The West Bengal Human Rights Commission has asked the State’s Inspector-General of Correctional Homes to inquire into allegations of torture of an inmate at the Dum Dum Central Correctional Home and submit a comprehensive report on the matter.
“The WBHRC has taken suo motu complaint on the basis of some reports that Bikram Mahato, an accused lodged at a correction home, has been tortured. We have asked I-G (Correctional Homes) to personally inquire into the matter and submit a comprehensive report within two weeks,” said Commission Joint Secretary Sujay Kumar Haldar to The Hindu on Tuesday.
According to family members of the victim, who has been at the correctional home for over a year, he was stripped, handcuffed and beaten up after he protested against the quality of food served in the prison.
According to officials of the Commission, it took note of the seriousness of the issue particularly as the allegations were made against the Jailor of the correctional home.
Commenting on the matter, Magsaysay Award winning author and noted social activist Mahasweta Devi described it as a “heinous act” that should be condemned in the strongest words. “It is to be kept in the mind that those who are arrested for any crime also have their rights which should never be violated,” she said demanding punishment for those responsible for the torture.
The judiciary should intervene and issue clear guidelines that inhuman treatment should not be meted out to the under trials and prisoners, said Mahasweta Devi, also the chairperson of Bandi Mukti Committee, a civil rights organisation demanding release of political prisoner and fair treatment to undertrials.