Nessa and Asif Akhtar.

Fariz further alleges that the officers then damaged furniture, utensils and other valuable things in his house. Fariz claims that the officers then took the cash box of his shop that had approximately Rs. 2500.00 in it at the time. When the officers left, they warned Fariz against complaining to the authorities or to the police about the incident. The officers also threatened the family that they would be charged with false cases of keeping illegal firearms and ammunition if they sought help from the human rights organisations or informed the media. After the officers left the family called an ambulance and took Fariz to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital (SMCH). Fariz was admitted at the SMCH and after a few days when his health improved discharged from the hospital.

It is reported that Fariz filed a complaint at the Silchar Sadar Police Station on 28 July 2010 concerning the incident and requesting the police to take appropriate actions against the CRPF officers. The police registered an FIR (First Information Report) based on the complaint as Silchar PS (police station) Case No. 1445/10 under Sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 448 (punishment for house-trespass), 325 (punishment for causing grievous hurt), 323 (punishment for causing hurt), 427 (mischief causing damage), 307 (attempt to murder) and 149 (punishment of being a member of unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC). Sub-Inspector Mr. Jitu Mani Goswami was the investigating officer (IO) of the case.

Fariz, however, alleges that the IO was not investigating the case. Instead, the Officer-in-Charge (OC) of the Silchar Sadar Police Station was demanding Fariz to come to an amicable settlement with the accused CRPF personnel and withdraw the complaint. Another complaint was then filed at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on 5 February 2011 with the help of local human rights group, Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC). BHRPC informs that there have been no responses from the NHRC yet concerning the case.

BHRPC and Fariz allege that the assault and theft was a punishment for daring to complain to the CRPF commandant as well as demanding money back from the officer, which the officer viewed as challenging his authority, that too by a retired and old former constable. In places like Assam in India, the CRPF and other paramilitary units have absolute impunity wherever they are posted. The AHRC has reported more than 300 cases of torture, murder and rape committed by the CRPF and other paramilitary units in India over the past six years. Most of these cases find some action only when the AHRC makes the incident public. The AHRC has also noted that in many cases the victims refuse to speak about the incident due to fear of further assault or threat from these agencies. India also does not have any form of witness protection laws or mechanisms.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write letters to the authorities listed below asking them to intervene in the case immediately.

The AHRC is also writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the question of torture seeking an intervention in the case.

To support this appeal click here

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

INDIA: Please investigate the case of assault by the CRPF of a 66-year-old man at his residence along with his wife and son

Name of victims:

1. Mr. Fariz Uddin Barbhuiya aged about 66 years residing within the jurisdiction of Silchar Sadar police station in Cachar district of Assam state

2. Ms. Aftarun Nessa Barbhuiya, wife of Fariz

3. Mr. Asif Akhtar Barbhuiya, son of Fariz

Names of alleged perpetrators:

1. Mr.Radheshyam Sahu, owner of the High Tech Communication shop

2. Mr. TK Hati, commander of the 147 battalion of CRPF camp stationed under the jurisdiction of Silchar Sadar police station in Cachar district of Assam state

3. Mr. Abani Nath, constable of the 147 battalion of CRPF camp stationed under the jurisdiction of Silchar Sadar police station in Cachar district of Assam state

4. Mr. Shashi Bhushan, constable of the 147 battalion of CRPF camp stationed under the jurisdiction of Silchar Sadar police station in Cachar district of Assam state

5. Mr. Amir Uddin Laskar, Havildar of the 147 battalion of CRPF camp stationed under the jurisdiction of Silchar Sadar police station in Cachar district of Assam state

Date of incident: 27 July 2010

Place of incident: Victim’s residence

I am writing to seek immediate actions in the case reported to me of assault by the Central Reserve Police (CRPF) of a 66-year-old man, his wife and son at his residence on 27 July 2010. I am concerned to know that the complaints filed by the victims at the local police station and at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) have not been acted upon. On the contrary, the local police is demanding that the victim settle the case with the CRPF outside the police station and withdraw his complaint, or dare facing yet another assault from the CRPF.

I am informed that there were about ten CRPF officers who entered the Fariz’s house and assaulted him along with his wife and son. Fariz was seriously injured in the incident and had to be hospitalised. The CRPF is a paramilitary force in India.

Fariz is a retired CRPF constable living in front of the 147 battalion of the CRPF camp. Fariz’s house is within the jurisdiction of Silchar Sadar Police Station in Cachar district of Assam state. Fariz supports his family with his pension and the earnings from a small shop where he sells betel nuts and operates a public call office (PCO). Fariz alleges that he was assaulted for protesting against the CRPF concerning a civil contract.

Fariz alleges that one Mr. Radheshyam Sahu, had obtained permission to cut and sell grass from the CRPF 147 battalion campus through a public auction. Thereafter, Sahu entered into a contract with Fariz on 22 April 2010 allowing Fariz to cut and sell grass for which he paid Sahu Rs. 7,500.00. Few days later, Fariz came to know that Sahu had allowed another person to cut and sell grass from the same campus. Aggrieved by the breach of contract, Fariz went to Sahu and demanded an explanation.

It is reported that Sahu ignored Fariz’s question and misbehaved to him. Fariz was disappointed and on 26 June complained to the commander of the battalion, Mr. T. K Hati, asking him to intervene. The commander reportedly informed Fariz that it was him who allowed the other person to cut and sell grass from the campus. Fariz then reminded the commander about the contract and requested the commander to return his money.

Fariz alleges that the officer shouted abuses at him when he demanded the officer to return the money. The officer then threatened Fariz and warned him that he will be taught a lesson for daring to demand the return of the money from a superior officer. Fariz went home disappointed. Fariz stated that following his argument with the commandant, a team of more than ten CRPF personnel accompanied by Mr. Sahu came to Fariz’s house at around 4.30pm on 27 July. Fariz claims that the team was led by the commander Mr. Hati and accompanied by CRPF constables Mr. Abani Nath, Mr. Shashi Bhushan, and Havildar Mr. Amir Uddin Laskar.

Fariz claims that the officers forcibly entered the house and started beating him without any warning. The officers assaulted Fariz with gun butts. The officers then kicked Fariz and punched him on his head and other parts of his body. Fariz’s wife, Aftarun Nessa Barbhuiya, and his son, Asif Akhtar Barbhuiya, tried to intervene and requested the officers to spare the old man. Fariz was lying on the ground soaked with blood. However, it is alleged that the CRPF then assaulted Aftarun Nessa and Asif Akhtar.

Fariz further alleges that the officers then damaged furniture, utensils and other valuable things in his house. Fariz claims that the officers then took the cash box of his shop that had approximately Rs. 2500.00 in it at the time. When the officers left, they warned Fariz against complaining to the authorities or to the police about the incident. The officers also threatened the family that they would be charged with false cases of keeping illegal firearms and ammunition if they sought help from the human rights organisations or informed the media. After the officers left the family called an ambulance and took Fariz to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital (SMCH). Fariz was admitted at the SMCH and after a few days when his health improved discharged from the hospital.

It is reported that Fariz filed a complaint at the Silchar Sadar Police Station on 28 July 2010 concerning the incident and requesting the police to take appropriate actions against the CRPF officers. The police registered an FIR (First Information Report) based on the complaint as Silchar PS (police station) Case No. 1445/10 under Sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 448 (punishment for house-trespass), 325 (punishment for causing grievous hurt), 323 (punishment for causing hurt), 427 (mischief causing damage), 307 (attempt to murder) and 149 (punishment of being a member of unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC). Sub-Inspector Mr. Jitu Mani Goswami was the investigating officer (IO) of the case.

Fariz, however, alleges that the IO was not investigating the case. Instead, the Officer-in-Charge (OC) of the Silchar Sadar Police Station was demanding Fariz to come to an amicable settlement with the accused CRPF personnel and withdraw the complaint. Another complaint was then filed at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on 5 February 2011 with the help of local human rights group, Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC). BHRPC informs that there have been no responses from the NHRC yet concerning the case.

BHRPC and Fariz allege that the assault and theft was a punishment for daring to complain to the CRPF commandant as well as demanding money back from the officer, which the officer viewed as challenging his authority, that too by a retired and old former constable.

I am also informed that in places like Assam in India, the CRPF and other paramilitary units have absolute impunity wherever they are posted. I am informed that the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has reported more than 300 cases of torture, murder and rape committed by the CRPF and other paramilitary units in India over the past six years. In most of these cases actions were initiated only when the AHRC made the incident public. I am also informed that the AHRC has noted that in many cases the victims refuse to speak about the incident due to fear of further assault or threat from these agencies as it has happened in this case.

I therefore request you to intervene in this case to ensure the following:

1. That the police must immediately record the statement of the victims;

2. That the police investigate the case without any further delay;

3. That if required the witnesses provided protection by the police;

4. That the NHRC informs Fariz and/or BHRPC the status of the complaint they have filed at the NHRC without any further delay.

