SC to hear petition seeking SIT probe into Sitamarhi custodial death

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the custodial death case of two young men in Bihar’s Sitamarhi.

The petition was moved before the Supreme Court by NGO “Citizens Against Hate” through advocate Fauzia Shakil demanding an SIT probe monitored by a former Director General of Police of another State and a magisterial inquiry into the death of two Muslim men – Taslim Ansari and Ghufran Ansari.

Taslim (32) and Ghufran (30) Ansari were picked up the Chakiya police in Sitamarhi on the intervening night of March 5 and 6, 2019, in connection with the theft of a motorcycle and the murder of its owner, and taken to Dumrah police station.

On the following day, i.e. on March 6, when the families of Taslim and Ghufran reached the police station, they were told that the two men were dead and that postmortems had been conducted.

When the families were washing their bodies for their burial, they discovered torture wounds on the men. Sabbil Rooney, a college student who was helping the families with the paperwork, told the Indian Express,“We have filmed videos and have still photographs of the injury marks caused by iron nails being hammered in. The nails were hammered into their thighs, soles and wrists. The legs of both victims were severely injured. We are waiting for the post mortem report for specific details”.

An FIR was filed for murder, and five policemen have suspended so far. No policeman has, however, been arrested till date.

In its petition, the NGO has alleged the violation of Taslim and Ghufran’s fundamental rights in the manner in which they were arrested and tortured. They also contended that the National Human Rights Commission (NRHC) guidelines on post mortem had not been followed in the case.

After the incident, eight retired DGPshave written a letter to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, seeking action against the accused.


World Organization against Torture issues statement


The World Organization against Torture along with 12 other civil society organisations from five other countries (India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan and Indonesia) has issued a joint statement urging India, which is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to uphold the absolute prohibition of torture and to take swift action to prosecute the alleged perpetrators of the custodial death of the two young men and to provide redress and reparation to the families.

The organization has also urged the NHRC to immediately conduct an independent inquiry with no more delay while asking India to abide by its promise to ratify the UN Convention against Torture, a blueprint to eradicate torture.