PUCL Bulletin, March 2002

PUCL Jamshedpur Observes International Human Rights Day

The Jamshedpur People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) on 10 December, 2001 observed the International Human Rights day with a day-long program in the city.

As a part of the program, a six-member team from PUCL comprising M. K. Dutta, Vinay Dey, G.C. Das, Kundan Tigga, Babulal Choudhary and Nishant Akhilesh visited three different police stations in the city, viz., Bistupur, Kadma, and Sakchi. The team observed the absence of any display board in the premises giving details of custodial rights of a prisoner as enjoined by the Supreme Court. In course of the conversation Dy. SP of police Ashfaque Khan admitted that this directive of the Supreme Court had not been implemented in any of the police stations so far in the district. But the DSP assured that appropriate action would be taken in this regard soon.

In Kadma Jail the Team found blatant violation of civil rights. Three children below the age of fifteen, suspects on theft charges had been kept in custody for more than three days when keeping an accused-suspect in jail custody for more than twenty-four hours was against law, more so for minor children below the age of fifteen. The PUCL urged the police authorities to release the boys immediately. Two boys were released then and the third boy would be sent to the remand home after producing him in front of Magistrate. At Bistupur jail the PUCL team was shocked to discover a man lying in custody while his case was already under trial in Court.

In the evening the PUCL held street corner meeting at Sakchi crossing which was addressed by Dr. Ram Kavinder Singh, member, Nishant Akhilesh, General Secretary, MK Dutta & TP Ghose, Vice-Presidents, social activists Manthan and Sujay Roy. The speakers voiced protest against POTO terming the Ordinance as a dangerous move which would they feared arm the police bureaucrats and the Ruling Party with additional power, turning the Ordinance into a 'Law of Terror' that would let loose a reign of tyranny in the country and would be a threat to Democracy, Freedom of Speech and all those values enshrined in the Constitution.

The street-corner meeting also sought to create greater awareness on Human Rights and the role being played by PUCL in this direction. -- General Secretary, Jamshedpur PUCL

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