NHRC to hear Pintu Chakma custody death case at Itanagar

The National Human Rights Commission is scheduled to take up the custodial death case of Pintu Chakma with the Arunachal Pradesh government in the upcoming open hearing scheduled on 25 May at Itanagar.

The Commission on Thursday issued notice u/s 18 of Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 to State’s Chief Secretary to show cause by 25 May at the Itanagar open hearing as to why it should not recommend Rs. 2,00,000 as compensation to the family members of Pintu Chakma.

Pintu Chakma, aged 26, of Dumpani village under Diyun circle in State’s Changlang district, died under mysterious circumstances at the lock-up of Diyun police station on 16 October 2014 while in judicial custody. He was arrested on 30 April 2014 along with four others by police from Dumpathar village in connection with Case FIR No. 18/2004 u/s 27(1) NDPS Act registered at Diyun police station. The four other accused were released on bail within few days, but Pintu Chakma was denied bail. He remained in police custody for seven days at the lock-up. On 6 May, he was sent to judicial custody and but still lodged at the lock-up until his death.

The NHRC intervened into the matter following a complaint filed by Delhi-based Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) alleging that Pintu Chakma died in custody due to torture and denial of proper medical treatment. ACHR also alleged that despite his failing health the deceased was not shifted to jail but kept in prolong detention in sub-human condition at the police lock-up. Among others, ACHR urged the Commission to recommend adequate compensation to the next of kin of the deceased as he was the only bread earner for his family. The deceased was survived by his wife and two minor children, aged 5 and 3 years respectively.

“The State is responsible to take care of the person in custody. The death of the deceased due to poison might be due to carelessness and lackadaisical attitude of the authorities. Thus, there was lapses/negligence on the part of Jail Administration to provide security and protection along with proper treatment to the prisoner in their custody,” the Commission observed.

“Due to this reason, human rights of the deceased prisoner has been violated and the State is vicariously liable to pay compensation to the NOK of the deceased UTP Pintu Chakma,” it further said.

Photo credit: Facebook/OneChakma

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