Saturday, March 06, 2010

illegal arrest, torture upon the villagers - predominantly on Scheduled caste & tribe people

West Bengal, India

Name of the Victims:-

1. Mr. Samir Mondal, son of Mr. Sanatan Mondal, aged about- 32 years, Caste-Scheduled Caste, faith-Hindu, occupation-Farmer
2. Mr. Kanai Dolui s/o Mr. Manmath Dalui and
3. Mr. Nikhil Sarkar s/o Mr. Nimai Sarkar, all three residing at village-Chhotomollakhali School Para, Post Office– Chhotomollakhali, Police Station– Sunderban Coastal, District – South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, India
4. Ms. Namita Bhuiyan, wife of Niranjan Bhuiyan,
5. Mr. Samir Bhuiyan, s/o Biren Bhuiyan,
6. Mr. Gobinda Gharami, s/o Mr. Binod Bihari,
7. Mr. Manoranjan Gharami, s/o Mr. Santosh Gharami,
8. Ms. Kamala Gharami, wife of Mr. Santosh Gharami,
9. Ms. Gita Mondal, wife of Mr. Bishnupada,
10. Ms. Surekha Patra, wife of Mr. Abanti Patra, all of Puinjali village under jurisdiction of Sunderban Coastal police station;
11. Mr. Dipak Mondal, s/o Mr. Anil Mondal of Amtali village; and
12. Mr. Malay Gayen
13. Mr. Rajan Mondal
14. Mr. Deben Mridha
15. Mr. Ashok Mondal
16. Mr. Mohitosh Gayen
17. Mr. Anirban Mondal
18. Ms. Sachi Mondal
19. Mr. Gourchandra Gayen
20. Mr. Kartik Mridha
21. Mr. Rabindranath Mondal
22. Mr. Torun Patra
23. Mr. Sanata Bhuiyan
24. Mr. Tushar Mondal
25. Mr. Ashish Das
26. Mr. Ganesh Mridha
27. Mr. Satya Gayen
28. Mr. Arabindo Mondal
29. Mr. Tapan Boiragi
30. Mr. Chanchal Patra
31. Mr. Sanjay Patra
32. Mr. Bhupen Patra
33. Mr. Bharat Chandra Patra
34. Mr. Gopal Majhi
35. Mr. Soumen Patra
36. Mr. Rakhal Mondal
37. Mr. Samir Mondal
38. Mr. Nikhil Sarkar
and five others.

Name of the Perpetrators:- (1) Mr. Koushik Kundu, Officer-in-Charge and other personnel of Sunderban Coastal Police Station, (2) On duty Medical Officer of Chhotomollakhali Primary Health Centre.

Place of Incident:- At Chhotomollakhali village under Sunderban Coastal Police Station.

Date of Incident:- On 31 Janurary 2010 at about 11:20 PM

Detail of Incident:-

It was on 10 February 2010 that we got information about the police atrocities occurred at some villages under Sunderban Coastal subsequent to the physical assault by some villagers reportedly members of a political party [Trina-Mool Congress (TMC)] on the Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Sunderban Coastal police station. After the incident Mr. Koushik Kundu, the OC inflicted mass torturous act as vengeance on villagers of Chhotomollakhali, Puinjali and Aamtoli villages in Sourth 24 Parganas. Mithu, a class-VIII student of Chhotomollakhali recounted, “On 05 February 2010, some police personnel of Sunderban Coastal police station forcibly entered and searched our house at midnight in my father’s absence. My mother and I were physically ill-treated by those policemen and none among them was female.” However, due to the terror of police personnel, none of the tortured villagers could gather courage to initiate a case against police atrocities.

It is only on 24th February 2010, that a victim of that mass torture, Mr Samir Mondal stepped forward. Earlier he voiced his anxiety over telephone, “I wanted to contact you, but I hardly had any opportunity as I was under judicial custody till 04 February 2010 and after that I was summoned to the police station everyday on subsequent five days.” It was evident that he was under constant angst of further police torture. On the same day after meeting us at our office he narrated the incident of torture vividly.