Yours sincerely,

—————-

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. K. Vijay Kumar, IPS
Director General
Central Reserve Police Force
Block No. 1, C.G.O. Complex
Lodhi Road
New Delhi – 110001
INDIA

2. DIG (ADM), NES (Ops) Sector NES
Operations Headquarters
Jorhat
Assam
INDIA

3. Mr. Tarun Gogoi
Chief Minister of Assam
Assam Secretariat, Dispur
Guwahati-6, Assam
INDIA
Fax: +91 361 2262069

4. Director General of Police
Assam, Ulubari
Guwahati-7, Assam
INDIA

5. Chief Justice
Guwahati High Court
Government of Assam
INDIA
FAX +91 361 2604122 or +91 362 2735863 (Registrar General)
E-mail: hc-asm@nic.in, hicourtg@rediffmail.com

6. Chief Secretary
Assam Secretariat, Dispur
Guwahati-6, Assam
INDIA
Fax: +91 361 2260900
Email: psccy_it@assam.nic.in

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

See the appeal at AHRC website: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-074-2011

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Urgent Appeal: CRPF Wireless operator tortured by the superior for pursuing studies

February 25, 2011

BARAK HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION COMMITTEE

Urgent Appeal No. BHRPC Case No 62/2011/UA/23/210 Dated: 25 February 2011

Dear Friends,

Acting on the information provided by Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC), the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) issued the following Urgent Appeal concerning the case of torture of a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), a central paramilitary force, wireless operator by his superiors at 147 battalion at Kashipur in Cachar district, Assam. Please take the suggested actions.

Yours sincerely

Waliullah Ahmed Laskar

Urgent Appeal Desk

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee

Rongpur, Silchar-9, Assam, India

Download pdf version

INDIA: Wireless operator tortured by the superior for pursuing studies

February 25, 2011

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-047-2011

To support the appeal please click here

25 February 2011

——————————————————
INDIA: Wireless operator tortured by the superior for pursuing studies

ISSUES: Torture; arbitrary detention; impunity

——————————————————

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the case of torture of a wireless operator, Mr. Surinder Singh Chouhan, serving with the 147 Battalion of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for pursuing an MBA study programme. The victim in this case was threatened and put in confinement and assaulted by his fellow constables upon instructions from the Commandant. The victim managed to escape from the custody of his tormentors and filed a complaint against the perpetrators and sought treatment at the hospital. However the local police took the victim into custody at Guwahati and handed over to the CRPF head quarters. The victim was later released but the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of CRPF initiated a departmental enquiry against the victim.

CASE NARRATIVE:

Mr. Surinder Singh Chouhan, aged about 39 years, has been working with 147 battalion of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) as a wireless operator since 1 September 2008. Surinder was posted at the Head Quarters (HQ) of the battalion at Kashipur, Silchar, Assam state. Surinder has served in many operations with army companies of different battalions including C-company at Gharmura, D-company at Karimganj, E-company at Hailakandi and F-company at Fulertal.

Surinder alleged that some of his superiors were spiteful towards him when he wanted to study for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme, for which he duly fulfilled all the requirements. On 4 October 2010, Surinder got admitted in the MBA course under the Sikkim Manipal University with due permission from his Commandant Mr. T.K. Hati and then he drew a bank draft of Rs. 12,500.00 in the name of the university to pay his admission fee. On the next day, Surinder requested permission to meet the commandant for a discussion concerning his admission to the MBA programme, his study at the university and his duty as a CRPF officer. However, Surinder’s request was denied.

Surinder was then sent to the Deputy Commandant for Operations (DCO), Mr. Nabeen Chandra by Sub-Inspector Mr. T.N. Tripati. Thereafter, Surinder was presented before the Commandant on the same day evening around 7pm. The Commandant behaved in a rude manner and threatened Surinder that he would snatch his job. Then he detained Surinder in a jail and subjected him to ill-treatment for three days without any written order.

On October 7, Surinder requested to be informed of his faults for which he was given punishment but nobody cared to answer him. Instead, Surinder was suspended from his duties on October 8. Surinder was then confined to the guardroom with hand-cuff on his hands from 8 to 11 October. Surinder alleges that he was severely tortured both mentally and physically while he was in the confinement. CRPF constables at the behest of superiors told Surinder by pointing a gun to his head that ‘this is your last moment and you’re going to die now’, an act that they allegedly repeated several times.

The Commanding Officer of F-company, Mr. Anwar Hussain, sent Surinder to the HQ for treatment on October 13 because his health had deteriorated by then. But on the same day the Radio Grid Supervisor, Mr. K. P. Singh, ordered to shift Surinder to D-company at Karimganj. Surinder informed the supervisor about his poor health but no one listened to him. It is reported that Surinder was forced to serve his duty at D-company Karimganj despite his poor health condition.

Surinder alleges that on October 21, seven persons, namely Mr. Rajender Singh, Mr. Rakesh Kumar, Mr. Brojesh Kumar, Mr. Sukhbinder Singh, Mr. Narendra Singh, Mr. Upendra Singh and Mr. Prem Chand Kahar came to him and started assualting him with sticks and chains without any reason. Surider further alleges that on October 23, the commanding officer of D-company, Mr. TN Tripati, ordered him to go for a CRPF operation without weapons at Ratabari area, which was reportedly a disturbed area. When Surinder urged the commanding officer to give him weapons for, it was denied.

It is reported however that the official records are manipulated to show in the duty register that Surindar was engaged at the signal centre under the command of Mr. Manoj Singh. The duty register shows that Surinder was on duty at the signal centre from 7am to 1pm on October 23 and again from 7pm the same day till 7am the next day morning.

Surinder alleged that the commanding officer sent him for the operation only to harass him by putting his life at risk despite his poor health. Surinder performed his duties along with the Superintendent of Police (SP) of Karimganj district in a search operation for nearly 24 hours at Ratabari area without any food and water. While returning from the operation one of Surinder’s colleagues felt very sick and therefore Surinder carried the Light Machine Gun (LMG) of his colleague.

Surinder also alleges that on October 27 once again some persons assaulted him without any reason. They assaulted Surinder so bad that he fell down on the ground. They assaulted Surinder, on his face, chest, stomach and other sensitive parts of the body including his private parts. Surinder further alleges that they forced a broken stick into his anus. Surinder then somehow managed to escape from the clutchs of his tormentors and filed a complaint against the perpetrators in the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) at Silchar. The CRPF on the other hand filed a missing person report alleging that Surinder has gone missing at the Silchar Sadar police station. For the injuries Surinder suffered on this occasion, he received treatment at the Silchar Medical College Hospital.

A complaint was sent to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on November 22 by the Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC), Assam regarding the case. The NHRC registered a case and issued an order on December 7 transmitting the complaint to the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, for taking action. The NHRC also asked the Union Home Ministry on December 15 to submit an action taken report within four weeks.

In the meanwhile, Surinder has been arrested by the police at Guwahati and sent back to the HQ of his battalion at Kashipur, Silchar. Later, Surinder was released from the HQ and granted him leave. It is reported that a departmental enquiry is being conducted by the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of CRPF. But at this juncture an independent inquiry in the case is required rather than a mere departmental inquiry.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write letters to the authorities listed below requesting them to intervene in the case. The case must be investigated and if the allegations made by the victim are found to be true the perpetrators must be punished.

The AHRC is also writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment seeking an intervention in the case.

To support this appeal, please click here
:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

INDIA: The allegations of torture of a CRPF officer must be independently investigated

Name of victim: Mr. Surinder Singh Chouhan, aged about 39 years, working as Wireless Operator, at the CRPF 147 battalion, Kashipur, Silchar, Assam state

Names of alleged perpetrators:

1. Mr. T.K. Hati, Commandant of 147 battalion of Central Reserve Police Force

2. Mr. T.N. Tripati, Sub-Inspector of CRPF and a Commanding Officer of D-company 147 battalion of CRPF

3. Mr. Anwar Hussain, Commanding Officer of F-company 147 battalion of CRPF

4. Mr. K.P. Singh, Radio Grid Supervisor of 147 battalion of CRPF

5. Mr. Rajender Singh, Constables of 147 battalion of CRPF

6. Mr. Rakesh Kumar, Constables of 147 battalion of CRPF

7. Mr. Brojesh Kumar, Constables of 147 battalion of CRPF

8. Mr. Sukhbinder Singh, Constables of 147 battalion of CRPF

9. Mr. Narendra Singh, Constables of 147 battalion of CRPF

10. Mr. Upendra Singh, Constables of 147 battalion of CRPF

11. Mr. Prem Chand Kahar, Constables of 147 battalion of CRPF

Date of incident: 5 – 11 October 2010; 21 October 2010 and 27 October 2010

Place of incident: 147 battalion of CRPF

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the torture and ill-treatment of Mr. Surinder Singh Chouhan by the Commandant for pursuing his studies for an MBA degree. Surinder has been working with the 147 battalion of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) as a wireless operator since 1 September 2008. I am informed that Surinder was posted at the Head Quarters (HQ) of the battalion at Kashipur, Silchar. Assam. Surinder has served in many operations with army companies of different battalions including C-company at Gharmura, D-company at Karimganj, E-company at Hailakandi and F-company at Fulertal.

I am informed that on 4 October 2010, Surinder got admitted to an MBA programme at the Sikkim Manipal University after obtaining the permission of his Commandant, Mr. T.K. Hati. On the next day, Surinder requested for permission to meet the commandant for necessary talks in connection with his admission, study and duty. However, Surinder’s request was denied and sent to the HQ.

I am informed that Surinder was then sent to the Deputy Commandant for Operations (DCO), Mr. Nabeen Chandra by Sub-Inspector Mr. T.N. Tripati. Thereafter, Surinder was presented before the commandant the same day evening around 7pm. The commandant behaved badly with him and threatened Surinder that he would snatch his job. He then detained Surinder and subjected Surinder to ill treatment for three days without any reason.

