PUCL Bulletin, August 2005

Custody death of Sunil Roy

-- By Sajal Basu, Coordinating Committee, West Bengal PUCL, 29th June, 2005

[ Also see,
INDIA: Death in custody under mysterious circumstances ]

Sunil Roy (54), a long time resident of Shyamsunder Chak Government Colony, Bauria, PS Uluberia, Dist Howrah was a trader supplying fish to local market sellers and small fish stalls. A very peaceful, soft natured man, co-operative and helpful to neighbors, he regularly used to come back to his home in morning after his daily supply work. In the early morning on 15 June 2005, he availed a local train in morning from Howrah. After that he remained untraced until midnight 12:00 when 2 police vans with armed guards reached his home, conveyed the news of his death to his wife.

The police report held that Sunil Roy was arrested and kept in Santragachi GRP Lockup, committed suicide by hanging inside the lockup (see Annexure, Shalimar GRPP). Later police version said that he committed suicide by using his belt, which according to rule should not have remained with him. The report published in daily Statesman (Bengali, dt. 17 June, 05) held that police dragged him down from railway compartment to Santragachi station falsely marking him as a pick pocket, then led him to Santragachi GRP. It is alleged that the policemen demanded huge amount of money from Sunil Roy, as he didnít agree he was beaten to death in the lockup.
The GRP Kharagpur sub-division, Mr S.S. Panda said to The Statesman, Ďfrom first information weíve come to know, ĎSunil Babu was held at Santragachi Railway platform as a pick pocket. At about 11:45 a.m. Sunil Babu tied his belt, tied it with the door of lockup, and the other end of belt on neck and committed suicide.

Policeís concocted pick pocket suicide story may be invalidated on these points:

  • the length of an average belt is not enough to cause death to a healthy man having 80 kg weight.
  • The mark of injury and inflated size of dead body, as seen by deceasedís son Abhijit prove that he was beaten.
  • A belt is supposed to be seized before one is put into custody.
  • Deep injury marks on back, foot and pouring out blood from nose expose the novice nature of suicide story.

Mr Ramakrishna Mandal, Honíble Justice of Howrah Criminal Court also said to deceasedís son about the injury marks. According to Abhijit, no portion of the dead body resembled Sunilís body. Only the thigh approximated Sunilís

Till 25 June, 05 the post-mortem report was not delivered to Abhijit Roy. The SI of Shalimar GRP repeatedly assured PM Reportís delivery, but did not give it to Sunilís family.

The bold oily head of the dead body, as marked by deceasedís son is another doubtful question. Sunil Roy had long thick hair. The oily head of the dead body didnít bear any sign of shaving the head.

The newspapers and TV channels have circulated the news raising the doubt that Sunil Roy was beaten to death in the custody. Though, a case has been filed (Shalimar GRPS U/D Case No. 78/05 dt. 15.6.05), National Human Rights Commission can not avoid responsibility on that plea.

Sajal Basu, Coordinating Committee, West Bengal PUCL, 29th June, 2005


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