6th February 2014
National Human Rights Commission
New Delhi– 110001
We hereby lodge this complaint in the matter of the victim Mr. Prabal Chandra Roy (deceased), aged about-26 years, Home Address- village-Kazal, Police Station-Biral, District-Dinajpur, Bangladesh. Our attached fact finding report revealed that the victim was reportedly murdered inside Berhampore Central Correctional Home, Murshidabad, West Bengal and the involved persons are still at large. The victim was detained in the said correctional home as Jan-Khalash (a person who is detained in jail custody even after expiry of his sentence period).
It is a matter of fact that the victim suffered custodial death but there has been no enquiry by judicial magistrate in compliance of the provisions of Section 176(1-A) of criminal Procedure Code to ascertain the cause of the death of the victim and identify the persons involved therein. Section 176(1-A) of Criminal Procedure Code mandates enquiry by judicial magistrate in case of custodial death.
We condemn the incident and seek your urgent intervention against the perpetrators involved in this case i.e. the Superintendent of Berhampore Central Correctional Home and other involved personnel of the said correctional home. Our fact finding revealed that the victim was reportedly murdered inside the correctional home and the involved persons are still at large.
We demand your urgent action in this matter in the following manner:-
· The whole matter must be investigated by one neutral investigating agency.
· The provisions of Section 176(1-A) of Criminal Procedure Code must be complied with immediately in this case and the enquiry by judicial magistrate shall immediately be conducted in this case.
· The role of the Superintendent of Berhampore Central Correctional Home and Sub Divisional Officer, Berhampore (Sadar) must be neutrally investigated into and punished accordingly if found guilty for acts leading to the custodial death of the victim and for intentional non-compliance of Criminal Procedure.
· We also demand that a criminal case under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code should immediately be registered in the matter of the victim and the investigation of the case should be handed over to any neutral investigating agency.
National Convener, PACTI
Name of the Victim:- Mr. Prabal Chandra Roy (deceased), aged about-26 years, Home Address- village-Kazal, Police Station-Biral, District-Dinazpur, Bangladesh.
Names of the perpetrators:- 1) Co-detenues of Berhampore Central Correctional Home, Murshidabad; 2) Mr. Arindam Sarkar, the Superintendent of Berhampore Central Correctional Home, Murshidabad 3) SDO, Berhampore (Sadar) Murshidabad.
Place of the Incident: – Inside ward no.29 of Berhampore Central Correctional Home, Murshidabad.
Date & time of the incident: – On 16.1.2014 at 9 PM.
Fact Finding Details:-
It is revealed during the fact finding that about two and half years back the victim was apprehended by Border Security Force personnel at Indo-Bangladesh Border area of North Bengal for illegally entering into the Territory of India without any valid papers. Later the victim reportedly confessed his guilt and he punished to serve sentence under the Foreigners’ Act at Jalpaiguri Central Correctional Home. Reportedly about six months ago he was shifted to Berhampore Central Correctional Home, Murshidabad for custody. At that time he was detained in the correctional home as Jan-Khalash because he already completed his punishment as pronounced by the court for his guilt but he was not repatriated to his home land Bangladesh.
In Berhampore Central Correctional Home he was detained in ward no.29 he was detained with other inmates and some of them were belonged to his home country. On the day of the incident i.e. 16.1.2014 at about 9 pm when the victim was in his ward he was reportedly implicated himself in a scuffle with the other inmates on the issue of ongoing political unrest in Bangladesh. The scuffle soon turned into violent shape and the victim was brutally assaulted by the other inmates. It is reported that the victim was grievously hurt by sharp cutting instruments. Soon thereafter Mr. Somnath Bhowmick-the Chief Warder; Mr. Sattaki Sarkar – the Chief Controller-II; the Chief Discipline Officer and other staffs of the Correctional Home rushed to the spot and took the victim to in-house hospital of the correctional home, but he died there at about 9 pm. In spite of that he was taken to Berhampore Medical College & Hospital, Berhampore where he was declared brought dead.
Our fact finding team conducted a detailed fact finding by visiting Berhampore Medical College & Hospital, Berhampore and talking with the hospital staffs, jail staffs and police personnel of Berhampore Police Station. The police personnel told our fact finding team that one unnatural death case has been registered vide Berhampore Police Station U.D. Case no. 34/2014 dated 17.1.2014. Mr. Kollol Bhattacharjee, being one Executive Magistrate in the district conducted the inquest (Surathal) on the body of the victim inside the campus of Berhampore Medical College & Hospital, Berhampore. At that time the body of the victim was laid on a trolley covered with one blanket just inside the main gate of the aforesaid medical college. Our fact finding team was present at the time of the inquest done by the aforesaid Executive Magistrate and our fact finding team came to know from him that he was conducting the inquest on the instruction of his superior authorities. When our fact finding team informed him about the provision of Section 176(1-A) of Criminal Procedure Code he left the place with car and conveyed “Thank You” to the team. But after about half-an-hour he again came back and started inquest over the dead body. Then our fact finding team also brought to his notice about the initiation of judicial inquiry as per the provisions of Section 176(1-A) of Criminal Procedure Code as the victim had a custodial death, but he replied that he was conducting duty as per the instruction of his superior officers. At the time of inquest our fact finding team noticed that beside other injuries the victim had deep cut injury on his throat. After that the post mortem examination of the victim was conducted at Berhampore Police Morgue. Reportedly there has no judicial inquiry to ascertain the cause of death and the persons involved for causing death of the victim in custody till date. The incident was covered in leading Bangla News Paper i.e. Bartaman on the issue dated 18.1.2014 and also The Statesman leading English newspaper published the news http://www.thestatesman.net/
Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha
National Convenor (PACTI)
Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity
40A, Barabagan Lane (4th Floor)
Tele-Fax – +91-33-26220843
Phone- +91-33-26220844 / 0845
e. mail : [email protected]