National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought an action taken report (ATR) from the superintendent of police, Sivasagar district of Assam over the alleged custodial death of a Naga man – E Henveih Phom – who was allegedly tortured by police at Gelekey police station in the district on August 21.
The commission directed its registry to transmit the copy of the complaint to the concerned authority calling for an action taken report within four weeks. “The concerned authorities shall also intimate the commission, if any, notice, order etc., has been received by him/them in the instant matter from the State Human Rights Commission. If yes, a copy of such order also be sent to the commission within four weeks,” the NHRC notice said.
Let a copy of the complaint be also transmitted to the secretary of the concerned State Human Rights Commission, calling upon him to inform this commission the date of cognizance, if any, taken at their end in the instant matter within four weeks, NHRC added.
The deceased E Henveih Phom was a resident of Anaki-C village under Mokokchung district of Nagaland. He was arrested along with a woman on August 16, 2022 by the Assam Police while they were travelling to Gelekey, Assam.
Following his arrest, E Henveih Phom was sent to judicial custody. However, he died under suspicious circumstances five days later.
The deceased’s family members alleged that the deceased was subjected to torture during police custody at Gelekey police station, which led to his death. The family also claimed that the deceased was physically fit and sound at the time of his arrest.
The complainant Indigenous Lawyers Association of India (ILAI) urged the NHRC to direct the state government of Assam too, among others, to conduct a judicial inquiry into the custodial death under Section 176(1A) of the CrPC which provides for mandatory judicial inquiries in cases of death, rape and disappearance in custody; submit a detailed report including the post mortem report and CCTV footage of the police station; suspend all the accused police personnel of Gelekey police station under Sivasagar district including the SHO; take appropriate legal action including under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against them; and provide interim compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased.