NHRC issues notice to the Government of Uttar Pradesh over the death of a person in judicial custody in Unnao and related allegations (10.04.2018)

PRESS RELEASE

New Delhi, 10th April, 2018
The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports about the mysterious death of the father of a rape victim who was in custody at a jail in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh. The incident was reported to have happened a day after the alleged rape victim tried to immolate herself near the Chief Minister's residence accusing a BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his aides of gang rape. The girl's father was in judicial custody after his arrest for a brawl with the MLA's supporters last week. The daughter of the deceased has, reportedly, alleged that it is only the delinquent MLA who has got her father killed since she was not willing to withdraw the gang rape complaint against him.

The Commission has observed that the allegations, if true, raise serious issue of violation of human rights of the victim family. It has issued notices to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh calling for a detailed report in the matter, including action taken against the delinquent police officials, who refused to register an FIR. The Commission also expects from the DGP, an explanation for not communicating the custodial death to the Commission within 24 hours. All the reports, including health screening report of the deceased at the time of his admission in the jail and medical treatment provided by the jail authorities, are to be sent. They have been given four weeks to respond.

The Commission has also directed the Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh to look into the matter personally and ensure that the aggrieved family is not subjected to further harassment and humiliation by the opponents who appear to be resourceful persons of the locality. He is also directed to monitor and expedite the magisterial inquiry which is underway.

According to the media reports carried today on the 10th April, 2018 some miscreants forcefully entered into the house of the Devender and thrashed him brutally in front of his family members 3rd April, 2018. The family approached the Makhi police station to lodge an FIR against the younger brother of the BJP MLA and his aides. It was mentioned in their complaint that the brother of the MLA led the group and asked his accomplices to attack the family. The FIR has been reportedly lodged but it, allegedly, does not mention the name of the brother of the BJP MLA. On the other hand, the police booked Devender u/s 323, 504, 506 IPC and also added sections of the Arms Act against him. He was arrested and remanded to judicial custody for 14 days. The police, as mentioned in the news report, argued that the accused was a listed criminal. After medical examination of Devender he was sent to prison at 7.30 pm on 4th April, 2018. According to the media reports, on 8th April, 2018, in the evening, Devender complained of stomach ache and the next day he died in the hospital at around 3.30 am.

The daughter of the deceased, who has leveled allegation of rape against the MLA and his associates, has, reportedly, stated that since Unnao police had refused to act against the MLA, his brother and accomplices, they were forced to move the Court to get an FIR registered. She has also alleged that the MLA had threatened to get the entire family killed. As per news report, she had met the Chief Minister on 17th August, 2017, to raise her grievance and she was assured help but in spite of that this is what has happened in the end.

According to the media reports, the doctors, who examined the deceased after he spent two days in police custody, noted 19 injury marks. The news report also states that he was taken to hospital only when his condition deteriorated.
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