Officials must be sensitised to treat people with dignity: MP


Government officials, including those in the police department, should be sensitised to treat people with dignity, said Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Kanimozhi at the release of ‘Sattankulam declaration’ via videoconferencing in Madurai on Saturday.

Joint Action Against Custodial Torture (JAACT) in its declaration has set out guidelines to be followed to prevent police torture and loss of lives due to custodial torture. The ‘Sattankulam declaration’ was released on the first anniversary of the custodial death of a trader P. Jayaraj and his son J. Benicks in Thoothukudi district.

The man and his son succumbed to injuries sustained while they were in the custody of Sattankulam police. The police atrocity sparked a nationwide outrage.

Ms. Kanimozhi said that the resolution was important. Custodial torture and deaths were not acceptable. There must be a change and the laws alone were not the answer. There must be a cultural change and that process had to start, she said.

The ‘Sattankulam declaration’ was released by senior advocate Nitya Ramakrishnan and the copy was received by Ms. Kanimozhi.

Recollecting the incident, the daughter of Jayaraj and sister of Benicks, J. Persis said that such incidents should not happen again and sought a speedy trial in the custodial deaths case. She thanked people for their support.

Key aspects

Advocate Henri Tiphagne explained the key aspects of the declaration that set out certain guidelines to be followed by the law-enforcing authorities at the time of taking people into custody, formal arrest and at the time of interrogation.

The law-enforcing agencies were given specific powers to enable them to discharge their duties. However, they must respect human rights while exercising their powers. People must be treated with dignity.

JAACT sought the reconstitution of the State and District Police Complaints Authority as independent bodies headed by retired judges of the Supreme Court, High Court and District Court respectively.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 8:00:44 PM |

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