The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports about the death of a man in police custody in Pilkhua in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday after he was brutally assaulted during interrogation in connection with a murder case.
He was allegedly kicked, punched, hit with planks of wood, given electric shocks and pierced with a screwdriver. A purported video of the victim's body, shows deep bruise marks on his posterior and left arm and stab wounds all over the body, the NHRC said in a statement.
The Commission observed that going by the media reports, it appeared to be a glaring instance of violation of human rights of an individual in police custody for which accountability rests on the police force of the state.
Accordingly, it has issued a notice to the UP Director General of Police, demanding a detailed report. The DGP has also been asked to mention in the report action taken against the erring police officials and the steps taken to prevent such incidents in future.
A notice has also been issued to the UP government chief secretary, asking him to ensure the safety and security of the victim's family, mainly his 11-year-old boy who has to undergo a huge trauma during the alleged torture and death of his father in police custody.
The detailed reports from both the authorities are expected within four weeks.
Pradeep Tomar and his son were picked up by police for questioning when he was on his way to get his motorcycle repaired. Tomar's son said the policemen first abused his father and then beat him. Tomar kept begging them to not beat him and asked them what he had done wrong but they kept hitting him, according to media reports.
The minor boy was slapped by policemen and they even put a gun in his mouth to warn him to not talk to anyone about what he had seen, the reports said.
The policemen were, reportedly, drunk and the boy fell at their feet and asked them to leave his father but they tortured him so much that he defecated and urinated.
Even when he was taken to the local hospital, he was not given any treatment as he was locked in a room, the NHRC statement added.
The Commission observed it is beyond comprehension how the men in uniform have unleashed heinous torture and barbaric atrocities on a helpless man in their custody, when it is incumbent upon them to protect life and limbs of the individual detained or arrested.
It said it has repeatedly cautioned policemen to not indulge in "unlawful actions" against accused persons, much less an innocent, in their custody.
It has, time and again, sensitized the police force to engage with detainee with proper human behaviour and aggressive nature of the police must be avoided, otherwise right to life and liberty, which is fundamental edifice of the rule of law, will be trampled down.
The Commission said it is of the view that there is a need for a thorough probe to the matter to identify and punish the guilty. Moreover, the condition of the minor boy is also a cause of concern and he needs to be taken care of by the state.