CHRI demands investigation into Muslim boy’s custodial death in UP

On May 21, a 17-year-old Muslim boy, Faisal Hussain, died after being beaten by police in Bangarmau town in the Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh.

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), an international NGO working for the practical realisation of human rights throughout the CW, has issued a statement demanding an impartial investigation into the death of a 17-year-old Muslim boy who died after being beaten up by police in Uttar Pradesh.

On May 21, a 17-year-old Muslim boy, Faisal Hussain, died after being beaten by police in Bangarmau town in the Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh.

It was reported that Faisal was taken into police custody for selling vegetables during the partial curfew amid COVID-19 restrictions on Friday. As per reports, Faisal received multiple injuries and later died while undergoing treatment.

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According to the CHRI statement, Faisal’s post mortem report noted severe injuries on his back, chest, ear, and hands. The cause of death is disclosed to be serious injuries on his head.

An FIR has been registered against three suspended policemen who were involved in this heinous transgression. Vijay Choudhary and Seemavat (constables), and home guard Satya Prakash. Out of these three cops, only Satya Prakash has been arrested.

The CHRI has urged Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police to take immediate action and begin an impartial investigation in the case in a time-bound manner.

In its statement, the CHRI has listed a few steps to be taken while conducting the investigation:

  • The case has to be assigned to an officer preferably from another district and not below the rank of an Inspector.
  • State Crime Branch or Crime Investigation Department (CBCID) can be involved to ensure an independent investigation.
  • CCTV cameras to be checked for the vegetable market and the police station when Faisal was taken into custody.
  • The statements of eyewitnesses and family members of Faisal have to be recorded promptly without any interference, harassment, or further threat.

CHRI has also demanded that the necessary documents confirming Faisal Hussain’s age as a minor should be reviewed.

According to CHRI, the DGP has urged that the police officers involved in the said crime are to be immediately arrested. “Immediate steps need to be taken to protect and preserve evidence necessary to verify allegations of torture at the police station including all the objects and clothing of Faisal Hussain and the accused police personnel,” said the statement.

It needs to be established that Faisal’s death was informed by Unnao District Superintendent of Police, to the Secretary-General of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) within 24 hours, as required by its guidelines on custodial death.

CHRI has also demanded a copy of the video of the post-mortem in the prescribed format of NHRC’s guidelines.

“There should be unhindered access to all relevant documents as sought by the judicial magistrate while conducting an inquiry under Section 176 (1)(A) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and as per guidelines issued by the NHRC.”, according to CHRI.

“All police personnel found guilty of grave violations must be brought to account forthwith. Any delay or failure to take firm action against the concerned police personnel will only add to the injustice suffered by Mr. Hussain’s family.”, said Devyani Srivastava, the head of CHRI’s police reforms program.

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