Human Rights

Aslamuddin, 18, a Student Tortured in a Police Station in Kerala

Torture; Impunity; Arbitrary Arrest; Victim Assistance & Protection; Rule of law

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-058-2015



8 MAY 2015

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INDIA: Student Tortured in Police Station

ISSUES: Torture; Impunity; Arbitrary Arrest; Victim Assistance & Protection; Rule of law
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Dear Friends,

The AHRC has received information about the torture of a young man by the police authority of Pavaratty Police Station in Kerala. Aslamuddin, a young man of 18 years, studying at Venmanad School in Kerala, was riding his bike through the Chuku Bazaar Road along with his friends, Avinash and Jamshir. According to the Motor Vehicles Act of India, two or more persons riding pillion on a bike is an offence. Therefore, the police stopped them and informed Aslamuddin that having two pillion riders is an offence. The police officer then seized Aslamuddin’s license and asked him to report it to Pavaratty Police Station along with the bike.

But what happened to Aslamuddin in the Police Station was uncalled for. The Police Sub Inspector Mr. M.K. Ramesh unnecessarily threatened and tortured Aslamuddin, causing him internal injuries. The offence committed by Aslamuddin is a minor one, punishable by payment of a fine. Regardless of the crime, however, torture is never a solution. It only induces trauma and hatred. Aslamuddin will never be the same again; such violence can only turn a young man into a pessimist or a radical, one that has no faith in the system of the country. It is high time for the Indian police to stop overlooking the adverse effects of torture and provide service rather than trauma to the community.  

CASE NARRATIVE:

Mr. Aslamuddin is an 18-year-old student of Venmanad School in a town called Pavaratty in Kerala. On 5th April 2015 at about 11 a.m., Aslamuddin was riding his bike through the Chuku Bazaar Road along with his friends, Avinash and Jamshir. Having two or more pillion riders on a bike is an offence under the Motor Vehicles Act of India. The police stopped Aslamuddin for riding pillion on a bike with his two friends. The police officer who stopped Aslamuddin seized his license and asked him to report to Pavaratty police station along with his bike for payment of fine.

The next day, following the instruction, at about 11:30 a.m., Aslamuddin reported in the police station with the bike and along with his friend Avinash. While Avinash waited outside the Station building, Aslamuddin went inside the Police Station. Sub Inspector Mr. M.K. Ramesh asked Aslamuddin why he had come to the Station. Aslamuddin replied that he had come to collect his licence and pay the fine for riding pillion on a bike. The Sub Inspector, however, held Aslamuddin by his neck and pushed him into the Writer’s room inside the Police Station. The officer held Aslamuddin against the wall and elbowed him on his back. The officer elbowed Aslamuddin four times. Then the officer released his grip, and as Aslamuddin raised his head, the officer slapped Aslamuddin four to five times. Then the officer asked Aslamuddin to stand near the lock-up room entrance inside the Station.


When Aslamuddin tried to call his family to inform them that he is in the Police Station, a police constable prevented him from making the telephone call. The policemen also prevented Aslamuddin from contacting his friend Avinash who was standing outside the Police Station.

At about 4 p.m., the police allowed Aslamuddin to call his family, to request them to come to the Police Station and take him on bail. But, before the family arrived, the police took Aslamuddin to Chavakkad Taluk Hospital. On the way to the hospital, the Sub Inspector threatened Aslamuddin, warning him that he should not mention the torture to the doctor.

However at the hospital, Aslamuddin informed the doctor in detail that he was tortured and how he was tortured at the Police Station. The Sub Inspector was not pleased with Aslamuddin’s conduct. At about 5 p.m., Aslamuddin was back at the Police Station and the officer immediately started slapping Aslamuddin for reporting torture to the doctor. In another 30-45 minutes, after the Sub Inspector had tortured Aslamuddin, the young man was finally allowed to go.

The next morning, Aslamuddin started coughing and spitting blood. Aslamuddin’s family, concerned about his health, admitted him in the Chavakkad Taluk Hospital. Aslamuddin received treatment for the next four days and was discharged from the hospital on the 10thApril 2015.

Nervazhi, a local Human Rights Organisation in Kerala intervened in the matter and Aslamuddin filed a complaint through their lawyer before the State Human Rights Commission in Kerala.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:


Indian law, in action, is regrettably quite tolerant of official torture. There is no law that prohibits torture, and the Constitution of India does not explicitly forbid torture, but Article 14 states, "he State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.” Police officers in India are rarely prosecuted for mistreatment of suspects. And, the Indian police remain untrained in non-coercive methods of interrogation.


SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write to the authorities listed below, asking them to investigate the torture of Aslamuddin in the Pavaratty Police Station in Kerala and right the wrong committed. Ask the Ministry of Home Affairs in India to provide a platform of training of police personnel on smarter and better alternative ways of interrogation. Appeal to policy makers in India to restructure the Indian law enforcement system. And, ask civil society organisations in Kerala to work together to sensitize the police authority so that torture is no more a form of interacting with suspects.

The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment calling for their intervention into this matter.

To support this case, please click here:  

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ………………..,

INDIA: Student Tortured in Police Station

Name of victim: Mr. Aslamuddin, 18 years old
Names of alleged perpetrators:
1. Mr. M.K. Ramesh, Sub Inspector of Police, attached to the Pavaratty Police Station; and
2. Personnel at the Pavaratty Police Station
Date of incident: 6 April 2015
Place of incident: Pavaratty Police Station in Kerala

I am writing to express my deep and sincere concern about the brutal torture done to a young boy by the police authority of Pavaratty Police Station in Kerala. The Police Sub Inspector Mr M K Ramesh unnecessarily threatened and tortured Aslamuddin causing internal injuries for a minor offence of having two pillion riders on his bike, which is punishable by payment of fine.


