Court Inquiry report confirms Dalit labour activist Shiv Kumar’s allegations of custodial torture

In the report it is stated that it appeared that the doctors examining Kumar seemed to have danced to the tunes of  the police officials and also questioned the Magistrate’s role in granting Kumar’s remand.

Court inquiry

An inquiry report submitted by Sessions Judge Panchkula has confirmed the allegations that Dalit labour activist Shiv Kumar was in fact illegally detained by Haryana police and that they inflicted torture upon him while in custody. The report holds Additional SHO, Kundli police station, Shamsher Singh to be directly responsible for the torture.

As per LiveLaw, the inquiry Officer Deepak Gupta’ report states in the report that “allegations of illegal confinement and custodial torture of Shiv Kumar are duly proved on record”. The report was placed before the bench of Justice Jagmohan Bansal of Punjab and Haryana High Court. The counsel for the State sought time to go through the report and the next hearing is scheduled on January 27, 2023.

This inquiry report was submitted in the  plea filed by Kumar’s father seeking seekingtransfer of three FIRs registered at Kundli police station to an independentagency and probe into the illegal detention and torture of his son. Accordingly, in March 2021, the court directed Gupta to conduct an inquiry during which 15 witnesses were examined.

Shiv Kumar, President of Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, Kumar was arrested on January 16, 2021 a few days after the arrest of Nodeep Kaur, for allegedly violently protesting the harassment of factory workers in the Kundli Industrial Area in Sonipat on January 12. He was granted bail by a local Sonipat court in all three cases registered against him.

The inquiry report confirms Kumar’s allegations that he was picked up on January 16, 2021 and kept in illegal confinement and his arrest was shown only on January 23, 2021. He further stated that Kumar was medically examined “as many as five times between January 24 and February 02, 2021 but none of the doctors of the Government Hospital Sonepat or the doctor deputed in jail performed their duty and they apparently danced to the tune of the police officials”.

The report has also cast aspersions on the Judicial Magistrate before whom Kumar was presented for remand stating that had he seen Kumar in person, he could have noticed the injuries on his body.

“It appears that either Shiv Kumar was not physically produced before the Magistrate and was made to sit outside in the police vehicle; or if produced, he was not in a position to speak anything to the Magistrate due to the threats given by the police,” the report reads, as reported by LiveLaw.

Kumar’s account of his torture

The  24-year-old Dalit labour rights activist had told The Telegraph, after his release from prison, that his injuries include “broken toenail beds, fractures and symptoms of post-traumatic disorder”.

He said he was abducted by the police, “I remember being taken into the Criminal Investigation Agency-1 (police unit) in Sonipat’s Gur Mandi. From January 16 to 23, I was constantly hit with sticks, abused and humiliated referring to my caste. I was not allowed to sleep. They were inhuman. They were always in plainclothes. None offered me first aid.”

He further alleged he was “beaten and then shown videos of the protest (on January 12) and asked to identify people. I asked them how I could identify people when I was not there. At the time, I was at the Singhu border protest. People have taken footage of me at Singhu border. They would keep hitting me on my toes with lathis. They did all kinds of brutality and I was constantly in pain.”

The Telegraph reports that Kumar’s statement recorded by the board says, “They tied both his feet, lay him on the ground, and hit him on the soles. His 2nd, 3rd and 5th toe nails of the right foot were torn and the nail of the big toe of the left foot became blue. They also hit him on the buttocks with flat sticks, then they tied his hands and stretched his legs. He was made to lie on the ground with both legs straight and a metal pipe was placed on his thigh and rolled over the thighs by two people. They also hit him on both hands and palms and also on the back of his head. He was not allowed to sleep for three days, the C.l staff took his statement and asked him to give names and when he could not do so. They tied him to a chair and poured water to his head… He was mentally and physically abused in the police remand and they also poured hot water on his feet and any blisters that formed were burst by them.


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