Parliament breach accused allege torture to admit to ‘crimes’, Opposition links

Their judicial custody has been extended to March 1; the UAPA case accused say they were forced to sign 70-odd blank papers, give their biometrics, and provide email, social media and phone passwords

January 31, 2024 04:31 pm | Updated February 01, 2024 12:21 pm IST - New Delhi

Manoranjan D and Neelam Azad, accused in the December 13, 2023 Parliament security breach case, were produced at the Patiala House court, in New Delhi, on January 31, 2024.

Manoranjan D and Neelam Azad, accused in the December 13, 2023 Parliament security breach case, were produced at the Patiala House court, in New Delhi, on January 31, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

Five of the six people arrested in the Parliament security breach case told the Patiala House Court on Wednesday that they were given electric shocks and were forced to sign blank papers to confess their alleged crimes and their association with political parties. They have been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

In their application moved in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Hardeep Kaur, the accused — Manoranjan D., Sagar Sharma, Lalit Jha, Amol Shinde, and Mahesh Kumawat — said that those who conducted the polygraph, narco and brain mapping tests on them had pressured them to name a political party or leader in connection with the case.

“...the accused were forced to sign about 70-odd blank pages at different places of each page. Also, they were tortured, given electric shocks to sign and confess the commission of crime under UAPA and their association with national political parties,” the application said.

Forced to provide passwords

It added that each of the accused was asked about his current and old mobile phone numbers and were made to visit their respective telecom service provider offices for issuance of sim cards of old mobile numbers and current sim card numbers for the reasons best known to the prosecution.

“During this illegal drill, accused persons gave their biometrics / signed for issuance of sim cards and they were also forced to provide all their online social media account passwords, email account passwords and phone passwords,” the application further alleged.

Judicial custody extended

After the hearing, Justice Kaur extended the judicial custody of all six accused till March 1. The court also scheduled the hearing for the application moved by the five accused persons on February 17, and directed Delhi Police to submit its response to the allegations.

The Hindu had earlier reported that five of the six accused arrested by the special cell of the Delhi police had given their consent for polygraph testing. Accused Sagar Sharma and Manoranjan also gave their consent for narco analysis and brain mapping tests. Accused Neelam Azad denied consent for all the tests.

During the December 13, 2023 security breach, two of the six accused, carrying canisters emitting yellow smoke, had jumped inside the House chamber from the visitors’ gallery, leading to chaos and confusion in the House. They were caught by the MPs and handed over to the police. The police have invoked the anti-terror provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and maintained the breach was a “well-planned conspiracy”.

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