PUCL, August 2003

Rajasthan PUCL -
Concern for Pakistani child in an Indian jail

Update report - 5 August 2003

Also see, Another Pakistan child, Danish Kumar in Indian jail
and Missing Prisoners in India and Pakistan

31st July, 2003
Name : Munir
Father's Name : Mohammed Bilal , a poor cow rearer
Age : 13 years
Language : Punjabi
Name of village in Pakistan : Bhatu ( according to police forces this village maybe 15-20 kms from the border )
District Bhawalpur, Sindh Province in Pakistan

Since 29th July in Karanpur sub-jail in Sri Ganganagar district. Charged u/s 109 CrPC, for vagrancy. Was produced in front of a magistrate on the 29 th of July who sent him to a sub-jail. From the 27 th of June to the 28 th he was held at Kesarisinghpur police station, 40 kms from SriGanganagar district .

First news reports appeared in Rajasthan Patrika dated 29th June which said that he has been in custody since two days. The news report stated that he was handed over to Rajasthan police by the BSF who picked him up on the 26th June, he had crossed the border innocently. According to news reports and interaction with police no case has been filed against him. There is just an entry in the roznamcha.

Now he has been in police custody since a month. The Sri Ganganagar
district press and ordinary citizens have taken up this matter like a
campaign in order to ensure early repatriation

The arguments of the PUCL
According to PUCL Munir has been kept in detention in contravention
of the procedure established under law. According to the PUCL the detention of Munir is in violation of his rights under Articles 14, 21 and 22 of the Constitution and the Juvenile Justice [Care and Protection of Children] Act 2000. Articles 14, 21 and 22 of the Constitution apply to all persons regardless of nationality or citizenship. The provisions and procedures laid down in the Juvenile Justice [Care and Protection of Children] Act 2000 also apply to all juveniles regardless of their nationality.

We believe that the State Government has violated the Juvenile Justice Act by keeping the child in police custody. Munir is about 13 years of age, and is a juvenile requiring special protection under the domestic and international law. We believe that in the present case there has been a complete breakdown of the juvenile justice system. Firstly, Munir has been wrongly incarcerated in the police lock-up for over a month in absolute violation of the prevailing juvenile legislation. Secondly, since 26-6-2003 when the Border Security Force took him in custody he has not been produced before any Magistrate or Juvenile Justice Board. The latter is a must under the Juvenile Justice Act.

According to the PUCL the United Nations Convention for the Rights of
the Child is legally binding, and the Countries are obligated to adhere to its provisions. India is signatory to the CRC since 1992. Munir has been separated from his family in an alien country for over a month. Thus Munir should be transferred to an Observation Home and be produced before the nearest Juvenile Justice Board. This illegal detention is an infringement of the said Munir's right to life and liberty, and has caused him great prejudice, and an avoidable prolonged incarceration.

The PUCL also appeals that Munir should be repatriated to his home in
Pakistan at the earliest. By Munir's illegal detention, valuable time has been wasted and restoration to his family has been uneccesarily delayed. Since he is a child separated from his family everything must be done to reunite from with his family in Pakistan at the earliest.

The PUCL has taken up the matter with the GOR and has demanded that
Munir be moved to a Juvenile home in Jaipur. It has also requested urgent repatriation of Munir to Pakistan. PUCL has also written to the GOI in this connection.

The PUCL has moved this matter in the Rajasthan High Court, Jaipur Bench. It was heard on the 28th of July, 2003. It came up in the Court of Justice Yaad Ram Meena and Justice Shashi Kant Sharma. The Court issued notices to the Government of Rajasthan asking them to reply in four weeks time in the said matter. The insensitivity of the Judiciary in this matter is obvious that a petition arguing for providing justice to a child is treated in a routine way. On hearing that the boy was a Pakistani the Judges cut short the lawyer for the PUCL Prem Krishna Sharma, who is also President of the State PUCL and refused to hear further on the matter.

The PUCL wrote to the Indo-Pak Peace Forum, columnist and Parliamentarian Mr. Kuldeep Nayar. Mr. Kuldip Nayar addressed a press
conference on the 27 th in Jaipur and took up Munir's case. He said that Munir should be released at the earliest and that he would also write to the Prime Minster and Home Minister to ensure the immediate and safe passage of Munir back home.

We appeal to all citizens to act on this matter and write to
Sh. Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister, Rajasthan, Jaipur,
Sh. LK Advani, Home Minister, GOI, N.Delhi
Sh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister, N.Delhi

Against the unjust detention, immediate release and ensuring safe passage to Munir so that he can be reunited with his family at the earliest:

In case you would like more information on this matter you can contact us in Jaipur and Sri Ganganagar:

Jaipur contact persons:
Kavita Srivastava & Prem Krishna Sharma,
People's Union for Civil Liberties, Rajasthan,
49, Vivek Nagar, Station Road, Jaipur-302006

emails & phone no:
Kavita Srivastava : 0141/2706483 kavisriv@y...
Prem Krishna Sharma : 0141/2206139 pkshri20022002@y...
Sri Ganga Nagar contacts :
Ram Prakash Meel : 0154-2434154, 94140-88154
Mangesh Kaushik : 0154- 2460144, 2427624
Amar Pal Singh : 0154 - 2438111, 2422637
Vinay Tiwari : 94140-87135


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