I am informed that on October 7, Surinder requested to be informed of his faults for which he was punished. But he did not receive any answer. Instead, Surinder was suspended from his duties on October 8. Surinder was then handcuffed and confined to the guardroom from 8 to 11 October. Surinder alleged that he was severely tortured both mentally and physically while he was in confinement.

I am informed that the Commanding Officer of F-company, Mr. Anwar Hussain, sent Surinder to the HQ for treatment on October 13 because his health had deteriorated. But on the same day the Radio Grid Supervisor, Mr. K. P. Singh, ordered to shift Surinder to D-company at Karimganj. Surinder informed the supervisor about his poor health but he was forced to comply the order.

Surinder alleged that on October 21, seven persons namely Mr. Rajender Singh, Mr. Rakesh Kumar, Mr. Brojesh Kumar, Mr. Sukhbinder Singh, Mr. Narendra Singh, Mr. Upendra Singh and Mr. Prem Chand Kahar came to him and started assaulting him with sticks and chains. Surider further stated that on October 23, the commanding officer of D-company, Mr. TN Tripati, ordered him to go for an operation without weapons at Ratabari area, which was reportedly a disturbed area. When Surinder urged the commanding officer to give him weapons it was denied.

I am informed that the official records were manipulated to show in the duty register that Surindar was engaged at the signal centre under the command of Mr. Manoj Singh. The duty register reportedly shows that Surinder was on duty at the signal centre from 7am to 1pm on October 23 and again from 7pm the same day till 7am the next day morning. Surinder alleges that the commanding officer sent him in the operation only to harass him by putting his life at risk. Surinder performed his duties along with the Superintendent of Police (SP) of Karimganj district in a search operation for nearly 24 hours at Ratabari area without any food and water. While returning from the operation one of Surinder’s colleagues felt very sick and therefore Surinder carried the Light Machine Gun (LMG) for his colleague.

Surinder alleged that on October 27 once again some persons assaulted him without any reason. They assaulted Surinder so badly that he fell down. They assaulted Surinder on his face, chest, stomach and other sensitive parts of his body including his penis. Surinder further alleges that they forced a broken stick into his anus. Surinder then somehow managed to escape from the clutchs of his tormentors and filed a complaint against the alleged perpetrators at the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate CJM) at Silchar. However, on the other hand, the CRPF also has filed a complaint at the Silchar Sadar police station alleging that Surinder has gone missing from his unit. Surinder was treated at the Silchar Medical College Hospital.

I am informed that a complaint was sent to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on November 22 by the Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC), Assam regarding the case of Surinder. I am informed that the NHRC has registered a case and issued an order on December 7 transmitting the complaint to the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, for appropriate actions. It is also reported that the NHRC also has asked the Union Home Ministry on December 15 to submit an action taken report within four weeks.

I am informed that in the meanwhile Surinder has been nabbed by the police at Guwahati and sent back to the HQ of his battalion at Kashipur, Silchar. Later, Surinder was released from the HQ and granted him leave. I am informed that the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of CRPF against Surinder initiated a departmental enquiry.

At this juncture, an independent inquiry in the case is required rather than initiating a departmental inquiry against Surinder.

I therefore request you to ensure an independent inquiry into the incident is ordered, not by the CRPF, but by a judicial officer, like the Judicial Magistrate in Asaam. The victim must be offered all possible protection during the period of investigation. The statement of the victim must be recorded and if the statement corroborates the allegations of torture along with the medical reports on the incident, a prosecution must be initiated in a civilian court against the perpetrators and they punished as prescribed in the penal law of India.

Yours sincerely,


—————-
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. A. K. Anthony
Defence Minister
Government of India, 104 South Block
New Delhi
INDIA
Fax: +91 11 23015403
Email: cvo@nic.in

2. Dr. P. Chidambaram
Home Minister
Griha Mantralaya
Room No. 104, North Block
Central Secretariat, New Delhi 110001
INDIA
Fax: +91 11 2301 5750, 2309 3750, 2309 2763
E-mail: hm@nic.in

3. Mr. K. Vijay Kumar, IPS
Directorate General
Central Reserve Police Force
Block No. 1, C.G.O. Complex, Lodhi Road
New Delhi – 110001
INDIA

4. DIG (ADM), NES (Ops) Sector
NES (OPS) Headquarters
Jorhat, Assam
INDIA

5. Mr. Tarun Gogoi
Chief Minister of Assam
Assam Secretariat, Dispur
Guwahati-6, Assam
INDIA
Fax: +91 361 2262069

6. Chief Justice
Guwahati High Court
Assam
INDIA
FAX +91 361 2604122 or +91 362 2735863 (Registrar General)
E-mail: hc-asm@nic.in, hicourtg@rediffmail.com

7. Chief Secretary
Assam Secretariat, Dispur
Guwahati-6, Assam
INDIA
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Email: psccy_it@assam.nic.in

8. Mr. Justice S. Barman Roy
Chairperson
Assam Human Rights Commission
STATFED H.O. Building, GMC Road
Bhangagarh, Guwahati
Pin – 781005, Assam
INDIA
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Email: hrca@sancharnet.in

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Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

AHRC URL: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-047-2011

CRPF assaulted a senior citizen at his home in Assam

February 24, 2011
Wounded Mr. Fariz Uddin Barbhuiya at the Silchar Medical College and Hospital, Silchar

Wounded Mr. Fariz Uddin Barbhuiya at the Silchar Medical College and Hospital, Silchar

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) received a communication giving details of the case of 66-year-old Mr. Fariz Uddin Barbhuiya of village Kashipur under Silchar Sadar police station in Cachar district in the North East Indian state of Assam. The communication stated that on 27 July 2010 a team of more than 10 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel entered his house, assaulted him, his son and wife causing serious injury to the old man allegedly for protesting against breach of contract by CRPF. A case has been filed at the police station but the police have not taken any visible actions yet. Another complaint has been filed at the National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC) but there is no response as yet from the commission.

According to the communication and information received from other reliable sources, Fariz Uddin, a retired CRPF personnel lives in his house in front of the camp of 147 battalion of CRPF, a paramilitary force of the central government of India, at Kashipur, Cachar. He now supports his family with his pension and a little earnings from a small shop of betel nut (pan-shop) and a phone booth.

The victim stated that one Mr. Radhashyam Sahu, owner of High Tech Communication, was given the right to cut green grass from the campus of the 147 battalion at a public auction as the highest bidder. Subsequently on 22 April 2010 Mr. Sahu entered in a contract with Mr. Fariz Uddin that allows the latter to cut the grass and sell them for six months in consideration of advance payment of rupees 7500.00 (seven thousand and five hundred). After a few days Mr. Fariz Uddin came to know that another person was allowed to collect the grass and sell them. He was even not informed of the fact. Aggrieved by the breach of contract, Fariz Uddin went to Mr. Sahu and demanded an explanation. It is reported that Mr. Sahu ignored the question and misbehaved with Fariz Uddin. Then Fariz Uddin brought the matter to the notice of the commander of the battalion Mr. TK Hati with a request for redress on 26 July 2010.  Mr. Hati told that he himself engaged the other person who was collecting grass. When Fariz Uddin reminded Mr. Hati about the contract and requested him to return his money the later reportedly got furious and started hurling verbal abuse at him. He also threatened Farzi Uddin with dire consequences and warned him that the commander will teach him a lesson, as alleged in the communication. He went home disappointed and fearful.

The victim further stated that without further ado a team of 10/12 CRPF personnel accompanied by Mr. Radhashyam Sahu went to his house at about 4.30pm on 27 July. The team included constables Mr. Abani Nath, Mr. Shashi Bhushan, havildar Mr. Amir Uddin Laskar and was led by Mr. TK Hati. The victim claimed that the CRPF team forcibly entered into his house and started beating him without rhymes or reasons. They administered blows on him with their gun butts. They kicked him with their boots and punched him on the head and other sensitive parts of the body. Fariz Uddin’s wife Aftarun Nessa Barbhuiya and their son Asif Akhtar Barbhuiya tried to come in-between to save him. They also urged the para-military forces to spare the old man’s life. However, it is alleged that the CRPF team assaulted the mother and son too.

It is further alleged that the CRPF team damaged furniture, utensils and other valuable things in the house. The victims claimed that the raiding team also snatched away the cash box of their shop that contained approximately rupees 2500.00 (two thousand and five hundred).They left the house leaving the old man on the ground soaked in blood. When they were leaving, it is alleged, they warned the victims against complaining to the authorities and the police. They threatened the family that they would be charged with false allegations of keeping illegal firearms and ammunitions if they sought help from human rights organisations and inform the media.

Signboard of the PCO owned by Fariz Uddin Barbhuiya that was vandalised by the CRPF

Signboard of the PCO owned by Fariz Uddin Barbhuiya that was vandalised by the CRPF

After the CRPF team left, the family called an ambulance and took Mr. Fariz Uddin to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital. He was admitted at the SMCH and when his health improved after a few days’ treatment he was released.

Fariz Uddin also filed a complaint at the Silchar Sadar police station on 28 July 2010. An FIR was registered at the police station based on the complaint as Silchar PS Case No. 1445/10 under sections 147 (rioting or violence by an unlawful assembly), 448 (house trespass), 325 (causing grievous hurt), 323 (causing hurt), 427 (mischief causing damage), 307 (attempt to murder) and 149 (punishment of member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Sub Inspector Mr. Jitu Mani Goswami was made the investigating officer (IO) of the case.

Fariz Uddin, however, alleged that the IO was not investigating the case properly. Instead, the officer-in-charge (OC) of the police station Mr. SK Chouhan was putting pressure on him to come to an amicable settlement with the accused CRPF personnel.

