National

Nodeep Kaur case | NHRC seeks report from Haryana Police

Labour rights activist Nodeep Kaur. File   | Photo Credit: MOORTHY RV

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Haryana Police for a report on a complaint that labour activist Nodeep Kaur, who was arrested on January 12 after a stir to demand workers’ wages in Kundli, was harassed and tortured in custody.

The Sonipat Superintendent of Police (SP) was on February 18 given four weeks to respond, according to the proceedings. Ms. Kaur was released on bail on February 26. According to the complaint, “the victim who is a social activist was illegally arrested in a false complaint, was harassed, sexually assaulted in the police custody, and was subjected to police torture”.

Earlier, in another complaint that called for Ms. Kaur’s release and alleged “inhumane torture”, the NHRC had on February 9 asked for a report from the SP within six weeks.

Meanwhile, a group of human rights’ organisations have appealed to the NHRC to intervene in the case of Shiv Kumar, a unionist co-accused in the case with Ms. Kaur. Mr. Kumar remains in jail. His family has alleged that he has been beaten and tortured.

“Acts of violence and torture inflicted by police personnel on suspects or arrested persons in custody often goes unaccounted due to fear of reprisal and as legal safeguards at arrest such as the mandatory medical examination, immediate information to the family about the arrest, and the presence of a lawyer during questioning and interrogation are not followed. These procedural violations were also observed in the Dalit activist Shiv Kumar’s case. However, as a rare occurrence, there is clear evidence on record of the torture meted out to Mr. Kumar, thanks to the Punjab & Haryana High Court ordered medical examination,” said Raja Bagga, senior researcher with the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.

On February 27, CHRI, the Human Rights Defenders Alert and the National Dalit Movement for Justice wrote to the NHRC seeking an independent investigation into the allegations.

Mr. Bagga said on Wednesday that the activists were yet to receive a response.

“It is crucial that, based on the medical records and Mr. Kumar’s statements, the court and the NHRC ensure that police officers responsible for the torture and illegal detention are made accountable for their actions. We await the NHRC’s actions on the urgent appeal filed to the Commission,” he said.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 9:24:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nhrc-asks-for-report-from-haryana-police-in-nodeep-kaur-case/article33980816.ece

Next Story