The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in India has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report alleging death of a Sri Lankan refugee, Mohan, aged about 45 years, in the custody of Pallikaranai Police in Chennai on September 4, the ANI news agency reported.
Notices have been issued to the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police, Government of Tamil Nadu calling for reports within four weeks.
Justice D. Murugesan, Member, NHRC has observed that “as per the media report, Mohan died while he was in the police custody and that too due to the severe torture by the police. Further, he was also kept in the custody of the police over a period of three days against all canons of justice and law which would amount to illegal detention as well. That apart, on verification of the Registry of the Commission, it is also ascertained that no intimation of the death was received in the Commission from the State Government so far.”
According to the NHRC guidelines, intimation regarding death in custody has to be reported to the Commission within 24 hours.
Reportedly, a number of refugees from Sri Lanka came to India fearing the life during the war between Sri Lankan Government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Mohan was one such person, who came to India as refugee. The report further states that the Central Crime Branch, Chennai had received information that Mohan had connections with people indulged in preparing forged passports.
On the basis of such information, Mohan was taken into custody and was enquired for about three days. While he was enquired on the night of September 4, he collapsed and therefore, he was admitted in a nearby private hospital where he was declared dead. The wife and other family members of the victim reported that the death was due to severe attack and brutal treatment by the police.