It is suspected that the OC has been influenced by the accused.

After receiving the communication BHRPC gathered other relevant information from its sources. BHRPC then filed a complaint at the National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC) on 5 February 2011. BHRPC is yet to receive any response from the NHRC.

Date: 24 Feb. 11

Place: Silchar, Assam, India

CRPF personnel tortured and ill-treated by his superiors in Assam

February 24, 2011

CRPF personnel tortured and ill-treated by his superiors in Assam

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) received a communication from a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel alleging that he has been tortured and subjected to other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by his superior officers. The victim is a wireless operator with 147 battalion of CRPF. But the higher officials allegedly often have sent him in risky operations without arms even at times when he is ill. He has been kept in confinement in inhuman conditions and has also been assaulted and beaten up brutally. Stick has been entered into his anus. The victim is still kept imprisoned in a makeshift tent and reportedly he is still being subjected to inhuman treatment.

According to information received by BHRPC, Mr. Surindar Singh Chouhan, S/o late Anand Bahadur Singh Chouhan, aged about 39 years, has been working with 147 battalion since 1 September, 2008. He was posted at the head quarters (HQ) of the battalion at Kashipur, Silchar, Assam. However, he was also sent in operations with many companies of the battalion including C company at Gharmura, D company at Karimganj, E company at Hailakandi and F company at Fulertal etc.

Surider alleged that some of his superiors became spiteful towards him when he wanted to study MBA, for which he duly fulfilled all requirements. On 4 October 2010 Surindar took admission to MBA course under the Sikkim Manipal University with due permission from the commander Mr. TK Hati and drew a bank draft of Rs. 12500/- in the name of the university to pay his fees. On 5 October he requested for permission to meet the commandant at the head quarters for necessary talks in connection with his admission, study and duty. But his request was denied. When he insisted that his meeting with the commander is very important, the officer got furious and sent him to the head quarter imputing some false allegations on him. He was then sent to the DC OPS Mr. Nabeen Chandra by Sub-Inspector Mr. TN Tripati and Mr. Roy forcibly and very rudely while they also continued to hurl verbal abuses at him. At 19:00 hours same day he was presented before the commandant. The commander also behaved very roughly and threatened him that he would snatch his job and would put him into jail. He was kept in confinement without any written order and subjected to ill-treatment for three days.

On 7 October he requested to be informed of his faults for which he was given punishment. Nobody cared to answer. On 8 October he was suspended from his duties. From 8 to 11 October he was confined to the guardroom with his hands cuffed. Surinder alleged that he was severely tortured both mentally and physically while he was kept there. CRPF constables at the behest of superiors would tell him that this was his last moment and he is going to die while they pointed gun on his head. They did it innumerable times.

When he was with F company he fell ill and was sent to the head quarters by the Officer-in-Command Mr. Anwar Hussain for treatment on 13 October, 2010. But on the same day Mr. K. P. Singh, the Radio Grid Supervisor ordered him to shift to D company at Karimganj. He told the supervisor about his health condition, but no heed was given. On 13 October, 2010 he reported at D company at Karimganj despite inconvenience due to his physical condition.

Surinder alleged that on 21 October 7/8 soldiers including Rajender Singh, Rakesh Kumar, Brojesh Kumar, Sukhbinder Singh, Narendra Singh, Upendra Singh, Prem Chand Kahar came to him and started beating him with sticks and chains without rhymes or reasons. Surinder claimed that the constables tried to make him angry and to provoke him into attacking them. However, he did not fall into the trap. Then they tried to compel him to assault the quarter guard Mr. Jaibuddin Khan. But he did not do that. These tricks were applied by the OC with an intention to find a ground for filing a criminal case against Surinder.

Surider further stated that on 23 October 2010 the OC of D company Mr. TN Tripati ordered him to go in an operation and search duty without arms at Ratabari area, which was reportedly a disturbed area. When Surinder urged the OC to give him arms for his safeguard, he was denied.

Surindar claimed that according to the rules his duties should be assigned by the ASI/ RO Mr. Monoj Singh in place of the OC. So, he objected to such irregular assignment of duties by the OC in violations of rules. However, he was compelled to obey. Surinder further stated that the official record was manipulated and it is shown in the duty register that he was engaged by the ASI/RO Mr. Monoj Singh at signal centre. It register shows that he was on duty there since 07:00 hours to 13:00 hours on 23 October 2010 and again since 19:00 hours on 23 October 2010 to 07:00 hours on 24 October 2010. But in reality he was forcibly sent to the risky operation and search duty. Surinder also stated that he was aware that anybody could be shifted to any duty during emergency and he claimed that there was no such emergency. Moreover, there were many other eligible personnel for the duty. Surinder claimed that the OC sent him in the operation only to harass him by putting his life and limbs at risk. He performed his duties with the Superintendent of Police (SP) of Karimganj district in a search operation looking for some suspects for approximately 24 hours at Ratabari area without food, water etc. While returning from the operation one of his colleagues felt very sick and he carried his LMG.

Surinder further alleged that on 27 October once again some constables assaulted him. They beat up him so furiously that he fell down on the floor. But they did not stop. They beat him on his face, chest, stomach and other sensitive parts of his body including the privates. They entered broken stick into his anus. Surinder stated that some of the constables namely Upendra Singh, Prem Chand Kahar and Dilip Kumar did not want to inflict such brutal torture on him. But they were compelled by threats of similar treatment by Mr. Hati.

Surinder then somehow managed to escape from the clutch of his tormentors as he alleged. He filed a complaint against the alleged perpetrators at the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Silchar. He also received treatment at the Silchar Medical College and Hospital.  He tried to keep himself out of the reach of his battalion. However, they filed a missing case at the Silchar Sadar police station.

At this point in time on 4 November Surinder sent a communication to the BHRPC giving details of his situation. BHRPC filed a complaint at the National Human Rights Commission of India on 22 November. The NHRC registered a case and passed an order on 7 December transmitting the complaint to the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, for appropriate actions. The NHRC also asked the Home Ministry on 15 December to submit an action taken report within four weeks. But the BHRPC did not receive any information even after seven weeks.

Meanwhile Surinder has been nabbed by the police at Guwahati and sent back to the head quarters of his battalion at Kashipur, Cachar. He has informed BHRPC through a friend that he is being kept under the sky in a poorly made makeshift tent which is unable to protect him from the cold. Every now and then he was being beaten up and subjected to other inhuman treatment. According to the information, food and other necessities were also not being properly provided.

On 11 February the victim was released and granted leave. He went home that day. BHRPC received information that the Home Ministry also reportedly asked for a report from the CRPF at the direction of the NHRC. But the inquiry is being conducted by a DIG of CRPF. It is suspected that the inquiry by another officer of the force against his colleagues would not be objective. On the other hand, the CRPF also initiated a departmental inquiry against him.  A thorough, prompt and independent inquiry in the case is a must.

11 February, 2011

Silchar, Assam

Illegal Arrest, Torture of Civilians by Central Reserve Police Force Personnel

January 18, 2011

Illegal Arrest, Torture of Civilians by Central Reserve Police Force Personnel

On 19 March, 2008 at about 10.30 pm one Gypsy and two 407 truck-ful of CRPF personnel belonging to 147 battalion camping at Kashipur, Cachar along with Mr. S C Nath, an Assistant Sub Inspector of Police posted at Borkhola police station in Cachar, came at Behara Bazar under the jurisdiction of Katigorah police station, Cachar and picked up Mr. Ranjit Roy, Mr. Birbikram Deb and Mr. Raju Kar at gun point.

These three youth are ordinary residents of Behara Bazar and by occupation businessmen with small shops at the bazaar. As usual they were shutting the shutters of their shops after the day’s drudgery to go home when they were accosted by the said security forces. The CRPF personnel started to beat them with gun butt and bayonet inflicting intentionally severe pain causing sufferings and hurts on their persons apparently to intimidate them and rob them of their belongings. When at the scream of the victims people started to come out and gather around the scene the CRPF men took them aboard a vehicle and went away.

They went to an adjacent temple named Loknath Mandir at Nilcherra and woke up Mr. Sandipan Chakrabarti and Subir Guha, drivers of the temple, who were asleep there. Here also the CRPF jawans applied their gun butts and bayonets causing more serious injuries to both the said persons with intention to force them to board a vehicle at which Mr. Swapan Bhattacharya, the priest of the temple, protested. Abuses and intimidation were also hurled at him. But on the possibility of waking up nieghbourhood people by this hullabaloo the CRPF personnel left these two victims.

Now they went with the first mentioned three victims not to the Katigorah police station under which jurisdiction they were in action but to the Borkhola police station and tried to persuade Mr. Ajijur Rahman, the Officer in Charge of the police station, to register an FIR against the victims by producing six fresh bullets and claiming that these had been found with the victims. After interrogation Mr. Ajijur Rahman denied to admit the CRPF theory that the victims belonged to any non-state armed organizations as well as to frame them as such. But Mr. Ajijur Rahman himself detained the victims illegally for the whole night instead of making arrangement for their medical treatment. He acted in contravention of strictures of the law of the land and international human rights law, perhaps, as well-known practice of Assam Police suggests, for a few thousand rupees from the victims.

There was an eerie environment of fear and tension everywhere in Barak Valley when the news reached people the next morning. Despite this, some individuals and organizations including Barak Human Rights Protection Committee came into action and contacted senior police officers and the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar. The five victims were sent to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital, Silchar for treatment.