Mr. Aslamuddin is an 18-year-old student of Venmanad School in a town called Pavaratty in Kerala. On 5th April 2015 at about 11 a.m., Aslamuddin was riding his bike through the Chuku Bazaar Road along with his friends, Avinash and Jamshir. Having two or more pillion riders on a bike is an offence under the Motor Vehicles Act of India. The police stopped Aslamuddin for riding pillion on a bike with his two friends. The police officer who stopped Aslamuddin seized his license and asked him to report to Pavaratty police station along with his bike for payment of fine.

The next day, following the instruction, at about 11:30 a.m., Aslamuddin reported in the police station with the bike and along with his friend Avinash. While Avinash waited outside the Station building, Aslamuddin went inside the Police Station. Sub Inspector Mr. M.K. Ramesh asked Aslamuddin why he had come to the Station. Aslamuddin replied that he had come to collect his licence and pay the fine for riding pillion on a bike. The Sub Inspector, however, held Aslamuddin by his neck and pushed him into the Writer’s room inside the Police Station. The officer held Aslamuddin against the wall and elbowed him on his back. The officer elbowed Aslamuddin four times. Then the officer released his grip, and as Aslamuddin raised his head, the officer slapped Aslamuddin four to five times. Then the officer asked Aslamuddin to stand near the lock-up room entrance inside the Station.

When Aslamuddin tried to call his family to inform them that he is in the Police Station, a police constable prevented him from making the telephone call. The policemen also prevented Aslamuddin from contacting his friend Avinash who was standing outside the Police Station.

At about 4 p.m., the police allowed Aslamuddin to call his family, to request them to come to the Police Station and take him on bail. But, before the family arrived, the police took Aslamuddin to Chavakkad Taluk Hospital. On the way to the hospital, the Sub Inspector threatened Aslamuddin, warning him that he should not mention the torture to the doctor.

However at the hospital, Aslamuddin informed the doctor in detail that he was tortured and how he was tortured at the Police Station. The Sub Inspector was not pleased with Aslamuddin’s conduct. At about 5 p.m., Aslamuddin was back at the Police Station and the officer immediately started slapping Aslamuddin for reporting torture to the doctor. In another 30-45 minutes, after the Sub Inspector had tortured Aslamuddin, the young man was finally allowed to go.


The next morning, Aslamuddin started coughing and spitting blood. Aslamuddin’s family, concerned about his health, admitted him in the Chavakkad Taluk Hospital. Aslamuddin received treatment for the next four days and was discharged from the hospital on the 10thApril 2015. Although, Nervazhi, a local Human Rights Organisation in Kerala has already intervened in the matter and Aslamuddin filed a complaint through their lawyer before the State Human Rights Commission in Kerala.

I urge you to:

1. Record the statement of the victim by a judicial magistrate;
2. Based on the statement and medical records, a case must be registered against the Sub Inspector of Police, Mr. M K Ramesh;
3. Pending the investigation, the officer must be placed on suspension from active duty;
4. The state government must assume responsibility for the acts of its officer and pay an interim compensation to the victim, and the same must be recovered by the government from the perpetrator's salary;
5. Based on the investigation in the case, the perpetrator must be prosecuted for the offense he has committed;
6. The government should consider investigating why police officers, as evident in this case torture persons without reason and the investigation should be held in consultation with the public, calling for their opinion and including the civil society;
7. Based on the findings of the investigation, the government should take immediate corrective measures through statutory changes wherever required to end the practice of endemic torture in India.

Yours sincerely,

……………….
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Shri Rajnath Singh
Minister of Home Affairs
Room no 104, North Block, Central Secretariat
New Delhi – 110001
INDIA
Tel: +9111 23092462, +9111 23092462
Fax: +911123094221

2. Shri L.C. Goyal
Secretary, Department of Home
Room no 113, North Block, Central Secretariat
New Delhi- 110001
INDIA
Tel: +9123092989
Fax: +9111 23093003

3. Justice J.B. Koshy
Chairperson, State Human rights Commission
Turbo Plus Towers, PMG Junction
Vikas Bhavan P.O.
Thiruvananthapuram – 695033, Kerala
INDIA
Tel: +91471 2301221+91471 2301221 / 2307263
Fax: +91471 2307490
Email: hrckerelatvm@gmail.com

4. Shri Ramesh Chennithala
Minister for Home & Vigilance
Room No. 131, 2nd floor
North Block, Govt. Secretariat
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
INDIA
Tel: +91471 2333254+91471 2333254 /2333294
Fax: +91471 2334648
Mobile: +919447777100+919447777100
Email: min.home@kerala.gov.in

5. Smt Nalini Netto
Additional Chief Secretary of Kerala (Home & Vigilance)
Room No. 357(A) & 358
Main Block, Secretariat
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
INDIA
Tel: +91471 2333174+91471 2333174/2518455
Fax: +91471 2327395
Email: ceo_kerala@eci.gov.in

6. K S Balasubramanian
State Police Chief of Kerala
Kerala Police Headquarters,
Trivandrum – 695010, Kerala
INDIA
Tel: +91471 2721601+91471 2721601
Fax: +91471 2726560
Mobile: +919497999999+919497999999
Email: dgp.pol@kerala.gov.in / dgp@keralapolice.gov.in


Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)
 

Asian Human Rights Commission
G/F, 52 Princess Margaret Road
Ho Man Tin, Kowloon
Hongkong S.A.R.
Tel: +(852) 2698-6339 Fax: +(852) 2698-6367
Web: www.humanrights.asia

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