Taking suo motu cognisance of a media report, the National Human Rights Commission on Tuesday issued a notice to the Tamil Nadu government over alleged illegal detention of a juvenile and two of his family members in connection with a burglary and sought report, including action taken against errant police personnel, in four weeks.
On July 31, some police personnel from Ambattur police station in Chennai picked up the 17-year-old boy and two of his family members from his home in Villupuram district for questioning over a case of burglary, the NHRC said quoting the media report.
The boy and his family members, who belong to the nomadic tribe Kuravas, were allegedly subjected to “unbearable torture and inhuman treatment” by the police during their detention at the police station for three days, the NHRC said in a release. “The victims were made partially naked, beaten up with wooden log and were being forced to name someone from their community for his involvement in the theft.
Badly injured, they had to drink the water, fetched from the lock-up toilet, as the drinking water was not available to them,” it said. The juvenile was reportedly released when his family intervened to convince the police that he was just 17 years of age. The boy had stated that he has nothing to do with the alleged crime.
The Commission further said the boy appeared to be totally disillusioned with the “ways of world”, wondering whether what he and his family members suffered was “just because they were born as Kuravas”. NHRC observed that “no human being should be subjected to discrimination merely on the fact that he belongs to a particular caste, creed or community. The contents of the news report are a matter of concern.”
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The incident, alleging illegal detention of a young boy, physical torture of the family members and the atrocities committed by the police personnel, indicates “violation of human right to life, liberty and dignity of the victims”, the NHRC said in the notice issued to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police of Tamil Nadu.