On 31 January 2010, at around 11:30 PM as the victim woke up after listening a commotion in neighbourhood, he came out of his house. He saw that Mr. Koushik Kundu, OC of Coastal police station along with some armed police personnel was taking away two fellow villagers (1) Mr. Kanai Dolui s/o Mr. Manmath Dalui and (2) Mr. Nikhil Sarkar s/o Mr. Nimai Sarkar mercilessly beating them. As he was entering back to his house, the OC came up to him and ordered, “You have to go to the police station.” On asking the reason he said, “You are to be interrogated in relation to the case of rampage on Coastal police station.” As the victim told him about his ignorance of the details of that incident, and also assured the OC that he would visit the police station anytime in the day if they still wish him to do so, policemen started to take him away forcibly.

The victim recounted, “I understood, they would take me away forcibly. It was too cold on that night. I wanted to take some winter clothes. They didn’t allow me to do so. Then I pleaded to at least allow me to inform my mother. But they denied me that privilege too. I asked him whether he had any warrant or not. In reply he abused me with filthiest of words. I asked him, why are you abusing me, I am just asking things which are my rights. The officer immediately started to thrash me profusely with sticks. The injury still persists.” Neither the victim’s friend nor relative was informed about his arrest nor any ‘memo of arrest’ was issued at the time and place of arrest. Then all these three arrested victims were taken to the launch and continuously kicked with boots all over the body. It was around upto night 3:30 AM that the police personnel continued to raid different places and arrested (3) Ms. Namita Bhuiyan, w/o Niranjan, (4) Mr. Samir Bhuiyan, s/o Biren, (5) Mr. Gobinda Gharami, son of Mr. Binod Bihari, (6) Mr. Manoranjan Gharami, son of Mr. Santosh Gharami, (7) Ms. Kamala Gharami, wife of Mr. Santosh Gharami, (8) Ms. Gita Mondal, wife of Mr. Bishnupada, (9) Ms. Surekha Patra, wife of Mr. Abanti Patra, all of Puinjali village under jurisdiction of Sunderban Coastal police station. They also arrested (10) Mr. Dipak Mondal, s/o Mr. Anil Mondal of Amtali village. After bringing all of them on the same launch, the OC abused the elderly female victims (7-9) with filthiest unutterable words and continuously kicked them all over the body. Though numbers of female were arrested, that too in the midnight, none among the policemen was a female. Experiencing the whole incidence resulted to the victim to acute post traumatic stress disorder. After this traumatic experience, the final blow came from the on-duty doctor of Chhotomollakhali Primary Health Centre (PHC). He issued injury report to the police without personally examining even a single arrestee under instruction of police.

It is only after getting bail, few of the victims went back to the Chhotomollakhali PHC on 05-02-2010 to get their injury examined. The doctor detected assault upon examination and noted the same in the medical report (attached herewith). They are yet to recover completely and continues to be under treatment till date.

It is reported that as many as 43 persons including Mr. Sunil Mondal were arrested by the OC with several charges brought under sections 147/148/149/447/427/332/333/326/307/186/353/506/224/ 225/379 of Indian Penal Code and section 25/27 of Arms Act in Sunderban Coastal Police Station Case no. 7(1). They spent the chilly night on the launch itself and were taken to Badkhali and only in the next morning were brought to the Chhotomollakhali primary health centre. None of them were properly checked or treated there. Subsequently, they were brought to the Alipur court by police van from there. They were kept under judicial custody from 01-02-2010 to 03-02-2010. Though they were released on bail on 04th February, they were ordered to report to the police station everyday for next five days. As our activist contacted Mr. Koushik Kundu, the OC of Sunderban Coastal police station on 26-02-2010, he said, “Some people were arrested in connection with the incident happened on 26-10-2009. But, I won’t say anything about how they were arrested. If you want to know anything more about it, contact the Superintendent of Police.”

Report By:
Kirity Roy

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