The Superintendent of Police
Subject: Registration of FIR in the case of police brutality against villagers of Chhote Tongpal and Jangampal on the morning of 26.11.2014
We wish to bring to your notice–
- That on 26.11.2014, security forces entered the villages of Chhote Tongpal and Jangampal under the jurisdiction of Kukanar police station and beat up several villagers in these villages, while also taking away 26 men from these villages.
- That despite several requests for information, the detainees and their family members, were not given any reason for their being taken away.
- That many women in these villages above the ages of 45 years of age were also beaten with sticks and kicked with boots, and suffered serious injuries.
- That on the morning of 27.11.2014, these villagers visited the Kukanar police station to inquire about the whereabouts of their family members who had been detained, and to lodge a complaint against the brutality by police and other security forces on the previous day.
- That on 27.11.2014, after giving information about the arrests of only two young men to their families (which was also only provided in Hindi – a language that only few of the adivasisin these villages can read or understand) and refusing to divulge information about the rest of the detainees to their family members who were waiting outside the gate of the police station– the police surreptitiously took away 15 men to the Sukma JMFC court to produce them in connection with FIR 16/14 PS Kukanar. This is a clear violation of the DK Basu guidelines laid down by the Honourable Supreme Court, which is now part of the Code of Criminal Procedure in sections 41-B, 46, 50 and 50-A.
- That on 27.11.2014, the above villagers who had suffered beatings wished to register an FIR, giving full information about the incident. A list of 25 villagers who had suffered beatings was also submitted at the police station. Yet, the Kukanar SHO refused to register the FIR, saying that he needed to conduct a preliminary inquiry. Even after multiple requests, he did not order MLCs for the men and women who were injured and only proceeded to take 2 statements in the entire day, deliberately delaying the procedure.
- That on 27.11.2014, two women, Jimme w/o Sukka and Hidme w/o Ayata, both residents of Jangampal gave statements recorded by the Kukanar SHO that the security forces had entered their villages on 26.11.2014 and were taking away their husbands and sons forcibly. When they pleaded with them to given them information of where and why they were taking the men away, the forces beat them brutally with bamboo sticks.
- That on 28.11.2014, 12 injured villagers again presented themselves at the station, including 10 women – several of whom were so badly injured that they could not even walk from their vehicle to the police station. Their MLCs were finally done in the Sukma District Hospital, where in each of the 12 cases, the Doctor noted their extensive injuries and also gave opinion that their injuries had been caused by a hard and blunt object 36-48 hours earlier.
- That as of 11:00 AM on 29.11.2014, the SHO of Kukanar who is in possession of the above MLCs and the two testimonies is still refusing to take cognizance of the crime and register the FIR. The SHO is claiming that he does not have adequate information for registering the FIR.
- That a Five–Judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in Lalita Kumari v. State of UP (2014) 2 SCC 1has ruled that –
- i) Registration of FIR is mandatory under Section 154 of the Code, if the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation.
- ii) If the information received does not disclose a cognizable offence but indicates the necessity for an inquiry, a preliminary inquiry may be conducted only to ascertain whether cognizable offence is disclosed or not.
- iv) The police officer cannot avoid his duty of registering offence if cognizable offence is disclosed. Action must be taken against erring officers who do not register the FIR if information received by him discloses a cognizable offence.
- That in the above case, clearly the information given by the villagers discloses the commission of a cognizable offence. Hence the FIR should have been registered on the first day the SHO Kukanar received information, i.e. the 27.11.2014. After that, with 12 MLCs disclosing injuries to the villagers and two statements of injured women, the SHO Kukanar has more than adequate material which discloses the commission of a cognizable offence.
Hence, we request that you forthwith direct the SHO of Kukanar to register the FIR without further delay, based on the information already submitted by the villagers, against the concerned security officers for unwarranted violence against villagers and for violation of the rights of the arrested men.
Advocate Shalini Gera
Advocate Parijata Bhardwaj
Advocate Guneet Kaur
(Legal Counsel for the affected villagers of Chhote Tongpal and Jangampal, PS Kukanar, District Sukma)
Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group
Vrindavan Colony, Jagdalpur
Phone – 09993378384
Email – [email protected]