India

NHRC awards Rs 5 lakhs in custodial death of Ajay Mishra

BeyondHeadlines News Desk

New Delhi:  The Madhya Pradesh government paid Rs.5 lakh to the family members of deceased Ajay Mishra, a victim of custodial torture by police, following directions of the National Human Rights Commission in 30th June 2017. The NHRC passed the award of compensation to the next of kin of the victim following a complaint filed by human rights NGO, Asian Center for Human Rights in March 2012.

According to the complaint of Asian Center for Human Rights, police arrested the deceased Ajay Mishra, and his two associates Pankaj Agnihotri and Vikresh Sharma from Jalon of Uttar Pradesh on 2nd March 2012 in connection with two cases of robbery. All the three were brought to Damoh in Madhya Pradesh. They were produced in the court and remanded in police custody till the next hearing. During interrogation, they were beaten severely allegedly to extract a confession during which the deceased’s condition deteriorated. He was then admitted to a hospital in Lahar of Bhind district on 12th March 2012 where he succumbed to his injuries.
The inquest, conducted by a Judicial Magistrate, found 12 injuries on the body. The postmortem recorded nine abrasions, two contusions and the right eye blackened. The cause of death was given as” cario-putmorary arrest leading to shock and death”.
The father of deceased told the Magisterial enquiry that his sons was arrested on the 2nd March, 2012. When he asked the officer in charge of Davoh Police Station on the 4th of March, about his son, Ajay Mishra was taken out from the lockup and beaten mercilessly in his presence. He was asked to pay Rs. 50,000/ to the officer for his release, but even though he did so his son was again beaten in front of him not release and a further Rs. 50.000/- was demanded. The father then met the Sub-Divisional Police Officer, who gave him an assurance that his son would not be beaten, but would be challenged after Holi.

The NHRC observed that “though Ajay Mishra had been arrested by R.C. Arya, the officer in-charge of PS Davoh, on the 2nd March 2012 and the news of the arrest had been carried in a local news paper on the 3rd March, 2012, the Superintendent of Police of Bhind district had falsely reported to the Commission that the arrest was made on the 7th March, 2012”.

The magisterial enquiry also confirmed that the late Ajay Mishra had been beaten on the 3rd and 6th March 2012 in police custody. He was shown arrested by the police on the 7th March 2012 in police custody. He was shown arrested by the police on the 7th March, produced before the Magistrate on the 8th March, and taken on police remand till the 12th March. Witnesses confirmed to the magisterial enquiry that he had again been beaten during the period of remand. The Magistrate also established that when the late Ajay Mishra was medically examined after his formal arrest on the 7th March 2012, the doctor found three injuries on him, whereas the postmortem established 12 injuries.

The NHRC concluded that “This is a clear indication that he had been savagely beaten throughout the period that he was in the custody of the police, first in illegal detention and thereafter on remand.” The Magistrate concluded that: i) the late Ajay Mishra had indeed been In the custody of the police from line 2nd March 2012, though he was shown arrested on the 7th March, 2012; ii) he had been kept in illegal detention from the 2nd to 7th March; iii) had been beaten throughout at the police station; and iv) bad died from injuries which caused loss of blood, resulting in cardio-pulmonary arrest.”
In its final order, the NHRC further stated that “extremely grave crimes were committed by the policemen concerned, first in the illegal detention of a man for five days, and (hereafter the much more serious offence of torturing a man to death. For these grievous violations of human rights, the Commission holds that it is essential for the State Government to make reparations to the next of kin and to punish the guilty”.

The Commission directed the Government of Madhya Pradesh to pay compensation of Rs 5 lakhs for the next of kin of the late Ajay Mishra; report on the action taken including departmental action, against the policemen concerned, on the basis of the findings of the magisterial enquiry; and order an immediate enquiry by the CBCID into the circumstances of the arrest and death of the late Ajay Mishra.
The NHRC in its communication to the Asian Centre for Human Rights received today informed that Madhya Pradesh Government has submitted a copy of the receipt regarding of payment of Rs. 5 lakhs to the kin of the deceased Ajay Mishra”.

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