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Custodial death in 2013. After 4 years, victim family is going to be paid meager amount as compensation. No one is guilty, No one is accountable. Hence no justice was provided

Kirity Roy

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To

The Chairman
National Human Rights Commission
Manav Adhikar Bhawan
Block-C, GPO Complex, INA
New Delhi – 110023

13 January 2014

  • District Magistrate, Murshidabad (Ref No. MASUM/DM/MSD/483/3731/14)
  • Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad (Ref No. MASUM/SP/MSD/483/3732/14)

Respected Sir,

I want to draw you kind attention regarding one incident of custodial death of Mr. Rafikul Seikh (the deceased) who was brutally tortured by the prison officials inside the correctional home and due to that he died. Many inmates viewed that horrendous act, and few of them informed us from inside prison, through mobile phones, which was available with them. I am purposefully withholding their names for their safety and security but if the Commission constitutes an impartial enquiry over the issue, I will transmit their details before the enquiry. Our fact finding report provides the details of the whole incident.

The whole incident was brought into the notice of higher police authority, but no action has been taken till date. The parents repeatedly harassed by the police personnel of Berhampur and Hariharpara Police Stations while they tried to lodge complaints against the involved prison officials on respective police stations. The whole matter clearly reveals the utter violation of right to life as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The jailor declared that the deceased committed suicide by hanging. In first instance the jail official declared him dead instead of a medical professional. The jail authorities showed a thin and small rope; supposedly used for hanging was primarily not enough in length and strength for hanging of a full grown young person.   We have no clue about the inquest by a judicial magistrate over the custodial death in accordance to section 176 (1A) of Criminal Procedure Code. The district police connived with the prison officials trying to hush up the issue, though the incident was modestly reported in the media.

Hence we seek your urgent intervention regarding the following matters: –

  • The whole matter must be investigated by the Commission’s own investigating wing.
  • The role of the police personnel of Berhampur and Hariharpara must be investigated for their non compliance regarding  registering the complaints of the father of the deceased
  • The perpetrator prison officials must be booked under the law and must be prosecuted under appropriate sections of murder and other which deem fit.
  • Immediate departmental proceedings against the prison official.
  • Purposeful avoidance of Section 176-1-A by the administration
  • Total compliance of NHRC’s guidelines on custodial deaths in letter and spirit
  • Adequate compensation must be provided to the deceased’s family.

Thanking You,
Yours truly

Kirity Roy
Secretary, MASUM &
National Convener, PACTI

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Name of the victim: – Mr. Rafikul Seikh @ Rafik (the deceased), son of- Mr. Namaji Seikh, aged about- 32 years, by faith- Muslim, residing at Village- Choa-Bilpara, Post Office- Choa, Police Station- Hariharpara, District- Murshidabad, West Bengal, India.

Name of the perpetrators: – 1) Mr. Rajib Ranjan Singha (Chief Controller-II of Berhampore Central Correctional Home), 2) Mr. Biswarup Biswas (Chief Controller-I of Berhampore Central Correctional Home), 3) Mr. Arindam Sarkar (Superintendent of Berhampore Central Correctional Home), 4) Mr. Atul Sarkar (Chief Discipline Officer of Berhampore Central Correctional Home), 5) Mr. Susanta Biswas (Sub-Jailer of Berhampore Central Correctional Home) 6) other few involved jail warders of Berhampore Central Correctional Home under Murshidabad district 7) Officer in Charge of Baharmpur Police Station and 8) Officer in Charge of Hariharpara Police Station & 9) The Sub Divisional Officer, Berhampore, Murshidabad.

Date and time of incident: On 19.11.2013 at about 10.30 pm.

Place of occurrence: – At the vicinity of Chouka (the place used or cooking purpose) inside Berhampore Central Correctional home.

Case details: –

It is revealed during fact finding that Mr. Namaji Seikh; the father of the deceased is living with his wife; Ms. Rijiya Bibi, with his two sons namely Mr. Hamid Seikh and Mr. Jamarul Seikh, with his daughter-in-law; Ms. Tanuja Bibi; the wife of Hamid Seikh and with two grandsons namely Mr. Taman Seikh; son of Mr. Hamid Seikh and Mr. Masud Seikh; son of the deceased at the abovementioned address. They have cultivation land measuring three Bigas; which was not sufficient for their sustenance and two sons were working as daily laborers.  The deceased; Mr. Rafikul Islam was the second child of Mr. Namaji Seikh.

In the year of 2008, the deceased charged and later convicted for murder of one minor boy named Samim Seikh; son of Mr. Ashabul Seikh. We came to know that the deceased was mentally imbalanced during the incident and it was also reported in media during those days. The deceased was convicted in Hariharpara Police Station Case No. 109/2008 dated 04.05.2008 under section 302 of Indian Penal Code, the person was arrested from the place of incident and produced before the court vide Government Record No. 701/2008 under section 302 of Indian Penal Code. After that the District and Sessions Court; Murshidabad sentenced him for life vide Sessions Serial Case No. 884/2008 and Sessions Trial No. 8 (3) of 2009. In the said correctional home, the deceased was appointed as a cook after being convicted for life imprisonment. It was found that the wife of the deceased divorced him legally; while he was sentenced with life.