ASI S C Nath stated on 20 March, 2008 at the Office of the Superintendent of Police in the presence of media and social and human rights activists that CRPF personnel themselves had kept the bullets in the pockets of the victims forcibly. Senior CRPF officer S S Bohar made himself present at the SP office a little later and apologized to the people for the incident of the day before. He admitted that CRPF acted wrong information and also promised that there would be an inquiry into the matter. SP, Cachar also promised to take necessary actions in this regard.

On the other hand, Mr. Biswajit Sinha, the OC of Katigorah police station denied to register the complaints filed by the Mr. Ranjit Roy and his two companion victims and by the authority of Nilcherra Loknath Mandir as FIRs. Mr. Ranjit Roy and others alleged in their complaints that Mr Tapan Deb, Mr. Sujit Deb of village Dinanathpur and Mr. Sanjay Mahato of village Chayaranbasti were behind the whole incident. Local people alleged that these three persons are known as CRPF informer as well as members of an AOG having a camp in the area. Mr. Kanailal Bhattacharya, joint secretary of Desh Bondhu Club, was called on his cell number 94353 72029 from +9194356 66043 at 6. 57 pm on 21 March, 2008 and threatened with death apparently for his co-operation with BHRPC fact-finding team. The caller was Tapan Deb and the number from which the call was made is usually used by local chief of the AOG, Mr. Bhattacharya alleged. He also claimed that Mr. Tapan Deb, Mr. Sujit Deb and Mr. Sanjay Mahato have been using the AOG camp as their hideout. Local people also alleged that Mr. Haidar Hussain Laskar, an ASI at Behara Outpost works as an informer of the AOG more than as a police officer on the ground that if he was given any information regarding the trafficking of arms and ammunitions and other illegal activities of the AOG he cautions them instead of taking any actions against them.

In the complaint Mr. Ranjit Roy, Mr. Birbikram Deb and Mr. Raju Kar also alleged that the CRPF personnel took away rupees 2,275.00 (two thousand two hundred and seventy five) only, rupees 6,000.00 (six thousand) only and a wrist watch and rupees 2,320.00 (two thousand three hundred and twenty) only from them respectively at gun point.

Custodial torture and death of Motahir Ali

January 18, 2011

Custodial Torture and Death of Motahir Ali (for report in detail click here)

An innocent poor labourer named Motahir Ali Tapadar, 38 years, S/o late Akaddas Ali Tapadar of village Bhatgram (also known as Bhatghat and/or Brahmangram) under the Katigorah police station of Cachar, Assam died on 21 September, 2007 in the custody of police personnel posted at Kalain Police Patrol Post (PP). He was taken into custody on 20 September, 2007 by Narain Tamuli, the In-charge of the PP in connection with Katigorah Police Station Case No. 453/07 which charged him of assault to his co-villagers Sahabuddin and others.

When Alimun Nesa, widow of the deceased, her minor son Salman Uddin and other co-villagers visited the PP, they saw Sub-Inspector Narain Tamuli, Assistant Sub-Inspector PR Nath and Constable Ramzan Ali were beating and torturing Motahir Ali in other manners brutally. When Alimun Nesa beseeched for mercy and release of her husband the police assaulted her and her minor son and others were threatened, taunted and bullied away.

In the morning next day she again she came with her son to see her husband and she saw her husband was still being tortured and his condition had got very bad. Once again she wept and cried for mercy. This time SI Narain Tamul demanded form her a sum of rupees 10,000.00 (ten thousand) only for releasing her husband. At the expression of her inability to satisfy this demand the said SI canned her several times and even kicked her in the belly in her pregnant condition. Her minor son Salman Uddin was also assaulted.

In the way police kept torturing Motahir Ali till he breathed last at about 1pm.

INDIA: Will the 40th All India Police Science Congress consider the killer cop in Assam as one among them?

June 4, 2010
[AHRC Article] INDIA: Will the 40th All India Police Science Congress consider the killer cop in Assam as one among them?Get pdf version
FOR PUBLICATION AHRC-ART-056-2010
June 4, 2010

An Article by Mr. Waliullah Ahmed Laskar published by the Asian Human Rights Commission

The Campaign against Torture is one of the core thematic activities of the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). With a view to promote local debates on torture and to encourage ordinary individuals, human rights activists, scholars and jurists to write and debate about the subject in India, the AHRC has called for articles and papers on the question of torture, of which a selected few will be published by the AHRC. The following is the first in this series.

INDIA: Will the 40th All India Police Science Congress consider the killer cop in Assam as one among them?

Waliullah Ahmed Laskar*

There is nothing new about the police officers in the Indian state of Assam who enjoy immunity for the crimes they commit on behalf of their political bosses. They are awarded perks and promotion for their crimes. Most criminals in police uniform enjoy such immunity because they know to please those who are in power.i This de facto impunity is in addition to the statutory impunity provided to the state security agencies by laws, often referred to as ‘draconian’ and ‘repressive’, like the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958; the Assam Disturbed Areas Act, 1955; the Assam Police Act, 2007; and the wrong interpretation of Section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. Nobody is surprised in Assam these days by reports of crimes committed by police officers and many of these criminals are rewarded with service medals, promotions and postings in important police stations where they have abundant opportunities to demand and collect bribes.

The case discussed here is a little different. On 21 September 2007, the state police tortured and killed Mr. Motahir Ali Tapadar, a 38-year-old labourer, from Bhatgram village residing under the jurisdiction of Katigorah Police Station in Cachar district of Assam. The police officers tortured Motahir first inside a Police Patrol Post, and later in full public view, at a government health centre in front of the public and the doctor treating him. The police killed Motahir since he was unable to pay bribes to the police.

A magistrate inquired about the incident and the report was kept hidden by the government. The Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC)ii , an Assam based human rights organisation that is following the case obtained the Magisterial Inquiry Report,iii after lot of effort and using the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI). The content of the report exposes the criminal nature of the police officers involved in the incident.

Portions from the report as recorded by the inquiring magistrate, the Additional District Magistrate (ADM) of Cachar, is reproduced below with a view to explain to the reader the incident and the criminal involvement of the police officers that resulted in the murder of an innocent person:

‘A petty quarrel between Mr. Motahir Ali and his neighbour Mr. Sahab Uddin took place at about 11am on 20 September 2007 in front of their houses concerning a minor quarrel between the children from the two neighbouring houses over toys or games resulting in an argument between the elders that led to the scuffle. Sahab and Motahir went to the Police Patrol Post at Kalain and lodged a complaint against each other. Mr. Narayan Tamuli, the Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) who was also the officer in-charge of Kalain PP accompanied by his constables arrived at the respective houses of the complainants and took them to the PP and detained them at the patrol post.’

‘Some persons from Bhatgram and the relatives of the detainees went to the patrol post with a request to bail the detainees out and to settle the case amicably. Alimun Nesa, Motahir’s wife took food to the patrol post for her husband in the evening. Motahir was quite fine at the time. Alimun met officer Tamuli and pleaded for the release of her husband from police custody, stating the background of the argument. Tamuli demanded Rs. 10,000 from her as bribe to release Motahir. She informed Tamuli that they are too poor to raise the money. However, Alimun informed Motahir that she could collect Rs. 500 or Rs. 600 from her neighbours and give it to Tamuli.’

‘Tamuli refused to accept any lesser amount than what he initially demanded and denied to release Motahir. On the same night Tamuli and his subordinate officers tortured Motahir. On the next day morning Alimun again went to the patrol post and found her husband lying on the lockup floor. He could hardly move or speak. Motahir could somehow express to his wife that he was brutally beaten and kicked by the police officers on the previous night and that he feared that he is badly injured in his abdomen. He further told to his wife that there is no chance of him surviving another day since he was seriously injured from the torture.

‘When Motahir’s condition deteriorated Tamuli dragged him into three-wheeler (auto rickshaw) and took him to Kalain Primary Health Centre (PHC). At the PHC, Tamuli and his subordinate officers, police constables stationed under Tamuli at Kalain patrol post, continued their brutal assault upon Motahir in front of the doctor and the hospital staff. The public present at the PHC witnessed the assault and tried to dissuade the police but they failed. Dr. Badal Das, the doctor in-charge of the PHC reportedly examined Motahir and after discussion with Tamuli, decided to send Motahir to Silchar Medical College and Hospital (SMCH) for treatment but he died on the way.’

The report further says: ‘[i]t is revealed from the hearing that Motahir was a day labourer and the family had a hand to mouth existence. His family consisted of his wife and three minor children. His wife was expecting another child at the time of the incident. Motahir was a peace loving man and there were no former public complaints against him. It is stated by Alimun, the helpless widow of Motahir that a minor quarrel amongst the neighbours’ children over toys developed into an insignificant scuffle between the elders – resulting in the filing of a police case and arrest of Motahir by the Kalain police. The inhuman torture inflicted upon Motahir for non-payment of the bribe and the brutality by the police in public and the subsequent death of a simple day labourer in the Kalian PHC before the noon of 21 September 2007 in front of the doctor of the hospital and his staff is a bitter experience for the people of Kalain.’ [Emphasis added].

‘One Mr. Ramzan Ali, Constable under Tamuli administered the point of his lathi (stick) at the abdomen of Motahir while he was admitted at the Kalain PHC resulting in total silence of the body [sic] of Motahir. It is stated the constable’s last stroke made the way or caused the circumstances for demise of Motahir.’

