PUCL demands NHRC’s immediate intervention in Muslim man’s custodial death

The civil rights organisation has demanded a free and fair inquiry on Mohd. Ramzan’s custodial death urgently. He was an inmate of Baran Jail who died due to custodial violence by the police guards of the Prison Ward of Kota Medical College Hospital on April 26.

Custodial Deaths
Jaipur: Kavita Srivastava, the President of the People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) wrote a letter to the Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) New Delhi, demanding their immediate intervention in the matter of the custodial death of Mohd. Ramzan, an inmate of Baran Jail due to custodial violence by the police guards of the Prison Ward of Kota Medical College Hospital on April 26.
“Mohammaed Ramzan, son of Hafiz Alimuddin, resident of Mangrol, District Baran, Rajasthan was imprisoned in Baran Prison under the charges of Section 347 of the Indian Penal Code i.e. wrongful confinement to extort property, or constrain to an illegal act. He was awarded two-year imprisonment by the sessions court of Baran. He was out on bail when the High Court of Rajasthan rejected his appeal, he was arrested again in 2018 and put in Baran Jail. Subsequently, a Special Leave Petition was also filed in Supreme Court for bail, but the SLP was rejected,” she wrote.
Ramzan complained of liver and other gastro problems, so he was referred to the Kota Medical College for treatment. In the Jail ward of the Kota Medical College, there is a constant rotation of 4 guards sent by the police. A video which surfaced before the demise of Ramzan, shows him telling that three of these guards only had beaten him up very badly. He says the guards were inebriated on alcohol and would beat him up when he would cry up in pain. Upon talking to the Rizwan, son of Ramzan, he informs us that these guards would ask for Rs 500/- for each meeting of the family with the patient, so the family had complained about this demand to higher authorities, which has worsened the relationship between Ramzan and the guards, she wrote in the letter to NHRC.
Ramzan was then referred to SMS Hospital Jaipur, the family was informed that a leg of Ramzan had been fractured and needed to be operated upon urgently so they rushed to Jaipur. The family met Ramzan once, this is the day the video was recorded in which Ramzan has given a statement against the guards. They were then denied access to the patient and were later informed that the patient has been transferred back to Kota. The guards on their own volition moved Ramzan back to Kota, denying him proper medical treatment, which went against the advice of the doctors present and treating Ramzan. When the family of Ramzan was rushing to Kota, they were informed by the prison officials that Ramzan has expired in their custody of the police in the ward for prisoners of the Kota Medical College. The death was recorded at 10:30 pm on April 26, 2019, PUCL said in the letter.
“The family refused to take the custody of the dead body of Ramzan, until and unless an FIR was filed against the 4 police guards of the jail ward of Kota Medical College as well as those who took him away from the SMS Medical College, Jaipur. After 14-15 hours, SP Kota City assured the family that an enquiry will be done of the custodial death by a judicial magistrate under Section 176 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. He also informed the family that the four guards have been removed, the nature of removal is unclear, whether is a suspension or a change in duty. Post Mortem has been done by a Medical Board. Upon this reassurance, the family has now taken the custody of the body to go ahead with the burial of the departed man,” the letter stated.
PUCL’s demand:

  1. Immediate lodging of the FIR against the police guards involved in the custodial violence leading up to the death of Ramzan, the police inquiry can run parallel to the judicial inquiry. The police authorities need to answer for the complete lack of due diligence in the above matter.
  2. A detailed inquiry needs to be done by the Kota Medical College Hospital as to how could the prisoner’s ward allows such brazen violence against an ill man.
  3. Compensation to the family of Ramzan.
  4. Both the jails, Baran Jail and Kota Jail should submit a report each to NHRC, SHRC, home secretary and DG Prisons within 24 hours of the custodial death as required by the guidelines of the NHRC
  5. The videography Post Mortem Report and the enquiry report by the Judicial Magistrate must be submitted to the NHRC at the earliest possible instance.

“We would be highly obliged if a free and fair inquiry can be done on Ramzan’s custodial death urgently. Communally targeted violence by the authorities raises a serious concern of human rights violations of minorities present inside the various correctional institutes across the nation. Ramzan’s family has suffered a great loss, and a speedy inquiry would give them some solace in these troubling times,” Srivastava wrote.



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