A S Anand
National Human Rights Commission
Sardar Patel Bhawan
Complaint against (1) the inhumane torture and custodial death
of Mr Suresh Kumar in the custody of Lambi Police under Batinda
district of Punjab on 14 July 2003; and (2) for development
of measures for prevention of custodial deaths including the
prosecution of the perpetrators of custodial death.
am writing to seek your personal intervention against the
inhumane torture and custodial death of Mr Suresh Kumar on
14 July 2003. Mr Suresh Kumar, a labourer of Tharajwala village,
belonged to Bharatpur Ding village of Rajasthan.
Dalit, Mr Suresh Kumar reportedly eloped with an upper caste
girl on 11 July 2003 from Tharajwala village, Muktsar, Batinda
district of Punjab. He reportedly took the girl to one of
his relatives' place at Sukhna village. The relatives of the
girl reportedly found out the duo, thrashed Mr Suresh Kumar
and later handed over to the Lambi police.
police arrested him on 11 July 2002 and reportedly implicated
in a false case for possession of 500 gms of opium. However,
the FIR was registered only on 12 July 2003.
to the FIR a police team had been patrolling the area. A man
(the girl's uncle) asked the police to give him a lift. At
some distance, a youth (Suresh Kumar), started running on
seeing the police. He was caught and 500 gm of opium was recovered
was produced before the court of judicial magistrate, Gidderbaha,
on 12 July 2003 and was remanded to a day's police custody.
on 14 July 2003, Mr Suresh Kumar died in police custody.
station house officer (SHO) of Lambi claimed that Mr Suresh
Kumar had complained of nausea on 14 July 2003 morning after
which he was shifted to civil hospital, Malout, from where
doctors referred him to Guru Gobind Singh Medical College
and Hospital, Faridkot. Mr Suresh Kumar died on the way to
the hospital, he said.
question arises since Mr Suresh Kumar was in police custody,
how could he get hold of a poisonous substance in jail.
Suresh Kumar has been subjected to third degree torture at
Lambi police station as a result of which he died.
autopsy has been conducted in the Mukstar civil hospital.
The autopsy report reportedly concluded that Suresh Kumar
died of internal abdominal injuries inflicted by a blunt weapon,
clearly establishing the torture and custodial death of Suresh
shall be grateful if the NHRC could kindly intervene in the
custodial death of Mr Suresh Kumar by taking the following
Direct the State government of Punjab to order a judicial
inquiry into the custodial death of Suresh Kumar and submit
the report to the NHRC within four weeks;
Direct the State government of Punjab to suspend all the concerned
police officers responsible for the custodial death of Suresh
Kumar with immediate effect in order to ensure that they do
not interfere with the investigation process;
Direct the State government of Punjab to forward the post
mortem report which should have been conducted in full conformity
with the guidelines of the NHRC;
Direct the State government of Punjab to pay an interim compensation
of Rs 500,000 (five lakhs) to the family of Mr Suresh Kumar
within six weeks from the issue of notice by the NHRC and
that the same be recovered from the guilty police personnel;
Establish a legal cell within the NHRC for prosecution of
the culprits responsible for custodial death;
Direct the Government of India to ratify the United Nations
Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment; and
Take any other measures that the NHRC deems fit.