The report concludes that ‘the police at Kalain patrol post was pro-active in committing brutalities upon Motahir simply for the reason that the deceased’s family could not afford payment of bribes to the police officers…’

Regarding the consequent arson and destruction of public properties by the angry public, the Magistrate states that: ‘the news of death spread at Kalain and adjacent areas and the public in the locality got infuriated. Hundreds of local people gathered at around 2pm in front of the patrol post and Gaon Panchayath Office and shouted slogans and pelted stones at the patrol post. Police tried to gain control over the situation with their existing force but could not succeed. Then the police opened fire injuring one person but there was no casualty though it is claimed that 80 rounds were fired to disperse the angry crowd.’

‘The patrol post caught fire and it was completely gutted. Nearby GP office of Kalain also caught fire and was burned to ashes resulting in the loss of public documents and properties. There was little attempt to save the public properties and it was left at the whims of the excited public who took their own course of action.’ The magistrate added, “[h]owever, the actual cause of fire in both the offices are yet to be ascertained.”

Commenting on the report, Mr. Neharul Ahmed Mazumder, Secretary General of BHRPC, said: ‘[s]o far as the conclusion of the inquiry concerning the death of Motahir Ali is concerned the BHRPC is substantially in agreement with the findings. However the organisation sticks to its own findings regarding the incidents of the aftermath.’ He points to the BHRPC fact-finding report that observed: ‘hundreds of local people gathered at 2pm around the patrol post and started shouting slogans demanding arrest of Narain Tamuliiv. Police charged them with sticks and rifle butts which further infuriated the crowd and they started pelting stones at the police. Police then opened fire and fired 80 rounds. In the firing there was only one severe injury. Mr. Shahidur Rahman, aged 17 years, who was watching the incident from the roof of a two-storied house, was injured badly in his left leg. He was admitted to SMCH. Being terrified by such heavy firing the crowd dispersed.’

‘Then the police themselves set fire on patrol post and burnt it down in order to distract the attention of people from the murder and hush it up. The propaganda that after the death of Motahir Ali the outraged people set on fire the patrol post is false and intentional.’

The report further says: ‘the terrified public at first were silent. Nobody dared to speak anything about the incident initially. Subsequently a large number of people requesting anonymity claimed that some men arranged by the police had set on fire the patrol post. They raise two arguments to substantiate this claim. First, although there was only one person who was hit and injured among the police, the police fired eighty rounds to disperse the mob and no mob can withstand such a large quantity of firing. The mob dispersed and fled after a few rounds of firing. Secondly, the fire was first found at the backside of the patrol post. If the mob had set fire the patrol post they would have done so from the front because they were there. Moreover, there is a marsh behind the patrol post which prevented the mob from accessing the patrol post from the back side.’

The police registered a First Information Report (FIR) against one Mr. Faruk Ahmed and other five-hundred unidentified persons and fabricated charges against them including attempt to murder and causing obstruction to the police in the performance of their lawful duty, invoking among other legal provisions, Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC). The police in connection with this false case, raided, assaulted, abused and humiliated the family members, relatives and fellow villagers of the victim. Even they arrested three innocent persons, namely Mr. Faruk Ahmed, Mr. Ibajul Hoque and Mr. Imamul Hoque, who were subsequently released on bail by the Guwahati High Court.

When, Mr. Saidur Rahmen, the person injured in the police firing, recovered a little and was released from the SMCH, the police arrested him again. There are good reasons to believe that the police might not have burnt the patrol post themselves but they did so with the help of hired criminals. In fact, the incident of burning down the patrol post is intriguing and indicative of a deeper and larger conspiracy. The manner in which the police was desperately over-active in hounding the people in relation to the case despite requests from various quarters not to harass and arrest the innocent people, is indicative of such a conspiracy.

At the intervention of BHRPC and based on the complaint of Alimun Nesa, a case was registered at Katigorah Police Station as Katigorah PS Case No. 484/07, dated 4 October, 2007 under Section 302 (murder) read with Section 34 (conspiracy to commit a crime) of the IPC against Tamuli, Assistant Sub Inspector Mr. Promod Nath and Police Constable Mr. Ramzan Ali Choudhury. The accused applied for an anticipatory bail at the Guwahati High Court and the court granted them an ‘interim bail’ with the direction to the accused to surrender before the trial court. At their appearance before the trial court all the three accused were remanded to judicial custody on 11 March, 2008. Later they were released on bail by the High Court. v

The Superintendent of Police (SP) of Cachar stated on 18 July 2008 that the investigation of the case is almost complete and the final case diary will be submitted soon to the court. It needs to be seen what duration constitutes this ‘soon’? vi

In a subsequent petition, the Guwahati High Court ordered that ‘[i]t is directed that if the case is not forwarded to the Crime Investigation Department (CID) the same shall be done immediately and the CID shall investigate the case in prompt and proper manner.’ vii

Does not the word ‘prompt’ mean ‘without delay’? How much time constitutes ‘delay’?

The BHRPC also submitted a complaint regarding the case before the Assam Human Rights Commission on 6 December, 2007. The Commission registered a case vide Case No. 6404/2007 dated 18 July 2008 and issued a notice to the state government asking for a report. The Commission sent a letter to the BHRPC with the report asking for its comments on the findings in the report. viii

The BHRPC on 3 December, 2008 sent its comments expressing its agreement regarding the conclusion drawn in the Magisterial Inquiry Report about the facts and circumstances concerning the death of Motahir and requested the Commission to allow an interim relief to the relatives of the victim by way of compensation and urged to recommend the prosecution of the perpetrators of the crime as it is the mandate of the Commission to do so under its constituting statute, the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.

The BHRPC, however, disagreed with the findings in the Magisterial Inquiry regarding its observations about setting fire on the police post and the GP office, the police firing on the people, registering of false case against them, the arrest of many protestors in connection with that false case and the harassment of many others. The BHRPC requested the Commission to conduct an independent investigation into these issues. But since then Commission did not respond, despite the BHPRC sending repeated reminders.

It was later known that a departmental inquiry into the incident was conducted by Mr. R.C Tayal, Inspector General of Police (IGP) and that the inquiry report was submitted to the government on 22 September, 2007. Pursuant to the report, the three accused were placed under suspension on 11 March 2008ix and a departmental proceeding initiated against them on 21 March 2008.x But nobody knows what happened to the proceedings and when and how the accused police officers got reinstated to the service. They were soon promoted.

Tamuli was promoted from the rank of Assistant Sub Inspector to Sub Inspector and secured a posting at Sadar Police Station, the main police station in Silchar city. Silchar city is regarded as the cultural and business capital of the entire Barak valley. BHRPC recently documented another case involving Officer Tamuli. xi

He was the investigating officer in a case registered at the Silchar PSxii and was also entrusted with the responsibility of the execution of a search warrant.xiii The complainant in both the cases was Mrs. Sharmista Das, a victim of domestic violence who was driven away from her matrimonial house by her in-laws who took away all her belongings that she received as her wedding gifts.

The victim alleged that Tamuli took bribe of Rs. 20,000 from her and demanded another Rs. 50,000 after illegally detaining her and two others when they visited the police station on 20 March, 2010. They had visited the police station to know about the progress of the investigation in the case. Social activists had accompanied Sharmista on that occasion. However Tamuli detained them demanding bribe. They could only come out of the station since the social activists who accompanied Sharmista had contacted their colleagues to secure their release from illegal custody.

When the entire system protects a murderer police officer there is little hope left to obtain justice.

The BHRPC filed an application on 24 May 2010 under the RTI, demanding the Assam Police to provide: 1) a copy of the report of the departmental enquiry into the custodial death of Motahir Ali; 2) details of the actions taken against the accused/responsible police personnel by the department; 3) if no actions have been taken the reasons thereof in detail; 4) details of the progress in investigation in Katigorah Police Station case No. 484/07; 5) details of the progress made and procedures taken by the CID in the case; 6) copy of the charge sheet submitted by the Katigorah Police or the CID in Katigorah PS Case No. 484/07; 7) if no charge sheet has been submitted the reasons thereof in detail with a copy of the final report regarding the case; and 8) any other information held by the office of the Director General of Police (DGP) or any office of the Assam Police regarding the order of the Guwahati High Court in Criminal Miscellaneous Case No. 484/07 and the custodial death of Motahir Ali. The BHPRC is yet to receive any reply for these questions.

In summary, here is a police officer who was once in-charge of a police patrol post in a remote village who arrests an innocent person, demands bribes and on refusal to pay torture the man throughout the night and kills him the next day in front of hundreds of people. The local people get agitated and demand immediate arrest of the killer officer. Police respond by opening fire at the public. The police also reportedly set fire to their patrol post and an adjoining public office allegedly for two reasons: to divert the attention of the public and to persecute the public for daring to protest against the murder by implicating innocent persons with false charges of arson, rioting, destruction of public properties etc.

After the intervention of human rights groups the police department conducts an inquiry and suspend the accused officers. A magisterial inquiry is also conducted which concludes that the officers killed the victim because his family could not meet the excessive demands for bribes made by the police officers. An FIR is also against them. The officers are arrested and then released on bail. On a petition, the High Court orders prompt investigation by the CID of the Assam Police into the case. The State Human Rights Commission also registers a case, issues notice to the authorities asking for report and then asks for comments from the petitioner on the report.

Meanwhile the officers get reinstated and their leader gets a posting in an important police station in the state with a promotion. Meanwhile the State Human Rights Commission also shelves the case file. No compensation to the victim’s family is paid even after 3 years. No charge sheet is filed and trial started against the officers. In the meanwhile the accused officer continues committing crimes and remains in active service.

