BeyondHeadlines News Desk
Qateel Siddiqi, arrested in November 2011 by Delhi police for his alleged IM links, was killed in Yerwada Central jail in Pune on Friday by fellow inmates for unknown reasons.
Qateel had been shifted to Yerwada only a few days ago after the Maharashtra ATS had taken his custody for a test identification parade.
He was arrested for making an attempt to plant a bomb at the Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati temple in Pune. Siddqui was also allegedly involved in the Bangalore Chinnaswamy stadium blast and Delhi Jama Masjid’s blast.
Various human rights organisation have condemned his murder in the jail premises.
Jamia Teacher’s Solidarity Association (JTSA), ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy), Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) and Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) have demanded an impartial inquiry into the incident.
They have also demanded that an FIR under section 302 be filed immediately and a compensation be granted to Siddiqui’s wife.
These organisations have alleged that Siddqui’s murder was a well planned conspiracy by the jail authorities and the police officials.
His family members have also demanded thorough probe into the incident which they also see as a conspiracy.
CRPP in a statement said that “the careful abetment of such killings in a high security ward of a prisoner who was the subject of vicious communal media trial about his alleged involvement in several sensational bomb blast cases points squarely at the deepening virus of communalisation and criminalisation of the police forces especially in prisons.”
Shahnawaz Alam and Rajiv Yadav of PUCL have alleged the involvement of ATS in Siddqui’s killing.
“The government and the police get the accused killed in the prisons and give it a name of gangwar. Earlier also various Muslim accused have been attacked in the custody in Tihar, Jaipur and Ahmedabad jails,” they said in a joint statement.
They have also questioned the complicit attitude of the Bihar police.
“While custodial violence is endemic and almost institutionalized, Maharashtra Jails are also notorious for attacks on accused, particularly on those accused of terrorism. It is obvious that under trials, especially those charged with crimes like terrorism, are not safe in Maharashtra jails,” Manisha Sethi said.
“All accused in judicial custody are directly under the care of the judiciary and as such it is the judiciary’s responsibility to ensure their well-being and safety. We hope therefore that the Mumbai High Court will take suo motu notice of this killing and initiate action in the matter,” she added.
Only a week before India was pulled up by the UN for its unwarranted delay in ratifying the UN Convention Against Torture. Along with this India is yet to sign on a treaty against enforced disappearances. Despite pressure from the masses of the people and various human rights groups in the subcontinent against the growing human rights violations and increasing instances of custodial torture, killings and illegal detention centres India has been sitting quite on enacting a law against custodial torture. (Courtesy: Pratirodh)