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New method of extracting confession in Gujarat

Gujarat Police is adopting such methods for confession of crimes in Godhra which are not only illegal but inhuman also. According to a report published in the Indian Express, the accused mentioned in the interim charge sheet specially the main accused viz. Muhammad Husain Kalota and Haji Bilal, filed with Godhra court, were subjected to the uncivilized method of use of medicines during interrogation for extracting the truth.

According to the report the accused persons were administered Sodium Pentothal which is normally administered to patients before surgery. If a heavy dose of this medicine is given, the patient becomes semi-conscious, his heart beat becomes slow and nervous system and resistance power also becomes weak. In such a state any confession can be extracted from him.

Godhra accused were made to undergo this method on 17 and 19 June and the experiment was undertaken in governmentís Sir Sayaji General Hospital. At that time there were high officials of railways and CID (Crime) police as well as Anaesthesia Surgery Psychiatry doctors but no members of human rights organisations, specially National Human Rights Commission. This process continued for three hours. The process was also videographed.

This test was confirmed by Addl. Director General of Police (Crime) A.K. Bhargav in reply to a query by the newspaper correspondent. Such test are, however, banned as per international law because United Nations had declared it in 1999 as torture.

As regards the validity of information thus collected and conclusions drawn by such tests from legal point of view, Delhi High Courtís former chief justice Rajendra Sachar says that this method is not recognised by courts. Similarly, according to B.J.Dewan, former chief justice of Gujarat High Court, any confession by the accused after administration of medicine cannot be accepted as proof, though is can be used for further enquiry.

Subjecting the Godhra accused to above tests indicates that till date the Godhra railway police, which had enquired the case has not received any solid proof. Though it has completed its report about the Godhra incident and filed the charge sheet together with the names of the accused where new in judicial custody, it has thus far failed to submit concrete proofs against them. And now it wants to extract confession from them in this way.

In spite of demands from many quarters, the state government has not made public the enquiry report which obviously shows that the report is not to its liking and is not helpful in its planned propaganda it wanted to indulge in on the basis of this report.

The railway and state police have gone so low in their anxiety to fulfill the intentions of their government that for extracting the desired confessions from the accused, they have adopted this method which is not only illegal but which is unthinkable in a civilized society. On the other hand, nothing is being done to make the murderers, arsonists, looters, rapists etc to confess their barbarous and inhuman crimes which they committed on large scale in Naroda Pattiya, Gulbarg Society, Best Bakery and scores of other places in Gujarat.No FIRs are being registered against these brutes and effort is being made to protect them by describing the attackers as mobs.
(Translated from Urdu - Dawat, 28 June 2002)

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