The authorities cleverly deceived the public by showing that some actions are being initiated while indeed they were protecting the officers. This case, therefore, shows that the police officers will continue demanding bribes and in case of refusal they could hurt you or even kill you. The case proves that nothing will happen in consequence to the officers and after an initial period of suspension at the most, they will be soon reinstated to service and may be even promoted.

While top-ranking police officers discuss issues concerning policing in the country and express concern about their lost ground with the ordinary Indian in the 40th All India Police Science Congress, we wish that you will try to understand why the ordinary people of this country consider you as nothing more than criminals paid at our expense.

*The author of this article is a journalist and human rights defender associated with Barak Human Rights Protection Committee, a human rights organisation based in Assam, India. The author can be contacted at + 91 9401134314

———
Footnotes:

i For cases of human rights violations with impunity see: VIOLATION CASES at https://bhrpc.wordpress.com/
ii For more information about BHRPC visit https://bhrpc.wordpress.com/
iii Magisterial Enquiry Report of Custodial Death of Motahir Ali vide NO. MISC. CASE. 1/2007/28 dated Silchar, the 9th April, 2008 published by BHRPC at the URL:https://bhrpc.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/magisterial-enquiry-report-on-custodial-death-of-motahir-ali/, accessed on 1 June 2010
iv Wali Laskar, Custodial Murder of Motahir Ali Tapader and Subsequent Police Atrocity in Barak Valley of Assam, Countercurrents.org, 31 October, 2007, accessed on 1 June 2010 at the URL:http://www.countercurrents.org/laskar311007.htm
v Order of the Gauhati High Court in B. A. No. 1074/08
vi Letter of the SP, Cachar addressed to ADC, Cachar vide No. G/SR/3680 dated 18/07/08
vii Order of the Gauhati High Court in Smti. Alimun Nesa Vs Shri Narayan Chandra Tamuli and others (Crl. M.C. No. 208 of 2008 in B. A. No. 1074/08)
viii AHRC CASE No. 6404/2007/14 dated 18-0702008
ix Assam Police Order vide D.O. No. 703 dated 21/03/08
x Assam Police Order vide DP No. 01/08, 02/08 and 03/08
xi BHRPC, Brief Summary of the BHRPC Fact-finding Report on Incidents of Extortion and Harassment of a Victim of Domestic Violence by Police in Silchar accessed on 1 June 2010 at the URL:https://bhrpc.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/brief-summery-of-the-bhrpc-report-on-sharmista-case/
xii Silchar PS Case No. 509/10 under sections 379 and 406, IPC
xiii A search warrant under section 94 of the Cr PC vide Case No. 155 M/2010; for details please see: Asian Human Rights Commission Urgent Appeal: Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-075-2010 available athttp://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2010/3466/

# # #

About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

Posted on 2010-06-04

URL: http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2010statements/2583/

Magisterial Enquiry Report on Custodial Death of Motahir Ali

May 25, 2010

Click here to download the document (pdf)

GOVT. OF ASSAM

OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER::: CACHAR::: SILCHAR

****

NO. MISC. CASE. 1/2007/28                                                                         Dated Silchar, the 9th April, 2008

To

The District Magistrate,

Cachar, Silchar.

Sub: –  Enquiry report in respect of circumstances leading to death of one Motahir Ali,          S/O Lt. Akaddas Ali of Vill. Bhatgram, P. S. Katigorah and burning of Kalain     Police Out Post and G. P. Office.

Ref: –  Your Order No. CCL. 3/2007/Pt/05 dtd. 21.09.2007 & subsequent letters

thereon.

Sir,

In pursuance to the order issued vide No. Cited above, I have the honour to furnish following enquiry report on the circumstances leading to the death of one Md. Motahir Ali aged about 38 years S/O Lt. Akaddas Ali of Vill. Bhatgram, P.S. Katigorah, Cachar on 21.09.2007 and the burning of the Kalain Police Out Post and Kalain Gaon Panchayat Office on that day.

On receipt of the order under reference, a Public Notice bearing Memo No. Misc. Case No.1/2007 dtd. 26.09.07 was issued by the undersigned marking copies to the all concerned including the Superintendent of Police, Cachar and Deputy Director, Information & Public Relations, Barak Valley Zone, Silchar to facilitate the enquiry and for causing wide publicity in local news paper viz. The Samayik Prasanga published substance of the Notice as news item.

As per the Notice issued the date time and venue was pre-notified from 11:30 A.M. to 3:00 P.M on 28.09.2007, 29.09.2007 and on 01.10.2007 at PWD Inspection Bungalow, Gumrah situated next to Kalain and Bhatgram village.

Interested persons, private or officials, organisations, relatives of the deceased person were invited to furnish statements in terms of references of the public Notice dtd. 26.09.2007.

I visited the Gumrah PWD I.B in time on 28.09.2007, 29.09.2007 and 01.10.2007 and conducted the enquiry.

As per the information obtained: – a petty quarrel between Md. Motahir Ali and his neighbour Sahab Uddin of Village- Bhatgram took place at about 11:00 A.M on 20.09.2007 in front of their houses centring around a very minor quarrel amongst the kids of two neighbouring houses over playthings or games. The quarrel between the elders led to the scuffling later on. Shri Sahab Uddin and Motahir Ali went to the Police Out Post at Kalain and lodged complaint against each other. Shri Narayan Tamuli, ASI i/c Kalain Police Out Post accompanied by his constables arrived to the houses of complainants and took them to the Out Post and kept them under detention. Some respectable persons of Bhatgram and relatives of the detainees went to the Out Post with request to bail them out and settle the case amicably. Olimun Nessa, W/O Motahir Ali who were observing the holy Ramjan fasting took food to her husband in the evening and served in the Lock up. Motahir Ali was quite normal at that time. Alimun Nessa met Narayan Tamuli and pleaded for release of her husband from the police custody stating the background of the quarrel. Sri Tamuli demanded Rs. 10,000/- (Rupees ten thousand) only from her as the price of release. She stated that they are too poor to afford the payment. However, she stated that she could collect Rs. 500/- to Rs. 600/- from her neighbour on request and give it to Sri Tamuli. But Sri Tamuli turned deaf ear to the submission made by Alimun Nessa. As she was not obliging, Tamuli denied release of her husband. The in-charge and his staff tortured Motahir Ali mercilessly whole night of 20.09.2007. Next morning i. e. on 21.09.2007 Olimun Nessa went to the Police Out Post and found her husband was lying on the floor of the lock up and could hardly move or speak. Md. Motahir Ali could express that he was brutally beaten and kicked by the police staff and he badly inflicted injury in the abdomen. He further told to his wife that there is least chance of his survival after whole night brutal rituals by the policemen.

When the condition of Motahir Ali deteriorated Tamuli dragged him to an Autorickshaw and took to Kalain Primary Health Centre instead of sending him to Court. In the primary Health Centre Sri Tamuli and his colleagues repeated the brutality upon Md. Motahir Ali. The public present thereby witnessed the torturing and tried to dissuade police but in vain. Dr. Badal Das, in-charge of Kalain Health Centre reportedly examined Md. Motahir Ali and after discussion with the in-charge of the Police Out Post, they decided to send the patient to Silchar Medical College & Hospital for treatment but he died on the way.

The death news spread at Kalain and adjacent areas and public in the locality got infuriated. Hundreds of local people gathered at around 2.00 P.M. in front of the Kalain Out Post and G. P. Office and started slogans and pelted stones at the Out Post. Police tried to control with their existing forces but could not succeed. Police opened fire injuring 1 (one) person but no casualty was there though it has been claimed that 80 round fire were opened at that time to disperse the angry crowd. The Out Post caught fire at that time and it got completely gutted.  Nearby Gaon Panchayat Office of Kalain also caught fire and burned to ashes resulting loss of public documents and properties. There was a little attempt to save the public properties and it was left at the whims of the excited public who took their own course of action.

The dead body of Motahir Ali was brought to Kalain so to say to his residence amidst tight police coverage and handed over to the relatives of the deceased who was buried by them by mid-night of 21.09.2007. No untoward incident took place as there was sufficient police security.

The information and particulars were made available from the statements of public, public organisation and media report.

It is revealed from the hearing that Late Motahir Ali was a day labourer and lived from hand to mouth. His family consisted of his wife and 3 (three) minor children. His wife was an expecting mother at that time. Late Motahir Ali was a peace loving man and there was no public complaint against him. It is stated by Olimun Nessa, the helpless widow of Late Motahir Ali that a minor quarrel amongst the neighbours children/playboys developed an insignificant scuffling between the elders—resulting filing a police case and arrest by the Kalain police and detaining them in police custody. The inhuman torture inflicted upon Motahir Al for non-payment of the gratification and gearing up the brutality by the police staff and subsequent death of the simple day labourer in the Kalian P.H.C. before the noon on 21.09.2007 in front of the doctor of the hospital and his staff is bitterly experienced by the people of Kalain. One Mahmudur Rahman Laskar S/O Mushriqur Rahman Laskar aged about 40 years, one of the members of Azad Club, Kalian stated that Sri Tamuli i/c Kalain Out Post and his staff behaved in an inhuman manner and brutally tortured late Motahir Ali.

One Sri Ramzan Ali, Constable under Sri Tamuli administered the point of lathi straightway at the abdomen of Late Motahir Ali at the Kalain Primary Health Centre resulting total silence of the body of Motahir Ali. It is stated the constable’s last stroke made the way or caused the circumstances for demise of Motahir Ali. However, post mortem report and final opinion on the cause of death are available in the report of the concerned doctor of the Silchar Medical College & Hospital.