On 19.11.2013 at about 10.30 pm, the deceased was not present during the counting of inmates. The abovementioned officials of the said correctional home searched for the deceased at every nook and corners of the prison and at last, they found him near to chouka (the place for cooking) of the said correctional home. The furious prison officials started to beat him black and blue as alleged. The head of the deceased was seriously injured due to that atrocious physical aggression and blood was oozed and clotted on the left and back side of his head and both the knees were severely injured, and his lifeless body fell down on the floor; supposedly he was died at that moment only, though not confirmed by any doctor. The prison officials tried to hide the incident of murder of the deceased and propagated the he committed suicide. They also declared that the deceased has committed suicide by hanging with a piece of rope. On the same day, the body of the deceased was taken to Berhampur General Hospital from that said correctional home. One Dr. Jaya Mazumdar examined the body and declared as dead. Our local activist came to know that the person was died due to torture at 10.40 pm and he informed the incident immediately to a local media professional (Hindustan Times).

Later on 20.11.2013 at morning, the said media representative went to the house of the deceased and informed the incident of his death to his parents and other family members. On the same day at 12.30 noon, the parents and other family members of the deceased went to the said hospital with few co-villagers; they found the body of the deceased was lying on a stretcher with visible injuries at the entry door of the said hospital. It was alleged by the parents and the relatives of the deceased that they found several injury marks all over his body while they reached to the said hospital. They also noticed that the back side of the head was completely damaged and few teeth were broken.  It was also alleged by deceased’s father that one small and thin rope was tightly tied on his neck which was noticed by all. Meanwhile, one police personal in uniform told the parents of the deceased to sign on a paper, but they told him that they could not sign on that paper as the guardian of the deceased; Mr. Hamid Seikh was not reached at that time. The police personal entered to the said hospital and did the formalities and after that the dead body of the deceased was taken to Berhampur Police Morgue by a cycle-rickshaw- van (a three wheelers vehicle) and on the said morgue, the post mortem was done by the medical officer, Dr. Rubel of the said hospital vide Annual Post Mortem Serial No. 1033/2013 dated 20.11.2013 and one unnatural death case was registered to Berhampore police station vide Berhampur Unnatural Death Case No. 733/2013 dated 20.11.2013. Ms. Purabi Ghosh, Lady Sub Inspector of Police attached with Berhampore police station was the Investigating Officer.

On the same day at about 4 pm, one letter as crash radiogram vide Memo No. 8664/DC/RB dated 19.11.2013 reached to the house of the deceased from Hariharpara police station regarding the death of the deceased and the neighbors of the deceased received that letter in the absence of the parents of the deceased. The letter was sent to the Inspector-in-Charge of Hariharpara Police Station by the Superintendent of Berhampore Central Correctional Home. The Superintendent of the said correctional home asked the Inspector-in-Charge of the said police station ‘whether near relatives of the deceased would like to attend Magisterial Inquest and Post-Mortem Examination or not. If they did not want to attend these procedures, it would be completed as per government rules’. On the same day, the parents of the deceased went to Hariharpara Police Station to lodge a written complaint against the perpetrator prison officials, but the then Duty Officer of the said police station refused to register any complaint and told them they would not take any complaint till they would not receive the post-mortem report of the deceased and told them to come after two or three days.

On 22.11.2013, Our activist took the parents and the brothers of the deceased to Berhampore Police Station with few co- villagers to lodge a complaint against the involved prison officials of the said correctional home. But, Mr. Joydev Dey; the Duty Officer refused to take that complaint. Afterwards, Mr. Jamarul Seikh; the brother of the deceased called Mr. Mochaimenul Haq; the Inspector-in-Charge of Berhampore Police Station in his number (Mobile no. 9434108806) and informed him about  the denial of registering their complaint by the said Duty Officer. The said Inspector-in-Charge of Berhampore Police Station supported the view of the Duty Officer and told them to come and meet with him to his office if they want.

On 23.11.2013, Ms. Rejiya Bibi; the mother of the deceased lodged a written complaint before the Superintendent of Police informing the ineffectiveness of the police personnel of Berhampore Police Station to lodge any complaint against the prison officials and requested him to treat her complaint as a First Information Report against the prison officials. But till date none know about the fate of the complaint.

On 27.11.2013, Ms. Rejiya Bibi; the mother of the deceased again lodged a written complaint before the Superintendent of Police informing the incident of custodial death of her son inside Berhampore Central Correctional Home by the prison official and also informing the ineffectiveness of the police personnel of Berhampore Police Station and Hariharpara Police Personnel. But no action has been taken by the higher authority of the police till date.

We received information from few inmates of the deceased at the same correctional home at the time of the incident that the deceased was physically tortured and torture resulting his death. The act was perpetrated by the said prison officials while they failed to locate him for the regular counting of the inmates. The medical officer performed the post-mortem examination not obtained any signature of the family members of the deceased.

It was found that the Magisterial Inquest was done as illegal practice violating section 176-1A of Criminal Procedure Code; under order of the Sub Divisional Officer, Mr. Pallab Bhattacharjee, Executive Magistrate performed the inquest illegally.


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