Kerala

Lankan detainee alleges torture by Coast Guard

A Sri Lankan who was arrested in the sea recently in connection with a drug haul reportedly suffered burns due to alleged torture on board a Coast Guard vessel.

The alleged ill-treatment of the man at the hands of Coast Guard officials came to light when the accused in the drug haul case were produced before K. Biju Menon, Additional Sessions Judge 1, Thiruvananthapuram, on Friday.

The burns victim, identified as L.Y. Nandana, 46, of Nakulugamuwa, Sri Lanka, complained to the court that the officials made him lie in a supine position on a heated iron plate used for cooking in the patrolling vessel of the Coast Guard.

Arms too seized

The court, in its order, noted that the accused had suffered severe burns on his back and was not in a position to even wear a shirt. Nandana was among the six arrested by the officials in a case related to the seizure of a commercial quantity of heroin along with AK-47 rifles and ammunition from a Sri Lankan fishing vessel off the coast of Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram, a few days ago.

The accused were originally produced before the court through videoconferencing. The victim, who appeared in the videoconferencing with his upper body covered with a towel, removed the cloth and showed the court the burns on his body. He submitted to the court that the burns were inflicted by Coast Guard personnel in their vessel, according to court documents accessed by The Hindu.

To be hospitalised

The judge, who directed the Superintendent of the Central Prison, Thiruvananthapuram, to produce the accused before the court, interrogated Nandana, who knew only Sinhalese, with the help of another accused. The victim was later ordered to be admitted to the burns department of the Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, for treatment. He had reportedly suffered 20% burns. The burns were photographed and recorded by the court.

The court directed that he shall be produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Thiruvananthapuram, for taking cognizance under Section 190 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It also directed the photographs of the burns to be produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Thiruvananthapuram, as part of further proceedings.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 9:49:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/lankan-detainee-alleges-torture-by-coast-guard/article34396851.ece

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