One Smt. Lila Acharjee and another Smt. Saraswati Adhikari W/O Nishi Ranjan Acharjee and Jyodev Adhikari aged being 45 years and 55 years respectively deposed that Motahir Ali was inhumanly tortured by the police.

From the local enquiry, it reveals that the police of Kalain Out Post was pro-active on the brutalities inflicted on Late Motahir Ali simply for the reason that the deceased family could not afford payment of gratification beyond the reach of the poorest family.

As regard the circumstances leading to the causes of the setting fire of both Out Post and the G. P. Office, inadequacy of preventive action plan have been observed by the public. However, the actual causes of catching fire on both the offices are yet to be ascertained.

As gathered, there was a separate Police Case at Katigorah P.S. under Katigorah P.S. Case No. 484/07 U/S 302/34 IPC wherein separate course of action have been initiated against the erring officials and the public involved and the Hon’ble trailing court has passed appropriate order on the same.

This is for favour of your perusal and necessary action.

Yours faithfully,

Signature Illegible

09.04.08

(H. A. Laskar)

Addl. District Magistrate

Cachar :: Silchar

Text Box: Yours faithfully, Signature Illegible 09.04.08 (H. A. Laskar) Addl. District Magistrate Cachar :: Silchar

Copied by

Waliullah Ahmed Laskar

Brief Summery of The BHRPC Fact-finding Report on Kalam Uddin of Jirighat

May 25, 2010

Brief Summary of

The BHRPC Fact-finding Report

on Torture of Kalam Uddin of Jirighat and His Family by Army in Assam

BHRPC Ref. No. ……………. Date………………….

Report in Portabel Document Format (pdf)

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) has received information that on 13 April, 2010 about 20 armed men belonging to 11 Field Regiment camping at Labok in the jurisdiction of Lakhipur Police Station (PS) in the district of Cachar in Assam (India) abducted Kalam Uddin Choudhury alias Kala, a daily wage labourer aged about 22 years, son of Dolu Mia Choudhury of village Makhon Nagar under the Jirighat Police Station in the same district. They tortured and kept him in incommunicado detention for about 24 hours. During the raid at the dead of night, the armed forces allegedly beaten up and humiliated all the inmates of the house, vandalised household goods and forcibly taken away 2 mobile phone handsets and other valuables with them. When on 14 April, 2010 the villagers, with the help of Yasin Ali, Officer in Charge (OC) of Jirighat Police station, found him out in the said Labok camp, the army lodged a First Information Report vide Jirighat P. S. Case No. 12 of 2010 under section 120B and 384 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) accusing Kala of hatching criminal conspiracy and extortion.

BHRPC members visited Makhon Nagar and talked with the family members of the victim, villagers and other persons related to the incident. From the information thus gathered it becomes clear that Dolu Mia Choudhury is a respectable person in his village, although the family is very poor. He held the post of Secretary for many years in the Village Defence Party (VDP), a village level committee which is formed by, and functions under the supervision of, the local police station. His son Kala works as a daily wage labourer having some skills in masonry. In November, 2008 Niam Uddinof village Hatirhar, Lakhipur Police Station (Cachar), who constructs small buildings in Imphal, Manipur under contract, hired Kala and took him to Imphal where the later worked for about four months as was employed by his hirer. But all of a sudden Niam Uddin disappeared one day without paying Kala anything and for many days Kala could not trace him. Kala returned home in January, 2010

After returning home Kala tried working at nearby places. On 9 April, 2010 Kala suddenly saw Niam Uddin at Jiribam, a town in Manipur bordering Assam adjacent to Jirighat, and demanded his money, which according to him was Rs. 26, 000. 00 (twenty six thousand). An altercation ensued between them. According to Dolu Mia Choudhury, Niam Uddin told his son that if he would keep demanding money he would be taught a very bitter lesson which he would not be able to forget in his life.

And then….. Dolu Mia Choudhury stated that at midnight on 13 April when all were sleeping he heard someone heavily knocking at his door. The knockers were claiming to be police and demanding the door to be opened immediately, which he obeyed. They told him that they were from army and they needed to search his house. When he enquired about search warrant and asked why they came alone without being accompanied by police officers from local police station, or the president of Gaon Panchayat (elected village level local government body, village counterpart of municipality), or the secretary of the VDP, they told him to keep quiet and started beating and kicking him. They tied him with a pillar in the veranda tying his hands at his back. They also entered a handkerchief into his mouth. At the sound of scuffle and his muzzled shriek others sleeping in his house woken up and tried to rescue him. Everybody including his aged and sick wife, daughters, sons and daughters-in-law ended up being beaten, kicked and tied. And then the brave soldiers of Indian army entered the house and vandalised everything they could find. They took two mobile handsets and some other valuables.

At the hue and cry people living nearby got awaken and started to rush to the spot. But there were army personnel at various points in the village road who stopped the people and sent them back forcibly by beating and abusing them. Present VDP Secretary Abdul Hoque Choudhury and some other members of the VDP such as Ajir Uddin, Nasir Uddin, Minhaj Uddin stated that they took their identity cards and badges provided by the police and ran towards the origin of the clamour and they also were stopped, their cards and badges were snatched away and they were also subjected to heavy beatings. But in other ways that were unknown to the army they could manage to reach the spot and they witnessed the subsequent events.

The witnesses stated that when they reach the spot they saw the army personnel asking Dolu Mia to produce ‘the gun’ according to them which he illegally possessed. Dolu Mia told them that he did not have any gun at which he received another round of beatings and kicking. The army personnel again searched the house, but in vain. Then one of the personnel called someone by the name of Monir Uddin and asked him to indentify the person who they wanted to pick up. Monir Uddin showed Kala and told them he is the person. They took him away with them without telling his family members and gathered villagers any reasons for such actions. The army also took signatures of Dolu Mia in three blank papers.

A group of villagers led by the VDP Secretary Abdul Hoque Choudhury went to Jirighat police station and woke up the Officer in Charge Yasin Ali. They narrated the whole story before him. The OC made a few phone calls and then told them that he could do nothing in the night. He asked them to come the next day early morning. The police officer with a few constables along with the villagers started searching for the boy. They searched each and every army camp within the jurisdiction of Jirighat police station. But the boy was found nowhere. The OC told them that without gathering information it is no use to continue search in this way.

On 14 April the boy was indeed found in the Labok Army camp, which is under the jurisdiction of Lakhipur police station. His condition was very bad. He was losing and gaining his consciousness. The Jirighat police took him into custody and then sent him to Jirighat New Primary Health Centre. He was examined by Dr. D Das, medical officer there.

A few hours later N. K. Subeder, N. Shri Varman from 11 Field Regiment came to the police station and produced a letter bearing letter head of People’s United Liberation Front (PULF) allegedly written by Kala demanding money from someone. Kala vehemently denied it. He stated the police that the army made him to sign the paper at gun point. Other people present there from his village including Abdul Hoque Choudhury told the police that they knew Kala well and he is a very peaceful boy, who never even mildly assaulted any person. They told that they believed army is trying to frame him. Nevertheless, the police registered a case against Kala under section 120B and 384 of IPC as Jirighat P. S. Case No. 12 of 2010. He was produced before the Magistrate on 15 April and sent to the judicial custody.

BHRPC also tried to gather information about the person whom the raiding army personnel asked to identify the intended person. It came out that Monir Uddin of Ujan Tarapur under Lakhipur police station is a person known as “army informer” and has a reputation of framing people in exchange of a few thousand bucks. According to the local people, if any body has any enmity or grudge against anybody they can teach the intended person a lesson paying Monir Uddin a few thousand rupees. In turn Monir Uddin gives a feast to his friends in the army or maybe some money also and they will take the intended actions, claimed the local people.

Monir Uddin has also some serious criminal cases against him. In many of these cases he was accused of robbery, kidnap, murder, rape etc. A few days back he was arrested by Silchar police station but sometimes later he was also released mysteriously.

BHRPC thinks that there are reasons to believe that Niam Uddin (of Hatirhar) contracted Monir Uddin for a few thousand to teach Kala the lesson he promised when the later demanded his money. Monir Uddin activated his friends in the army and they done their job.

The army for a feast or a few thousand Indian currencies acted like organized criminals flouting the Indian laws regarding search, seizure and arrest. They indulged in severe torture, incommunicado detention and other forms of gross violation of human rights guaranteed in the constitution of India and enshrined in the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights of 1966 to which India is a party

Neharul Ahmed Mazumder

Secretary General


.

Soldiers Beat a Family and Illegally Arrest and Torture a Young Man after Accepting Bribes in Assam

May 6, 2010

 

URGENT APPEAL PROGRAMME

BHRPC UA No. 14/2010

Soldiers Beat a Family and Illegally Arrest and Torture a Young Man after Accepting Bribes in Assam (Click Here)

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) forwards this Urgent Appeal issued by Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) regarding an incident where soldiers beat a family and illegally arrest a young man after accepting bribes in the Indian state of Assam urging all viewers to take suggested actions. (See the Urgent Appeal)

Waliullah Ahmed Laskar (Wali)

For and on behalf of BHRPC

Guwahati, Assam

Email: wali.laskar@gmail, bhrpc.net@gmail.com

Mobile: +919401134314

Date: 05-05-10

Place: Guwahati

(See the Urgent Appeal)